Thursday, December 20, 2007
Review: Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo
The Wife & I bought the Rainforest Jumperoo about two weeks before The Boy was born - this was one of those things that she had researched and heard good things about on her Mommy discussion boards. This came in a nice, big, flat box - "some assembly required." No problem. I put it together immediately after we brought him home from the hospital.
The thing takes up space - no doubt. It's big and solid, taking about as much room as a nice living room chair does. It's solid and somewhat heavy, so there's no chance of a baby getting that sucker to move very far. So, The Boy can safely go nuts on the jumper without The Musical Daddy worrying about him knocking over the Christmas tree or (God forbid) the HDTV. Oh, yeah - he's not going to fall & hurt himself, either.
The Rainforest Jumperoo is designed for babies around 14 to 15 pounds and up; when The Boy was smaller, his feet didn't touch the ground and he had a hard time keeping himself erect. To solve that, I started by putting some boxes underneath his feet to let them touch the ground; when he got heavy enough, the boxes were replaced by a blanket. (We've got hardwood floors, and they get cold in the winter. I didn't want him freezing his toes or slip-sliding around.) Little-little babies are going to want to wait before they play in this one.
It's got a lot of fun things to do on the sides, to keep him entertained. The first thing is the sounds - cute music and animal noises (monkeys, lions, etc.) play whenever they move around in the gym. The music and sounds, even after a month or so of steady, three or four times daily use, is not annoying and has not required a change of batteries. (The music can be turned off without removing the batteries for those with less of a noise tolerance than me.) Also, three lights on the main dashboard light up whenever the music plays. This, in and of itself, is enough to keep The Boy entertained for a long, long time. Aside from that, there are five main "action stations." Around the lights, there's a little elephant, parrot & monkey that move when grabbed, along with a nice, sturdy plastic handle for the baby to use to steady himself. There's a spinning rainbow wheel, a rainbow with a spinning sun above a "hiding" tiger (press the button and he comes out), a bug on a stick and another spinny-wheel. Above the bouncing rails is a blue frog and a parakeet, hanging from leaves. The blue frog was a favorite of The Boy's, for a long time.
Recently, this has supplanted the bouncy chair as the place to keep The Boy amused while I'm cooking, cleaning or otherwise need two free hands. The chair is kind of boring for him now, and this is new and keeps him out of trouble. He stays in it for three to five minutes before getting antsy; sometimes he's in it for ten minutes or more. He can really get bouncing intensely on the thing; I'm happy that he has a place where he can use up a lot of energy while playing safely. He does not, at 3.5 months old, know how to use most of the toys; right now, he's content holding on to the big plastic handles and watching the lights and listening to the music.
I recommend this to anyone who has a kid big enough to make it worthwhile, or for anyone with a short attention span that needs lots of stimulation.
Pros: lots of neat toys; fun sounds & lights keeps him amused; great exercise & leg strengtheners, plus practice keeping upright; relatively easy to assemble - only took about a half hour; sturdy enough to keep the baby safe while he's on it, but DON'T leave it unattended!
Cons: Not the best construction, because one of the posts seems to be looser than the others, and I can't figure out why; chair is supposed to rotate, but it's hard to do; not very easy to take the set cloth out for washing.