(Pocket-lint) - When I was a baby, a bouncer was something akin to a noose on a spring that was loosely attached to a door frame, leaving your baby to jump to its ultimate demise. You can, of course, still buy this type of thing these days, or there are a range of alternatives. The Rainforest Jumperoo is the Ferrari Enzo of the bouncer world, but will it cut the mustard? We strapped in Pocket-lint’s newest product tester to find out.
The Jumperoo range from Fisher-Price comes in a number of different models, the Rainforest edition being the most comprehensive, then down to the Deluxe, and finally the standard model. This range of bouncers is based around a frame, essentially doing away with the need for door frames – perfect for those living in tents or warehouses.
Assembly is for the most part simple, although reference to the instructions – in about 15 languages - was required. Once built, the overall footprint dominates a reasonable sized area, so this is a real room eater. In principle it will fold up, but this folding works but splitting the circular frame base, and folding it sort of in half – meaning that it loses structural rigidity, so it becomes like carrying a flailing toddler. You can sort of then shove it behind something, but in reality, if space is an issue, then Deluxe or regular model might be more appropriate.
The Jumperoo provides a seat that baby can bounce in, supported by three sturdy springs. There are three height settings meaning that you can grow the Jumperoo with your child. The Jumperoo is suitable for children who can support their own head, so from somewhere between 3-4 months. If they can reach the ground, then of course they can jump themselves – if not, then baby can be bounced by hand. The bouncing action is secure, feels solid and is well supported by the frame. There is no danger that the bouncing will go out of control and the baby is well supported in the seat, so you can take you eyes off them for a few minutes, which you might be reluctant to do with a doorframe-mounted model.
The seat has a padded cover, which is removable and machine washable so any little accidents can be catered for. It is well padded and the contours of the seat frame provide a adequate back support. The seat also spins through 360 degrees, meaning that you can easily rotate baby to the next toy, or more likely, round to face a different family member, or away from the TV!
Apart from the jumping dimension, there is also the audio-visual motor skills development aspect, or to you and me, lights, sounds and toys. There are a range of fun things for baby to explore, and all these follow the rainforest theme. The “toys” span a range of development stages, so for the life of the Jumperoo, your child will have something to amuse them. Our tester, Lottie, shunned the pop-up tiger button, and the spinning rainbow, but found great amusement in holding onto the monkey and fly on the bendy plastic lead.
The lights and sounds are powered by three AA batteries (not included) and are activated on vigorous bouncing and other activities, so basically your child is rewarded for their exploration and activity. You can also remove some of these toy trays, leaving a place for snacks, if you wish. On the top of two of the support posts are leaves with a dangling frog and parrot toy, taking the rainforest theme into another dimension.
The Jumperoo range provides a solution to those who don’t want to block a door with a bouncing child. The assemblage feels secure and safe and Lottie was happy to just sit and play with the toys, or get into some more active bouncing with the help of an adult. Storage, of course, is the biggest downside, and the folding solution is perhaps less than ideal. Some may also take issue with the price, although different height settings may help it last a little longer, up to a weight of 11.3kg (25lbs) and a height 81cm (32”). The manufacturers recommend that 6 months plus is a suitable age, but at 4 months, our chief tester was really enjoying herself.