Most people know baby entertainers by Evenflo’s name brand ExerSaucer. Whatever you call them you are going to want one. Not only is it a safe spot for your infant to play, but it will also allow you a few moments of peace to get some of those never ending chores done. They are also great for baby’s development. Toys surrounding the seat teach concepts like cause & effect, counting, colors, or phonics. Babies develop fine motor skills by manipulating the toys. Some even have springs that allow your baby to jump while they play, and many have music and lights. You can spend anywhere from $45-$120 on one of these toys. The higher priced ones tend to have more toys and features, but there are some great ones that won’t bust your budget.
Fisher Price Step N Play Piano Entertainer ($110): I love this one because it can be used by both infants & toddlers. The piano keys below the seat are activated by baby’s feet, and older babies can practice “walking” while being supported by the seat. When your baby becomes a toddler the seat comes off, and it becomes a toddler play table. Also, more than one child can play with it at a time. This is great if you have an infant & toddler, or for play dates. The rectangular shape is very stable for those learning to pull up, but it does take up quite a bit of space.
Bright Starts Around We Go Activity Station ($120): This unique entertainer puts the seat around the outside of the table instead of the inside. As your baby grows she can walk around the table, and eventually the seat can be removed to make a play table. The seat can be locked at the snack tray position for snack time. Again this is great for more than one small child, but the base of the table is a little tipsy without the seat. I owned this one, and my baby often pulled it over on top of himself while learning to pull up. I fixed this issue by leaving the seat on until he was more stable. Also, any little climber will tip the table trying to sit on it. My cheeky monkey was never really hurt, and two of my kids played on it until they were close to three. Additionally Bright Starts offers extra parts so if one of the toys gets damaged you can replace it.
Evenflo ExerSaucer Triple Fun ($100): This product morphs from a play mat that a newborn can use, to a traditional ExerSaucer, to a fun snake shaped toddler play table. This grow with me concept saves on both money and storage space. I also like that the toy bar on this ExerSaucer encourages your child to look & reach up; developing additional motor and hand eye coordination skills. The many toys are sure to keep your little one interested from infancy to toddler-hood.
Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper ($90): This entertainer introduces concepts like colors, shapes, and foreign languages. It also has toy loops on the toy bars so you can add your baby’s favorite toys. You can also switch toys out to help baby keep interest longer. Most babies love the jumping motion, and this one folds nearly flat for storage or travel.
Fisher Price Jumperoos ($75-$90): There are several different models to choose from. I have the Rain Forest jumperoo, and my baby loves it! There are lights and sounds to keep her entertained, and encourage jumping. It is also lightweight, and can fold down somewhat for travel. The two animals hanging over head encourage her to reach up, but there are no toy loops to add different toys. These are not as educational as the Baby Einstein mentioned above, but they are a bit cheaper.
Baby Einstein Around the World Discovery Center ($70): This is a traditional entertainer that is height adjustable, and plays music. It is pretty basic, but your baby is sure to love it. Baby Einstein products tend to be a little more educational than other brands. This one offers a play mode that exposes baby to colors in Spanish, English, and French. There is even a lion puppet for parent interaction.
Bright Starts Activity Jumper ($60): This one is very similar to the Baby Einstein jumper. It folds for storage or travel, and has toy loops for your child’s favorite toys. It has a few less toys, and does not have the foreign language exposure. However, it is a great budget conscious alternative.
Evenflo Smart Steps Walk Around ($55): This is a cheaper alternative to the Bright Starts Around We Go. It can start as a traditional entertainer, and then unlock so older babies can walk around the tree in the middle. You can also put family or pet photos in the tree for your child to discover under the leaves. It doesn’t turn into a toddler play table, but it costs half as much.
Evenflo’s Splash Mega ExerSaucer & Deluxe Developmental Activity Center are both just under $50. These are very basic traditional baby entertainers. They have lots of bright, fun toys that are sure to keep your baby entertained. They also use no batteries which means no music or lights. However, you may prefer these if you like an electronic free environment for your child.
Remember that when buying a baby entertainer be mindful of how long you plan on using it. If you are planning several children, or want one that will last until toddler-hood then go for a more expensive one. If this is your last baby, or you are on a tight budget the cheaper ones will work great too. In the end, the more expensive models may have more toy variety, and may last a little longer, but you child won’t really know the difference. Also, this is a great item to buy used as they are easy to disinfect, and usually hold up well overtime.