Perhaps it is because Small’s first experience of bouncing comes in the womb and whilst he is Small it is a comforting, regressive experience.
Once out of the womb I found that one of the best techniques for soothing Small was to gently bounce him with the back of his head cupped in my hand and his back lying along my inner forearm as I bicep curled him. With the addition of a gentle sway it probably replicated the motion of mum waddling, pre-birth.
Whilst it has made it to some ‘needless baby contraptions’ lists, my Smalls thoroughly enjoyed their baby bouncer. This is a sprung harness that hangs from a door frame that allows Small to push with his legs and bounce himself up and down. Small 1 in particular was an expert bouncer and would entertain himself for half an hour at a time.
Unless you have a double door it is wise to move away from the bouncer once Small can walk, otherwise all sorts of sideways motions come into play with the possibility of bashing into the door frame.
The next progression was to the trampoline. We leapfrogged the indoor trampoline, the type with a support handle, and went straight to a 10 foot garden trampoline with a full, inside the springs, net. At first it was used much like a giant play pen with lots of stumbly walking, crawling and rolling around. It was a nice place for Small to experiment because if he fell, he bounced.
Once bouncing was mastered there was no holding him back. He would bounce any when. The neighbours probably weren’t too impressed about the 6:00 am sessions though.
I can honestly say that the trampoline has been the best value for money thing we have ever purchased for our Smalls. It provides hours of entertainment, fresh air and exercise. In fact, it gets used so hard that we are now on our fourth, each one lasting two to three years. Even so, buck per hour of entertainment, it is the cheapest thing I can think of.
Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.
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