Vertical time has always been a hit with my kids. As soon as they mastered head control, they could spend hours in one of these upright things, which is very useful for when you need to cook dinner or go to the bathroom. Wagon Jr. started in these as early as 3 months old and enjoyed them until he was too tall for the tallest setting, at almost a year old!
As with many of these large pieces of baby gear, we are fortunate enough to own both (one a registry gift, one a hand-me-down) and we have enough space for both (we keep the jumperoo in the kitchen and the exersaucer in the living room). I would highly recommend getting two (or even three, one for upstairs so you can take a quick shower!) so that you don’t have to drag them from one room to another. These items have a huge footprint so people are usually dying to get them out of their house once their kids have outgrown them, so look for hand-me-downs or used ones on craigslist.
Here we go with the battle!
Both of these are a pretty bad eyesore. They’re brightly colored and have tons of toys hanging everywhere. This is great for baby but bad for home decor. But it’s worth it, trust me. The only real difference I can see is that the exersaucer looks a little flimsier than the jumperoo, but the jumperoo is huge and solid.
While both are large pieces of baby gear, our jumperoo is larger and taller than our exersaucer.
Right now on Amazon, these exact models are: $73.44 for the exersaucer and $84.99 for the jumperoo. There are other cheaper and more expensive models by different companies for both, but in general, jumperoos tend to be more expensive.
Both of these items are extremely safe for babies. The only real difference I see is that if you stub your toe on the jumperoo you can really cause damage, while the exersaucer is a lot lighter so you won’t really hurt yourself. Silly to use this as a comparison, but it happens a lot in our house!
Both the exersaucer and jumperoo feature tons of toys to entertain baby all over the place (and you can replace toys to keep things fresh and fun). In both of them, the seat turns all around so that baby can swivel and enjoy all the toys. And both allow baby to jump up and down, which is super fun for them. But this is the one area where the design of the jumperoo wins: the bounce factor in the jumperoo is much better than the exersaucer. Plus, bouncing in the jumperoo is pretty much silent, while bouncing in the exersaucer sounds like Bigfoot is crashing through the woods and heading your way.
So this battle is pretty straightforward for me. If I had to choose one of the two, I would definitely go with the Exersaucer. It’s much more portable and features a cup holder and snack tray as well. We actually used it as our coffee table for a while!
In this battle, I think it’s important to feature some honorable mentions that didn’t quite make it to the finals.
Graco Doorway Jumper - We actually own this as well because we have a huge wide doorway to our kitchen that is right next to our dining table. It’s very cheap ($44.36 right now on Amazon) and has a very small footprint (actually, none since it hangs! and you can put it away easily.) The fun factor is huge with this one! It’s a little scary since it hangs instead of being stationary on the ground, but we like to use it from time to time to switch things up.
Combi Activity Walker
So these walkers were the vertical time baby gear item before exersaucers and jumperoos came along. They’re no longer popular or recommended since it’s obviously a little more dangerous to have baby zooming along inside the house on wheels, especially if there are stairs present. But some parents still see this as the most fun thing for babies before they can walk on their own, and we’d probably love it as well, but considering we own the other 3 options featured on this post, we don’t really see the need to get this. :)
What has been your vertical time gear item of choice?