Jumpers and activity centers

I’m due the beginning of April so I know it’s a few more months before I need to make this decision: jumpers and activity centers, do they do more harm than good?
I’ve read such conflicting things! I’m also a proponent for more minimalist approach.

Hi mama! Pediatric PT here. I am of the opinion that baby does not need any “equipment” like jumpers, bouncers etc. These “containers” do not allow for free natural movement and can contribute to developmental delays and flat spots on babies head. Babies benefit the most from free floor time - so all they really need is a blanket on the floor! The activity tables that baby doesn’t go inside but instead stands at to play can be beneficial when baby starts pulling to stand and cruising, but again, it’s not a NEED. Follow your gut because Less is more!


Hi there @Glamgrl. I totally agree with @BritapedsPT. Although buy buy baby will have you thinking differently, there isn’t much that baby needs. The problem with some of these “containers” is that not only do they restrict movement, but some of them put babies into positions that are not developmentally appropriate. Free movement is necessary to not only develop adequate strength, but it also helps to develop and refine the sensory systems. Some of these pieces of equipment are also expensive, and they don’t exactly vibe with the minimalist decor :wink: :heart: Hope that helps!

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Hey @Glamgrl!
I’m going to add some additional thoughts…I 100% agree with @tots-mary and @BritapedsPT that you do not NEED any containers! Ideally, it is best to let your baby play freely on the floor as much as possible.

There might be times you need baby to be entertained for a few moments while you tend to something else or you need a safe place to put him/her down while you run to the bathroom. A swing or bouncy seat can be very helpful in those first few months, but moderation is truly key! Babies can develop flat heads and delayed motor milestones when left in these “containers” for endless amounts of time. If you do choose to buy any of these, 10-20 minutes at a time a few times a day should be fine assuming your baby is progressing nicely with development while making sure baby is getting sufficient tummy time! :blush:

Below are items that I think are great and and allow for safety and entertainment while also encouraging free movement.

Activity mats like this one :point_down: are great.

:small_blue_diamond:Lots of black and white objects are perfect for infants to look at as they develop vision and tracking skills.
:small_blue_diamond: While babies need lots of tummy time, lying on their backs is important during playtime as well so they can develop their core muscles by kicking and playing with their feet


I love it a mirror! Great for tummy time and very entertaining for babies:


I loooove a playpen! Its a great place to put your baby down safely, but allow for open play


This is a great toy for babies who are sitting and pulling to stand

I also love the boppy-in addition to being useful during feeding times, babies can use it during tummy time under their armpits and as support when beginning to sit.


Hope some of these ideas are helpful and congratulations!


Thank you all for your responses!! Yes I guess my main concern is for when I need to put him somewhere to load the dishwasher/quick tasks. And I don’t want him on the floor unsupervised as we have two cats.

Safety is always a priority. A play pen is a great choice, but there is nothing wrong with a bouncy seat or swing as long as you are conscious of not leaving your baby in them for long lengths of time. (I’m a PT and I had both!).

Good luck momma, we’re here for you when you need us :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: