Exersaucers: A Mom's Best Friend

Cynthia Dermody
14
baby in exersaucer

Photo by mnmblack

Both of my babies loved the exersaucer. If you're a brand new baby mama, these are the round activity tables with a fabric seat in the middle. Baby slips in, toes touching the bottom, and plays with plastic sliding balls, wheels and other enticing colorful toys afixed to the tray. If you haven't seen one yet, you will -- and you will be very tempted to get one because, well, they give mom a break and baby loves them! Just ask CafeMoms ...

But the exersaucer does not love baby, exactly. Some health professionals say that exersaucers are terrible for baby's posture and allignment. They don't teach him to walk or stand up properly -- just the opposite. Baby leans forward slightly and doesn't strengthen his back and stomach muscles. Some studies show that babies who spend a lot of time in exersaucers are delayed walkers. They also force the feet to curve inward, leading to possible foot deformities.

Boy, I'm glad I didn't read this when I was plopping my kiddos into their saucers three, four, or five times a day. I started when they were about 5 months old. I was told that as long as their toes are touching the ground, and baby isn't totally slumped over, that he can sit pretty much upright, then he is fine to play in the saucer for brief periods throughout the day. And you know, despite all the developmental warnings, I'd still continue to use one!

I even know moms who continue to use their exersaucers for their children who can walk -- they help to contain the little ones while mom finishes the dishes or puts another load of laundry in the wash.

How old were your babies when you started using the exersaucer?

 

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