Exersaucers: Jam Session

Ok, I have to preface this review with the following:

{I am not a huge fan of exersaucers/stationary jumpers/jumperoos (whatever else they are called). The crazy bright lights, the annoying repetitive sounds, the upright position when they should be crawling around on their belly – it’sΒ essentiallyΒ a placeholder for the baby while you go get some stuff done. However, babies LOVE them, and they give mamas a minute or two to get stuff done. }

Note: I couldn’t stop taking pictures of Lexi in it, since it’s so cute, so you get a lot ofΒ essentiallyΒ identical photos πŸ™‚ lol

So when I was talking about reviewing one, I was skeptical. We had aΒ Fisher Price one we borrowed from a friend of mine. A conventional standard Fisher Price that you see in every other house. Alexis really enjoyed jumping in it and playing with toys. But the annoying sounds and music would get us EVERY time. We’d have to turn it off, but then I felt like I was robbing her of full experience in it.

And then she started taking EVERYTHING in her mouth. This spelled the end of the Fisher Price. I don’t particular trust Fisher Price, or any big bigΒ corporation for that matter, to not make toys out of some toxic plastic ( nothing to back it up, just a big company and a few lead related recalls, as well as their previous stance on toxic plastics,which I know they have correct ).

Note: If you happened to have inquired with their customer service about the type of plastic this jumperoo is made of, feel free to share, I am sure a ton of parents would love to know.

Anyways…. so we get the Evenflo Exersaucer Jam Session and get it out of the box and I don’t know what I expected, but it’s plastic (duh!)…. Before I get Lexi in it, I email the customer service ( even though I am dying to try it out), inquiring what plastic it is made of and whether it contains PVC, Pthalates, lead or cadmium, which I should have done ahead of everything, but I spaced out. The answer comes back fairly quickly: “[…]polypropylene and does not contain PVC, Phthalates, lead or cadmium.” Β  Whew!

In the meantime, I wash the seat fabric and the chew toys.

It was fairly easy to assemble, though I have to admit, hubby was doing all of the assembly with me just playing with Lexi and watching.

A few minutes later, Lexi was put into it to play. At first, I thought Β it was just like any other jumperoo/exersaucer type deal. She jumped around in it, all wide eyed, excited at this new shiny toys she’s been presented with.

But unlike most products that you start finding flaws with as your baby uses, this one kept getting better and better.

So the concept of the Jam Session is the following:

There are 4 interactive “smart” toys thatΒ representΒ an “instrument” each: percussion, piano, guitar/sax/trumpet and a conductor’s score. Each instrument plays a specific genre of music depending on what has been selected on the conductor’s score. So if the conductor’s score is set on jazz, the rest of theΒ instrumentsΒ play jazz melodies when triggered. Same happens when she selects rock or classical music There are 67 activities for your baby to play with in this version of the exersaucer.

The piano toy can be set to play notes or melodies. The conductor’s score plays longer songs when triggered. The hanging guitar/sax/trumpet play shorter songs when pulled down on and the overhead lights light up. The drum plays a short little melody, as well and there’s a spin wheel with plastic balls in it. On one of there corners there is a fake microphone with little plastic pellets for noise making. Each side has a detachable teether in different shape and one mirror.

The bottom of the exersaucer has a blue balance base that supposedly helps to “build core strength and coordination”

Like I previously mentioned, at first I was a bit disappointed. Being so used to jumping centers that were filled with multitude of toys, lights, noise and color, my first impression was that Lexi won’t like it because there are not as many toys to play with.

Over the last 2 months, I have been learning why myΒ initialΒ impression wasΒ completelyΒ wrong.

The lack of overly stimulating toys means that she has to turn and reach and pull and push to get the results she wants. {It’s kind of like the advice of not surrounding your baby with too many toys, but leaving one or two for her to play with so that she would be prompted to move to reach them}. I almost feel like it IS truly beneficial to her and her development which is a far cry from how I felt about activity centers before.

 

–Β GivenΒ that with Lexi who is semi-mobile ( she doesn’t crawl, but easily gets from sitting position into a crawling position, but not always safely or gracefully), we often have to put her in the Jam Session for a minute or two while we get what whatever we need.

Well, I couldn’t believe it, but both me and Andrew would dance and sing every time Alexis would trigger a song. Why? That’s because finally the music in a kid’s toy is one that parents can relate to, as well. Β To this day, I dance every time she plays Rocking Robin and she watches me and jumps around (or sometimes shakes her leg in a fun way attempting to dance too).

It’s been 2 months and I have not once thought “Oh, this music is annoying”. In addition to that, rather than have music every time she jumps, it has to be triggered by her specific action, whether it’s pulling on the hanging instruments, turning the page of the score, or pressing the piano keys or drums.

–Β TeethersΒ are a perfect shape and height for her. They bend, they twist, they turn, they can be manipulated in any way possible. It’s often that you see her with her mouth on the teether while jumping around

Β The piano keysΒ are really easy to press and she is at the point where she uses the switch to go from melodies to notes ( not on purpose, of course).

I also was not sure that I’d like the base rather than the floor like most other activity centers have, but I like it Β lot, because it adds more bounce to her jumps and keeps her trying to balance her body which is always a good activity for infants.

Evenflo has 3 exersaucers in their new line, but I just really really like this Jam Session. It’s fun, it’s low key and it fosters love for music that is not an annoying repetitive childish tune.

-Another pleasant surprise for me was that the Jam Session is not overly colorful. The toys are bright and happy but the posts and the seat base are white with black accents, so if you’re the type of person who is not a fan of ridiculously bright and colorful baby things in your house, this will probably be the mostΒ inconspicuousΒ one of them all. I actually enjoy looking at this bright spot in our living room. Β It looks very neat from the distance.

There are very few baby items that I get very excited to review and this is one of them. It turned out to be a great one from both parents’ and baby’s standpoint contrary to my expectations of what a jumping activity center would be.

Note: When we first received the Jam Session, Lexi couldn’t easily turn in the seat. I emailed the customer service and after a few emails back and forth, they sent me a new seat that turns perfectly. I just wanted to mention that in case someone else has that problem. Evenflo customer service is great,so don’t hesistate to contact it.

Note 2: I don’t have a giveaway for you, guys, at this time, since Evenflo didn’t have giveaway units available, but I am hoping in the future I’ll be able to offer a giveaway as well.

Let me know if you have any questions about it, I’d be happy to answer.

*This product was sent to me for review by Evenflo. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

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47 Comments

  • Reply
    Lorraine
    August 27, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Awesome post! Lexi looks so happy in there. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Reply
    Ori
    August 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    i dont think that it is very good for her hips.. i’m not a fan of these bouncy (in german you say “hopser” ^^) things. but i know, that most babies like it very much in there πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      I keep hearing this comment from moms on blogs but I asked our pediatrician and looked into it (quickly) and was informed they are not bad for their hips. Can someone direct me to a reputable source saying these are bad for babies hips please? Just trying to get this whole thing figured out! Thanks ladies

      • Reply
        Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
        August 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        I’ve read a few books that talk about exersaucers but nowhere did I find that they are bad for hips. One book in particular was very much against jumperoos because it puts babies into a vertical position before they are ready for it, and conditions them to expect to be vertical, at the time that it’s most important to crawl/scoot and exercise on the floor. I’d imagine the author would dig up some info on hips if it was truly available.

        • Reply
          Ori
          August 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

          my written english is not that good, so i wanted to keep it short. i’ll try to write a little bit longer now and hope it will be understandable.

          in the pic of lexis legs, you can see that she is not sitting, but “hanging”. babys should have their legs in an M-position, in german “anhock-spreiz-haltung” and round back, in this bouncy thing, she can’t hold legs and back like she should. thats also why the baby bjΓΆrn is so bad for children… no M-position, legs dangling down, no round back. the thing between the legs is too small. especially boys can get damaged testicles…
          you could read this text (with google translator, lol ^^ i think eve my english is better πŸ˜‰ ) it’s written by a physical therapist
          http://www.rabeneltern.org/index.php/wissenswertes/gesundheit-wissenswertes/1325-der-babyhopser-und-das-lauflerngeraet-qgehfreiq

          i think if the child enyojs it and is strong enough to hold head and body stable and you put it in that thing for only a few minutes, it might be ok…

          • Alexandra
            August 27, 2012 at 3:45 PM

            In the exersaucers and jumpers babies are supposed to be on their “tippy toes” which it looks to me like Lexi is. In ours, the manual is very specific that the babies toes should just be touching and that if their feet are flat on the ground or they are sitting you need to move them up to the next setting (or it’s out grown if you’re on the last setting). I made sure to buy an ergonomically appropriate carrier, so I get what you are saying about the Bjorn, but my undestanding with the jumpers and saucers is that they work differently.

        • Reply
          Tawny
          August 27, 2012 at 6:51 PM

          Our pediatrician said they are fine just not longer than 30 minutes at a time. I’m not sure many babes would stay in one for 30 minutes anyway….but, that’s what I went off of. Mine usually lasted about 10-15 minutes entertained while I accomplished something and their hips are fine so I can only speak from experience lol.

    • Reply
      Corinne
      August 27, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      If you leave a baby in one for hours and hours before they can reach and somewhat support their weight (so they just dangle), I’m sure it can be bad for hips. But exsessive tight swaddling can also be bad for their hips. Just don’t leave them in for hours on end.

      • Reply
        Alexandra
        August 27, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        It’s been a while since my son was in a jumper, but if
        I recall from last summer the AAP recommended not to use walkers, but was ok with jumpers and saucers. My pediatrician said to limit use to less than an hour a day. I miss the jumper now that he’s fully mobile. I could use 5 minutes where I know he’s safe as happy to get something done!

        • Reply
          Amanda
          August 27, 2012 at 3:52 PM

          I heard that also, it’s because of the high number of related injuries not so much the seated position I think

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            August 27, 2012 at 3:57 PM

            I thought that was only walkers…

          • Amanda
            August 27, 2012 at 4:38 PM

            It is only walkers that the aap has said not to use

        • Reply
          tarynkay
          August 27, 2012 at 5:23 PM

          The anti-walker thing is because babies can fall down stairs in them. They can also use walkers to climb up on to get into things above their reach, which can be dangerous. I don’t think it has anything to do with how they are positioned in the walker, more that unsupervised walker-use has led to injuries b/c the baby is mobile in them.

          Probably if you left the baby in the jumper all day, that could damage her hips. But if you use it like a reasonable person would, for short spells, it’s totally fine. Walkers are probably totally fine with complete supervision, too. The AAP has to aim it’s advice at the lowest common denominator.

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            August 27, 2012 at 8:06 PM

            Yeah the walker advice always made me shuckle. Like anyone who has common sense would let their pre-walker walk around unsupervised.

          • Ori
            August 28, 2012 at 7:10 AM

            its not only because of accidents… children can get a club foot because of these walkers!

          • tarynkay
            August 28, 2012 at 3:26 PM

            Here is the link about walkers from the AAP website (which is aap.org)

            http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Baby-Walkers-A-Dangerous-Choice.aspx

            They talk about the injuries possible in walkers and about how they do not teach children to walk any earlier- but no mention of children getting club foot or any hip problems from using walkers. And they actually recommend stationary devices like the one that you are using for Lexi instead.

    • Reply
      Ali
      August 27, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      I’m fairly certain they’re just bad for their hips if they are in there for extended periods of time, which Elena has pointed out that Lexi is only in there for a few minutes at a time. Same goes for the Baby Bjorn, etc, as long as they’re not in there for extended periods then they’re fine.

  • Reply
    Elena C.
    August 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Looks like she’s having a lot of fun πŸ™‚
    At least it can keep her occupied for a bit and help develop some skills too.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      August 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      I am not exactly sure it helps develop skills, aside from maybe spinning like a mad woman trying to reach toys lol But it’s fun for her, and gives us a chance to put her somewhere safe for a minute or two.

      • Reply
        Elena C.
        August 27, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        What’s the longest she’s ever stayed there?

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          August 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM

          Probably at most 10 minutes if that. She’s a very active baby and wants activity changes often. And most of the time she just wants to see what it is we are doing there… Lol

      • Reply
        Corinne
        August 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM

        It can help develop fine motor skills. It’s definitely not going to keep her from learning and developing those skills. I know she can learn that while playing in the floor with mom and dad, but certainly 10-15 min of play in the exersaucer while you get something done can also help develop those skills just the same.

  • Reply
    dixie
    August 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    One thing you can do is remove all of the plastic toys and just place some of your cloth or wooden toys on the surrounding tray. I like you, do not love the idea of placing my child in a big plastic holder, but he too loves it. So, as a compromise I don’t attach the included toys to the structure and just add my preferred “non plastic” toys as the entertainment. Lay out cloth books, etc..

    • Reply
      MMS
      August 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      Great idea! I did this as well with our regular old exersaucer when my daughter was a baby. She is six so these newer models did not exist. This one looks awesome. I saw my daughter often became overstimulated with all the toys, so I would leave only a few, as well as cloth books, and as she got a bit older, Cheerios on her tray (supervised obviously). I would sit down next to her and fold laundry, cut coupons, etc. Also, it helps to alternate the toys because then there is always new stuff. Like many other posters, my daughter was only content for about 20 minutes max, but it was nice to have some arm free time.

  • Reply
    Mrs Loquacious
    August 27, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Wow, I *love* this musical exersaucer! I’ve not seen it in stores in Canada, but we own the Evenflo Triple Fun “Jungle” Exersaucer and my little girl *loves* it (in short bursts). Of course, the thing uses 9 batteries and has 3 glowing/musical toys, so I’m glad she’s not in there for hours burning through all those Duracells!

    My only complaint is that it’s not all that tall. Baby Loquacious is already on the “tallest” setting of Stage 2. Once her feet touch the ground full and it starts to get too short, we will have to put it aside until she’s ready to walk. Oh, and the 3 birds on ours are kind of useless (particularly the red bird, that holds a drum but doesn’t rattle or spin or squeak or anything).

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      August 27, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      Yes! Lexi is a tall girl too! Really tall! When we got it we had to put it at the highest setting. She is now too tall for it, so we took the base off and lowered the setting. I have to double check that it’s ok to take the base off, but I do not see why not. But this way we got to extend its lifespan.

  • Reply
    Erica
    August 27, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    You know, our doctor was warning us not to put Evita in saucers or jumpers either so that she can build up strength on her own, but we used the jumper quite a bit when she was 2 or 3 months and she was sitting unsupported by 4 months… And now she’s going from sitting to scooting and rolling all over the place at 5 months so I don’t know how much truth there is in that. I mean, obviously it isn’t good to leave them in there all day but I think jumpers can provide valuable brain stimulation and fun for babies when used in moderation. I wouldn’t completely rule them out (for people considering doing so).

  • Reply
    Holly
    August 27, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    That looks like a really fun toy. I am sure her hips are going to be just fine. We had a similar toy for my daughter, but she was never in it for more than 10 minutes at a time. I would rather my kid be safe and appropriately stimulated while I am opening the oven, going to the bathroom, or running out for the mailbox. Ours was evenflo brand, too, so I am glad to hear that they have safe plastic. But, in all honesty, I eventually had to force myself to relax when it came to what she was placing in her mouth. She’s 2 and I still catch her putting pea gravel in her mouth, or placing her mouth on dirty windowsills at the pet store (GROSS), and even trying to eat crab apples. Can’t wait for her to outgrow this!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      August 27, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      I hear ya! I have gotten used to her wanting to lick the carpet, or eat the table, or rub her hands on everything when we are out. I am not worried about germs, she’s a big girl, her immune system will fight it off. But toxins is something I have very little tolerance for. Especially in baby products. We shouldn’t even HAVE to worry about unsafe plastics, lead, pvc in toys…

      • Reply
        Megan
        August 27, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Vivien loved her saucer thingy, and it was a LIFESAVER to use, because we were packing at the time. Now, she screams in it and it’s down in the basement along with her other huge items she’s outgrown. And I agree, Vivien was “too tall” for hers barely at 7 mo.
        The pictures are great, colorful, and capture her curiosity well. Love them. She’s growing into quite an amazing beauty (her eyes/eye lashes are to die for.)
        xoxo
        Megan

  • Reply
    Ori
    August 27, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    (why is there no reply button?)
    @Alexandra: and what is the sence in beeing on tippy toes at that age?
    there is no benefit. they don’t learn to walk earlier or anything. it’s just a little fun for the child and free time for the mother… what about a playpen?

    • Reply
      Alexandra
      August 27, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      As far as I know, it’s not that tippy toes have a benefit, but that flat footed is not good. I believe it’s because when they bounce the full force of their weight comes down on their feet when they are flat footed. Again, I’m not positive about that, but I am positive my manual said that the baby’s toes should touch the ground, but his whole foot should not. I agree with you that these don’t teach a kid to walk earlier. They are just a great tool to keep your non walker happy and contained for a few minutes.

  • Reply
    Annabelle
    August 27, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    You will probably come to appreciate this even more once she becomes fully mobile. My son’s exersaucer was amazing for any and all of the following when he was between 8 and 13 months:

    – taking two minutes to go to the bathroom by myself
    – doing hair and makeup (I would position the exersaucer in the bathroom doorway for this so that we could chat and hang out while I beautified myself)
    – preparing food (see above, except I would position him in the kitchen doorway)
    – any time I needed both hands free and couldn’t focus 100% of my attention on him

    Of course, now that he’s a toddler, we have a whole new set of challenges. Let’s just say that I don’t often get to pee in peace.

  • Reply
    Jen Bellon
    August 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    I think I’m digging out the Baby Einstein jumper we bought and returning it for this! My son is almost 3 months so we haven’t taken it out of the box yet. I really like this one. Thanks for the review.

  • Reply
    Katherine
    August 28, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    This is hands down, the cutest exersaucer I’ve seen. Lexi looks like she’s having a blast! Looks like you might have a budding musician on your hands. ;o)

  • Reply
    Susie
    August 28, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I just have to say, I LOVE the red outfit with the headband! You rarely see red, more often pink, and that outfit is so different and adorable. πŸ˜‰ Lexi is looking older! You can see the changes in her face! Crazy how time flies…

  • Reply
    Angie Menegay
    September 29, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Thanks for posting this. I don’t know if you still have this exersaucer and can check to see if the seat cover is made of polyurethane foam? We have the Baby Einstein one, and the cover has flame retardant in it.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      September 30, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      I don’t believe there is PU foam, because when I received it I washed the seat, so hopefully if there were any FRs in it, they got washed out πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Angie Menegay
        September 30, 2013 at 11:20 PM

        I actually called Evenflo and they said it’s made of polyester, so no FR spray :). Great review, BTW.

  • Reply
    jess
    March 27, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Hi, Elena, I emailed evenflo (posting here for future resesrchers!) and heard back…what is your take on the lead and TPE comments?

    Hello Jessica,

    Β 

    Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Exersaucer.

    Β 

    The Exersaucers do not contain PVC, Phthalates, flame retardants, nitrosamines, chlorine, cadmium, azodyes or formaldehyde.Β  There is a natural level of Lead in the atmosphere which cannot be completely eliminated from the product, however, the levels are well below all federal standards.Β  I am not familiar with any other VOC’s.

    Β 

    The plastics are Polypropylene and some toys are silicone as well as TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomer).Β  I hope this information is helpful.Β  There is not one model that has less chemicals than another.Β 

    Β 

    Thank you for contacting Evenflo.Β  We appreciate the time you have taken to email us.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 28, 2014 at 1:15 AM

      Hmmm, that is something new and a response that I have never gotten before. When I emailed them they didn’t have that line about lead. I wonder if they are CYAing. Can you follow up and ask them to sen you a testing report to see where the lead levels are at?

  • Reply
    Jocelyn
    November 8, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    I just bought one of these second hand and could use some help changing the batteries. How do you get the three musical toys off the tray to change the batteries?

  • Reply
    Nina
    February 3, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    hi elena,

    many thanks for this (and many other) post(s). So useful. Could you pls let us know until what age did Lexi fit into this (and was interested in it? I have got a 6m old boy who only wants to stand up (not interested in crawling, sitting or anything else) so it would be a great thing at least for those 20min. However, he is already 74cm and 10kg @ 6m so I am wondering how long this would last at ours … Many thanks as always. Nina

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      February 5, 2015 at 12:00 PM

      She used it a lot till about a year old or maybe more. And then after that, she would still jump into it and play even though she was too big for it. In fact, she would play with it on and off till she was almost 3. It’s a great purchase, you won’t regret it

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