I’m writing this today while both of us have a pyjama day. It seems that both of us have come down with a cold (*sadface*), so double the tissues all round this week. Because of this, I was expecting to be up all night with the Bubs crying (rightly so), but luckily he managed to sleep through after having some saline spray at 10 o’clock. In spite of being under the weather, he’s still super active and even managed to roll onto his tummy in the crib last evening after Daddy got him bathed for bed. Thank goodness for his Nana chair (a fisher price rocking chair from my Mum); no matter how miserable things get, the Nana chair never fails to get things back to calm and smiley again. On the upside, just as I’m finishing writing this the Little Man has done his first back-to-front-to-back roll and repeated it a few times! Eeeeep, need to keep an eye on him now before he tries to leg it!
Little Mister is getting so much bigger and stronger, the days of him lying in my arms for hours still and content already seem like a blur. He’s always been pretty powerful in the kicking department, but holding him still for his jabs the other week took me by surprise (it felt like a full on wrestle… I’m going to need to start working out to prep for his 1-year immunisations!). When we go to play “Row Row Row your boat” I nearly have a heart attack as more times than not he’ll refuse to bend at the middle and will suddenly be stood up, with his hands in mine (eeeek). With all this in mind, I felt the time was right to introduce another ridiculously big piece of play equipment into the mix (because who needs a living room, right?) – the Jumperoo.
When buying bigger pieces of baby equipment, the reviews and price are always the most important aspects for me. I’d rather play more for something that is going to last for years to come, than something cheap that will only last a few months. That said, I refuse to pay full price for pretty much anything. This is why, at 8 months pregnant, I had reserved this toy in the ASDA baby event; The Little Einstein Neighbourhood Friends Jumperoo. It arrived in a big heavy box, that neither me or the Saturday boy who brought it out really knew what to do with (bless him, he couldn’t have been more helpful, and offered to take it out to the car in a trolley for me). But at £40, I couldn’t pass up on this, when most second-hand Jumpers seem to be going £30+. The box has been stashed behind the sofa since then, and in all honesty, I only tried the Little Mister in it now as I was fed up of seeing the box!
I’m usually pretty good at flat-pack and the go to gal of the house when it comes to DIY. I had put a lot of the Little Mister’s play equipment together, so felt ready to tackle this. I waited until I had a few bubba free hours so I could get it up in one sitting, and thought I’d film the process so anyone else having a crack can see what’s involved.
The instructions weren’t too bad, but could have been clearer and used words instead of ambiguous pictures, hence having to take it apart 3 times to get the legs on the right way or to get the seat into the frame. I was dubious about how strong the height adjustment pieces would be, but once the seat was attached they are very stiff to move and feel very secure (even once he finds his bounce). There were also lots of toys to attach to the base that feel like they will take a pounding, which is good as Little Mister’s style of play seems to be punching things at the moment.
I was impressed with how well thought out the design of the jumper had been. The seat can rotate 360o, allowing baby when he is bigger to rotate around himself. There are toys at all points around the circle to keep him engaged, and this has definitely been pitched as a toy to grow with baby as he develops. One of the toy slots has 2 anchors and some links to let you place any toys you like there, and there are also hooks around the arms to dangle incentives to encourage baby to reach up and bounce.
There’s a keyboard on the front that has several different modes. Like most other Baby Einstein toys, it plays a selection of classical music on the 3 button keyboard. There’s a mode for baby to bash the keys to play notes (we can play the opening to Super Mario, but obviously repertoire is limited to songs with 3 notes) and a “know-it-all” mode that will read baby numbers and shapes in 3 different languages. Currently, Little Mister will occasionally punch the keys and music will play, but not sure if he knows what he’s doing yet or not.
As mentioned, there are 5 different height settings. To change the height, you must twist each of the 5 red bobbles in turn and set it to the desired setting. It looks like this is going to give lots of room for Little Mister to grow, and will probably developmentally outgrow it long before his legs do. He is (just) about the right height for the lowest setting. There wasn’t really an age guide from when baby can use this, just from when they can sit up alright. We started with cushions for the first few tries, though mainly to stop the Little Man just hovering helplessly above the floor.
The first few times we used this, Little Mister looked terrified. He would arch his back, and would not let go of the toys on either side. Bouncing was also a no-no.
After a few times of use (just five mins a couple of times a day) he got really used to it and started interacting with the toys. As usual, he tends to punch things quite hard as the first port of interaction. Luckily, the whole bouncer feels very sturdy and able to take the baby bashing. After a couple of weeks of use he’s a lot more smiley in it and has begun bouncing, so am starting to leave him for longer spells in there. All in all super happy with this purchase, and will be keeping this review up-to-date as Little Mister grows.