While looking through some of the Christmas present threads I was really surprised to see lots of people recommending walkers and door bouncers (jolly jumpers). All my kids were born in New Zealand and over here the accepted belief that they retard development and can be bad for kids physically- I don't know anyone who uses them. I was about to say as much and was looking for some research to back it up. Found heaps of Antipodean stuff against them on google.co.nz but when I looked up google.ie it was all pro. Now I'm confused.

Instinctively I would not use one as they seem to put the child in an unnatural position and hinder them from finding out about their environment. I can see how they'd be handy though.

Any thoughts? Experiences?

Ballyman Banned

I would have agreed with you as we didn't want a walker as like you we thought it might slow his progress. However we were given a present of a door bouncer. Initially we just put it away as we didn't want to use it but the person that gave it as a present was calling one weekend so we felt it would be bad form if we didn't have it up while they were there

Our little boy was beside himself with excitement when we put him into it and he was banjaxed after about 10 minutes but the smile didn't leave his face once while he was in it jumping around. We put him in it every day for 5 or 10 minutes after that for about a month before he outgrew it but he loved jumping around inside it.

He's now 16 months and is walking, climbing, jumping and generally doing what boys do and I can't see how it could have possibly slowed his progression in any way.

If anything it might even have helped him as all the jumping would have strengthened his legs and helped walking development!!

I am still against walkers though. I think it's much better to get them a push bike that they can stand up beside and push along. This way they are encouraged to support themselves to walk rather than sitting down and walking.

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annamcmahon Registered User

I agree with Ballyman. My daughter loves her door frame bouncer. She's 9months and gets really excited when I hang it. Our kitchen table is right by the door so I find it great if I want to chop stuff for dinner or do other jobs at the table. She bounces and giggles away to herself for about 30mins. I probably only use it once or twice a week.

We found it great when we went to other people's houses. Because she loves people to watch her in it and bounce beside she was distracted and didn't make strange as much as if she was on the floor.

I didn't put her in it until she could hold her body straight when I held her in a standing position if that makes sense.

I would never put her in a walker though. I think anything that moves like that is dangerous. The static versions are different but to be honest she hasn't been very impressed when I put in ones in playcentres. Glad we didn't buy one.

Cat Melodeon Registered User

We were given gifts of both a walker and a door bouncer. I see all the problems associated with them and certainly wouldn't recommend them to someone who might ignore the usage recommendations. We didn't use the door bouncer until our boy was well able to support himself in the standing position. He absolutely loved it, but I would never let him stay in it for longer than 10 mins and a maximum of twice a day. When he was already coasting around the furniture, we allowed him 20 mins a day in the walker (and took away one of the door bouncer sessions) which he went crazy for. We lived in a bungalow at the time so there were no steps for him to topple over and he just loved chasing the dogs up and down the hall. We also had wooden floors and no saddle boards, so there were no trip risks. It also helped us prepare for toddler-proofing the house as once they are upright and mobile a whole new set of dangers seem to appear!

I'll add that he had no underlying problems with hips or legs and was generally on the floor for free play at all other times - I never used a bouncer chair or strapped him in to anything in a seated or lying position when he was awake, so I feel he had plenty or scope for normal development. He was slow to crawl properly (11 months) but was standing and coasting around the furniture by 9 months and running around solidly by 13 months.

I think walkers and bouncers are okay if they are used responsibly, but parents really need to be aware of the dangers (particularly of walkers) and certainly there is a temptation to leave a child in them for longer periods than is healthy. I definitely won't be using the walker with our next baby as we've moved house and it's got stairs, steps, saddle boards, the works. The door bouncer will get a tryout but I have a horrible feeling that child#1 will try to use it to catapult #2 into the blue yonder if I turn my back for a second, so we'll see how it goes.

Lola92 Registered User

I would never ever put my child into a door bouncer. I met a woman (a friend of my aunts) who is a coroner in the UK. She had done two autopsy's - one where the child had died by toppling over in the bouncer and another from knocking their head hard against the door frame. They were being supervised in both cases.

I don't want this to appear as scaremongering but I think that people really need to be aware of the risks. I know that toys like these are great fun for babies and toddlers but it it really worth the chance?

cuddle Registered User

My girl is just shy of 7 months and she LOVES her bouncer. It's a great way to keep her entertained while you get something done.

Having said that, she doesn't go in it very often. Maybe a couple of times a week for up to 20 mins a go. She used to use it more over the summer when I was staying with my mum for a couple of weeks.

It was perfect for my girl as she has loved standing up since she was a couple of weeks old. I don't believe that it stunts development where there is no underlying condition but I think it can possibly exacerbate existing hip problems. As I said, my girl is just shy of seven months and she's already crawling, standing and beginning to cruise.

jackben Registered User

hi, my son is ten months and uses both the bouncer and the walker, andhe just loves both.he loves the freedom of been in the bouncer and been able to jump and move around without my help, he doesnt stay in it for long though maybe ten mins at a time.
He also loves the walker and has pleny of space to race around in and loves going after the dog in it, again he wouldnt be in it too long per day either, and is well supervised.....
Ithink its totally up to the individual to decide what to get their child..

mrsberries Registered User

Do you mean the walkers the child would sit in? I think a lot of the ones in the present threads are the other type, like this http://www.toys.ie/Vtech-First-Steps-Walker-!100463-prd.aspx

These are okay arent they?

wmpdd3 Registered User

Had a door bouncer and she loved it. My mother in law has a walker but she hated it, I think we put her in it too late, she could already coast she she couldnt see the point of being in the walker. But my sister gave me this:

and she loved it. atleast she was stuck in one place!

Moonbeam Moderator

The walkers they sit in are the "bad" ones and both the NHS and the HSE recommend not using them.
The push along ones are fine as they need to be able to get up and walk with it themselves.

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