Should a baby use a jolly jumper? A Chiropractic Perspective

hey guys dr. Ryan here again a patient

asked me yesterday whether or not she

should be putting her baby in a Jolly

Jumper she had heard that it's bad for

them and one of the things you have to

take into consideration is the age of

the child because the answer is

different in those circumstances so if

you think about it a baby spends nine

months in utero floating around inside

the mother once born their motor system

has to learn to interact with the

outside world including things like

gravity you know gravity is a force that

comes straight down and it's never

changing something that never goes away

what a Jolly Jumper does is it takes a

baby who typically is in a horizontal

position because they can't stand yet

and puts them into a vertical position

so that gravity is now coming down on

their body in this direction and one of

the things we want to be able to talk

about is is that creating damage well

the first thing you have to look at and

understand is how that spine develops so

when a baby's first born the spine is

basically in AC position like this but

that's not how it ends up as normal

spine a spine from the front should be

straight up and down okay these would be

the pelvic bones the hip joints come out

from here the skull sits on top from the

front from the front it's straight up

and down but from the side a normal

spine ends up having these very

important curves so there's a curve in

the neck a curve in the low curve in the

mid-back and a curve in the low back the

curve in the neck that neck curve

develops as the baby has some tummy time

and help and and gets all of the muscle

training and proprioceptive training to

hold their head into that upright

position the curve in the lower back

that doesn't develop until a baby starts

to learn to crawl and then is able to

sit on their own without supports a lot

of times moms or dads are using a Jolly

Jumper before that happens and when that

happens that's where the damage can

occur so you have to think about it

think of a child's struggle to stand up

or to crawl or to sit upright they don't

yet have the muscles the ligaments or

even a spinal shape to be able to be

able to do that

these activities all load the bones the

connective tissues especially when done

in non supportive environments so the

more of their own body weight the child

has to support the stronger they'll

become supportive devices are just that

their support and they decrease the

stimulus on the bones the muscles and

the nerves that the child needs in order

to be able to develop correctly it's

just like if you went to the gym and you

wanted to benchpress 200 pounds and you

had two friends on either side lift it

for you even though you were in that

position going through the range you

don't get any benefit from it because

your body doesn't have to build or use

its own muscles to do it it's the same

with putting a child into that vertical

position beforehand

now moving around struggling to sit up

and generally navigating their

environment not only promotes muscle

bone and growth but also helps a baby

develop their proprioceptive abilities

so proprioception is your child's

ability to perceive their body and space

their gravity and so their body's

ability to naturally maintain an upright

posture especially nowadays and we have

so many people sitting at computers

lunch Tovar looking at the iPods or or

their phones etc you know we want to

create an environment where the

proprioceptive strength is is as strong

as possible well why is that important

the spine itself is what protects the

delicate spinal cord and the nerves on

the inside so if you think the brain

sits up here spinal nerves run through

this spinal canal and those go to all

the different parts of the body it

controls all function all healing and

all development so all function is

controlled by the nerve system so your

you know your your heart is beating your

lungs are breathing you're digesting

food and making brand-new toenails and

kidney cells out of the food that you

ate yesterday it's pretty amazing really

and then you have all healing occurs

from control by control of the nerve so

with the nerve isn't going to be think

about if you cut the nerve to a tooth

that tooth dies it can no longer heal

from the stresses of life and so it dies

anytime there's pressure on a nerve

whatever's on the other end of the nerve

can't heal as efficiently and then of

course all development you know a baby

grows and develops more in the first

year of life then they will over the

next ten years of their life so that

first year of life it's absolutely

critical to protect that spinal cord and

in that and those spinal bones the other

thing is the baby's ability to crawl

them and lift their head while on their

tummy are important for neuromuscular

development you know that crawling

promotes a cross body patterning which

will help with their gait pattern it

helps them with their balance it helps

them with their spatial orientation

it'll definitely help them with being

with their sports with their athleticism

but even just overall their general

positional aptitude I like to call it

you know lying on their tummy and

looking around is a ways one way that

the child spinal curves actually develop

the crawling and that cross crawl reflex

is a way that the spinal curves develops

so the moral of the story well I know

that it's convenient I have four kids


I know it's convenient the Jolly Jumper

it's just not a good thing until the

baby has total development of these

curves which doesn't happen until after

they're able to crawl to sit and pull

themselves to a standing position before

that time a Jolly Jumper should never be

used for more than you know eight to ten

minutes at a time not the two to three

hours which is sometimes typical I hope

you found this helpful if you have any

questions send me an email love to hear

from you thank you