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View Full Version : Exersausers and Bowleggedness?


2ndFamilyDC
10-20-2011, 07:34 AM
I have used exersausers or jumparoos in my daycare for as long as they have

been around. Babies love them, and I like putting them in there as a change

of pace for them.

I now have a 3 1/2 mth old baby in my daycare and the mom told me

yesterday that she heard that babies end up bowlegged if they are in them.

She is not wanting him to spend much time in there. I need to clairify what

to much time is to her. Out of the 9.5 hours he is here in a day he may be

in there for 1.5 hours total (not at one time).

So I am wondering if anyone else has heard this?

CoachingForQualityImprovement
10-20-2011, 07:42 AM
Yes, that can hppen. Because babies bones are still very soft and flexible, they can form to whatever shape they are regularly positioned in.

Here in Cali we cannot use exersaucers at all because it can affect physical development.

I say if mom doesn't want him in, then he shouldn't be in it.

littlemommy
10-20-2011, 07:42 AM
When DS was under a year, I took him to physical therapy for weak neck muscles. She asked me if I used exersaucers or walkers. I didn't, and she encouraged me not to.

She said that they give babies a false sense of security, making them think they can stand when their muscles aren't ready for it. They don't learn to catch themselves and it's not natural for an infant that young to be in a standing position. It can delay walking and standing because it trains their bodies to use the wrong muscles. She said the same thing about Boppy seats.

I've seen studies that show that babies who get floor time and don't use these "toys" are stronger and are standing/walking earlier. I can post links later.

2ndFamilyDC
10-20-2011, 07:45 AM
I should clarify that I am not putting him in there yet. It is for future use when his neck muscles are stronger.

youretooloud
10-20-2011, 07:54 AM
I love those things! Especially walkers. I've been using them for years. Nobody is bowlegged.

We've all had those kids who want to be held so they can jump on our legs..for hours and hours.

I just saw an infant seat with a kick plate at the bottom for the infants who love to have something to kick. But, it's $60. So, we will just stick to waiting til they are old enough for the bouncing saucer things.

2ndFamilyDC
10-20-2011, 07:56 AM
I love those things! Especially walkers. I've been using them for years. Nobody is bowlegged.

We've all had those kids who want to be held so they can jump on our legs..for hours and hours.

I just saw an infant seat with a kick plate at the bottom for the infants who love to have something to kick. But, it's $60. So, we will just stick to waiting til they are old enough for the bouncing saucer things.



I agree, I have not seen one single bowlegged kid come out of my daycare.

That I am aware of they have not been outlawed in my state. I will

continue to use one til they do.

I plan on having a conversation with this mom this afternoon about it.

cheerfuldom
10-20-2011, 08:04 AM
hmmmmm....never heard of this before. We have baby equipment here but I try really, really hard not to use it. I'd rather the babies be doing lots of tummy time and floor time. After they can sit up, its rare that they use any equipment at all.

MV
10-20-2011, 08:10 AM
I'm in CA also and yes we are not allowed to use them at all. Like Crystal said, it has a lot to do with physical development. We aren't allowed to use walkers or jumperoo's either. I think that those bumbo things are also not allowed, anything that helps them sit up and supports them.

I do however have a walker for my own son but I have used it when we go to MIL house as a sort of portable high-chair. I have used it a handful of times here at home but not for extended periods of time and deffinetely nowhere near an hour. Even my son's pediatrician says that infants shouldn't be in them for more than 30 minutes a day total.

On top of bow-leggedness infants can also get Hypotonis (floppy baby syndrome) which is reduced muscle tone or muscle weakness. Or infants may not develop their balance and muscles properly causing a minimal or even severe delay in stepping stones like rolling over, sitting up etc. (depending on how much time an infant spends in these). Of course Hypotonis happens usually when the infants is left in these (or high-chairs) for extended periods of time on a regular basis.

I'm sure that this is not the case with you but there you go, just a little of info on why they say that walkers/excersaucers etc are not recommended. Nothing beats tummy time.

Blackcat31
10-20-2011, 08:46 AM
2ndFamilyDC, I am also in MN and we are allowed to use these items.

I see no problem with them and have used them with various infants/toddlers through the years. Obviously, my first choice is floor time for the babies but if I had a particularly cranky or unhappy infant/toddler, you can bet your bottom dollar that equipment like these things were used as necessary.

I have not had a bowlegged kid or developmental problem come up because of these things either, but I am sure it is because the infants/toddlers who I used these things for weren't in them every waking second.

I feel bad for providers in some states that are so limited on the things they can and cannot do in regards to common sense. I am simply glad that MN still has some faith in the choices that the daycare providers here make.

MV
10-20-2011, 08:53 AM
I feel bad for providers in some states that are so limited on the things they can and cannot do in regards to common sense. I am simply glad that MN still has some faith in the choices that the daycare providers here make.

Thanks I appreciate it. Unfortunately the Gov here likes to get their hands on every aspect of living :mad:. We are such a sue happy state that the state has to protect itself from lawsuits. If something happens in a DC like an infant becoming bowlegged because they were in a walker the parents would sue the daycare, sue the state for not having regulations against this, sue the childcare provider personally and then sue the walker company. So sad. Then again we wouldn't have thes regs if it weren't for someone who didn't have exactly what you said ... common sense. Leave it one to ruin it for all of us.

2ndFamilyDC
10-20-2011, 08:56 AM
2ndFamilyDC, I am also in MN and we are allowed to use these items.

I feel bad for providers in some states that are so limited on the things they can and cannot do in regards to common sense. I am simply glad that MN still has some faith in the choices that the daycare providers here make.


MN currently lets us use them, hoping that does not change anytime soon.


so it seems that a lot of providers are holding their babies all day with some floor time in there. I doubt that a baby who is not crawling wants to be on the floor for hours either, and as providers we do not have hours on end to hold a baby to keep them happy and entertained. They need a change of pace.

Blackcat31
10-20-2011, 09:08 AM
Thanks I appreciate it. Unfortunately the Gov here likes to get their hands on every aspect of living :mad:. We are such a sue happy state that the state has to protect itself from lawsuits. If something happens in a DC like an infant becoming bowlegged because they were in a walker the parents would sue the daycare, sue the state for not having regulations against this, sue the childcare provider personally and then sue the walker company. So sad. Then again we wouldn't have thes regs if it weren't for someone who didn't have exactly what you said ... common sense. Leave it one to ruin it for all of us.

Yeah when I read posts from providers in your state (Ca) and Catherder's my heart grows two sizes bigger because I could not be regulated as much as you guys are and still be happy doing what I do. You ladies have my utmost respect! ;)

sharlan
10-20-2011, 09:13 AM
Yep, CA feels that it's safer for an infant to be on the floor with toddlers running around. I'm sure that swings will be the next thing to go.

I loved my exersaucers and bouncy seats. I never had an issue with developmental delay because of them. All the kids I used them for walked between 9 and 11 mos. Only one didn't walk until he was 15 mos old, but that had nothing to do with the exersaucer.

I never left the kids in it for more than 15 mins at a time.

mismatchedsocks
10-20-2011, 09:24 AM
Here in WI we can still use those things. They take up alot of room, so when they are out they are "age appropriate" bumbo for kids learning to sit up not a 2 month old, a jumperoo for kids who are trying to stand and jump, they love it. Exersaucers are great here.. are used when i am making lunch, snack, or changing diapers. The little ones are safe in it, for the older kids still out.

I cant imagine not using equipment in a daycare, with more then one or two children. I dont think leaving them in it all day is great but 20 minutes at a time ( which is WI rule) will be just fine in moving body parts and not getting them stuck in the same position!

laundrymom
10-20-2011, 09:29 AM
I stopped all baby furniture but cribs for naps 11 years ago. I always have 2 or 3 under 16 mo. And ten total under age 5. It took some getting used to but I feel my program is better because of it. I know I do not miss the lack of space. Lol. Our state still allows saucers swings and bouncers, jumpers and bumbos. But I choose not to have them

SandeeAR
10-20-2011, 09:36 AM
When DS was under a year, I took him to physical therapy for weak neck muscles. She asked me if I used exersaucers or walkers. I didn't, and she encouraged me not to.

She said that they give babies a false sense of security, making them think they can stand when their muscles aren't ready for it. They don't learn to catch themselves and it's not natural for an infant that young to be in a standing position. It can delay walking and standing because it trains their bodies to use the wrong muscles. She said the same thing about Boppy seats.

I've seen studies that show that babies who get floor time and don't use these "toys" are stronger and are standing/walking earlier. I can post links later.

Funny, wonder how long it has been since that PT has been in school? My DD, graduated with a Docterate in Physical Therapy in 2007 and has been working as a Pediatric PT for going on 4 years. They don't have that view in PT school now. According to my DD, a saucer, walker, bouncer, bumbo, are ALL safe, if used for no more than 20-30 min at a time and about 3-4 times a day, during a 10 hour daycare period.

Also, according to my DD, one of the biggest contributing things to bowleggedness, is "W" sitting....(flat on their bottom, with the legs bent back in a W).

She has even used a walker to encourage a child that didn't like to put his feet on the floor. All the therapist use the bumbos.

littlemommy
10-20-2011, 09:44 AM
I stopped all baby furniture but cribs for naps 11 years ago. I always have 2 or 3 under 16 mo. And ten total under age 5. It took some getting used to but I feel my program is better because of it. I know I do not miss the lack of space. Lol. Our state still allows saucers swings and bouncers, jumpers and bumbos. But I choose not to have them

Yes-the space you save when not using them is amazing!

nannyde
10-20-2011, 10:07 AM
2ndFamilyDC, I am also in MN and we are allowed to use these items.

I see no problem with them and have used them with various infants/toddlers through the years. Obviously, my first choice is floor time for the babies but if I had a particularly cranky or unhappy infant/toddler, you can bet your bottom dollar that equipment like these things were used as necessary.

I have not had a bowlegged kid or developmental problem come up because of these things either, but I am sure it is because the infants/toddlers who I used these things for weren't in them every waking second.

I feel bad for providers in some states that are so limited on the things they can and cannot do in regards to common sense. I am simply glad that MN still has some faith in the choices that the daycare providers here make.

When I first heard about California and Georgias regs on the equipment my first thought was how rediculous it was. I use the exersaucers and they are WONDERFUL. I have old school one built like a tank with a big lip, fixed toys, soft cushy seats, and three levels for adjustment. The highest level will accomodate up to the average twelve month old.

But after watching Center cameras for nearly a year... I can honestly see why they make these regs. If you don't stay on the workers like white on rice they will leave the kids in there for a really really long time. Swings and any kind of confinement equipment are used SO much.

Even with exact rules and exact employee specific training.. they will NOT mind the time. They base in and outs on one thing... crying. If the kid isn't crying they leave them where they don't cry.

I can honestly imagine that a lot of providers use these kinds of pieces for long periods of time based on whether or not the kid cries. The other issue which is also HUGE is not keeping the mobile kids OFF of the equipment. Allowing older kids to climb on it and play with the fixed toys puts the equipment at risk for breaking down and the child who is in them at risk for being a target by the older kids. Because they are chest/belly level for the older kids they are a natural draw. The fact that they bounce is an even bigger draw.

So add those to the fact that equipment nowadays is made SO poorly, so shallow, with bad materials... and the adults are doing whatever they can to have no crying... and supervision of both the baby and the older kids can easily be challenged... you have the perfect storm of risk to the baby.

I train ALL the kids to leave the seats alone. They aren't allowed to touch them period. The babies aren't allowed to be in them for more than 15-20 minutes and we use them ONLY when it's to the benefit of the baby. For example when we are getting seven kids in full winter gear... once the babies are completely dressed we put them in the seats. It's not reasonable for them to crawl around bound in winter clothing. They can sit upright while we finish up the whole crew.

When the baby has had a ton of exercise and we are trying to nurse them along to nap time without an early bedtime... the bouncy seats keep them upright and supported for that last fifteen minutes. When we NEED them contained because we are doing a transition time that is high energy and requires a lot of adult one to one of each kid.. we get them settled to have something to do while we are doing what WE need to do.

Using them reasonably (max of 15-20 mins and max of 3 times a day in a 9-10 hour day with a few HOURS in between use) AND having strict no touch rules PLUS having excellent well maintained equipment that FITS with the depth of the seat plus the length from the lowest part of the crotch to the base be enough to have the child stand to bare weight), not using when the child can hike over the sides, not putting babies in them who can get face buried or need additional blankets to be able to sit up in them, and with excellent toys attached and put on... that are new to the child and rotated frequenty is the key to using them wisely.

countrymom
10-20-2011, 10:33 AM
you know what, its fine to use the equipment but some children live in it. I had a child who was in there all day, so yes his legs were bowlegged. Just like kids who sit in their swings all day and bouncy seats, they have misshapen heads. Its one of those that require common sense.

caligirl
10-20-2011, 10:39 AM
Thanks I appreciate it. Unfortunately the Gov here likes to get their hands on every aspect of living :mad:. We are such a sue happy state that the state has to protect itself from lawsuits. If something happens in a DC like an infant becoming bowlegged because they were in a walker the parents would sue the daycare, sue the state for not having regulations against this, sue the childcare provider personally and then sue the walker company. So sad. Then again we wouldn't have thes regs if it weren't for someone who didn't have exactly what you said ... common sense. Leave it one to ruin it for all of us.

Isn't THAT the truth!

laundrymom
10-20-2011, 10:46 AM
Country mom?? You are so right but common sense,... Isn't common. Lol.

2ndFamilyDC
10-20-2011, 10:53 AM
Funny, wonder how long it has been since that PT has been in school? My DD, graduated with a Docterate in Physical Therapy in 2007 and has been working as a Pediatric PT for going on 4 years. They don't have that view in PT school now. According to my DD, a saucer, walker, bouncer, bumbo, are ALL safe, if used for no more than 20-30 min at a time and about 3-4 times a day, during a 10 hour daycare period.

Also, according to my DD, one of the biggest contributing things to bowleggedness, is "W" sitting....(flat on their bottom, with the legs bent back in a W).

She has even used a walker to encourage a child that didn't like to put his feet on the floor. All the therapist use the bumbos.


well how interesting. Thanks for sharing this view (which is how I view it too). But each to their own right. Some on here love equipment and some dislike it and don't use it. Whatever works for you is the right thing I believe.

littlemommy
10-20-2011, 11:10 AM
I'm not completely against these things, but I believe what the therapist said about the false sense of security. I also have seen too many babies being placed in them to be "out of the way" or to keep them quiet. Most parents probably over use them.

I'm sure when I have my 2nd baby, I will use a swing or bouncy chair once in a while. I doubt I will use the Boppy seat or an exersaucer, but that is just my personal preference.