Here's a guide to the most commonly mislabled items!
PlayardWhat is it? It is what used to be called a playpen. Many people call it a "Pack 'n' Play" which is actually a Graco brand (similar to how we tend to call all facial tissue "Kleenex").
What's different about it today? Today's playards have many more safety features built into them. For example, the sides of the yard will not collapse unless the center of the bottom is pulled up, which is impossible if baby is still in the playard. This simple improvement has dramatically reduced the number of deaths seen with the older style playpens. Playards today can also have all kinds of "extras"...here are a few:
Click HERE to see a great video on modern playards.
- Bassinet attachment: Perfect for infants younger than 3 months, this is a platform that lifts the sleeping mat up so you do not have to bend all the way over to lay baby down or pick him/her up. Bassinet attachments can stretch the entire length of the playard or be half as long.
- Changing table attachment: Indented platform that attaches to the top of the playard, intended to be used as a small changing table.
- Diaper organizer attachment: Fabric or plastic piece that attaches to the side of the playard with several compartments or pockets used to organize diaper changing supplies.
- Electronic soother: Today's electronic attachments often have music and nature sounds, soothing vibrations, diaper changing light, and a timer (to shut itself off automatically).
Bouncer or Bouncy Seat (often confused with a Jumper, see below)
|Click HERE to see more bouncers at Toys R Us|
What is it? A reclined hammock-like seat on a metal frame with a 3-point harness and usually with a toy bar or mobile, vibration, and music. Often the term "bouncy" refers to the slight flexibility of the metal frame which allows the seat to bounce gently in response to baby's movements.
What's different about it today? Many bouncers now have adjustable recline (older infants prefer to sit more upright) and some even convert to a toddler rocking chair, extending the usefulness of this product well beyond the older models' intended use. Some seats even have an "automatic bouncer" which bounces the seat up and down electronically.
Jumper (often confused with a Bouncer
|Click HERE to read about this Jumper|
What is it? Most commonly, a three- or four-legged frame with a seat in the middle, usually suspended by fabric-covered springs.
This is a fairly new innovation. Many people call it a "Jumperoo" which is a Fisher-Price brand. A popular substitute for a walker, this allows baby to move more and exercise legs while keeping him/her stationary. Toys on the tray in front of the seat provide additional entertainment and often include lights and music.
|Click HERE to visit Target & read more|
What is it? This seat is suspended by four fabric straps and a plastic-sheathed spring topped with a spring-loaded clamp that attaches to the top of a doorway that has a moulding on the inside and outside. Many people call it a "Johnny Jump Up," which is a brand name for the product made by Graco.
What's different about it today? Today's models are much safer than those of years ago. The spring mechanism is fully enclosed to prevent pinched fingers. In addition, the hard plastic framing prevents tangling of straps or tipping of the seat.
|Click HERE to see Exersaucers at Walmart|
What is it? A four-legged round table with a seat suspended in the middle connected to a saucer-shaped bottom platform that allows the table to tilt and rock. The seat rotates 360* to allow baby access to all parts of the table top. "Exersaucer" is actually a brand of Evenflo. However, Evenflo is the only maker we've seen of this type of product so "Exersaucer" is perfectly appropriate.
What's different about it today? This product is safer and more durable today than in years past. The fabric seat attaches to the frame more securely and is easy to remove for washing. The first model of Exersaucer was just a plain table top. Today there are dozens of themed Exersaucers from "Under the Sea" to "Animal Crackers."
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