Jumping for Joy
- What: Johnny Jump Up Doorway Jumper
- When: Four months until 24 pounds
- Why: Affordable, compact, confined fun
- Where: Amazon
Have you met Johnny Jump Up? It’s a doorway jumper that hangs like a baby swing at the playground, only in the doorway of your home.
The Jump Up comes with an adjustable webbing to fit various door heights. Because our frame exceeded the expected size, and our four month old weighed less than average, his mass didn’t pull it down far enough for him to touch the ground and propel himself, much less control his movements. We ended up throwing a bag of chicken food underneath him to give him some purchase. Needless to say, we did not use that setup frequently until he got both taller and heavier.
An obvious downside to this type of baby gear is that they require doorway. You can’t close the door with the Jump Up installed. Luckily, putting it up takes only a couple minutes, and it stores flat for tight spaces.
Not only does the doorway need to be the right height, but it has to have trim around it. If you have a more modern home without trim, it will never install. If you have a less modern home with larger trim, it gets trickier to use as well. Finding a doorway we didn’t need to go through regularly while our kids jumped, but that also didn’t need to be closed posed our first problem. We eliminated the kitchen as a possibility. The main reason my kids occupied the Jump Up in the first place was because I needed to eat, which required getting to the kitchen, preparing food, and ingesting it without help.
We settled on the doorway to the nursery, but our one hundred year old trim for the door frame didn’t take into account modern amenities like baby bouncy seats. We ended up adding a small piece of wood to the door frame to make it work, though we still had an issue with height.
But it did reliably keep his younger sister off the floor, and out of the stepping on her temptation. Our third child, who weighed more than average, loved the Jump Up from the get go, so I’m glad I stuck with it. It takes up much less space than similar items.
You can attach toys to the links on the webbing of the seat. Or you can use links to attach them anywhere you want. I also liked to have a bin of fun things just out of reach, to encourage them to move around and stretch. I liked the freedom it gave them to control their movements in multiple directions, as well as the reassurance it gave me that they couldn’t get to anything they shouldn’t.
I did find it hard to get them out. The seat stuck to them when I went to lift them free. I ended up mastering the picking my child up with both hands, putting them over my shoulder, and peeling the seat of the Jump Up free with one hand, but it took some practice as well as trial and error to figure out.