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While there are quite a few pieces of nursery equipment that I feel are superfluous, one item I do feel is essential is a bouncy chair of some description. When my older children were babies (we're talking twenty years ago) bouncy chairs were very basic with very little in the way of padding and certainly no music or vibration facilities. Today there is a vast array of different chairs to choose from, from the very basic to all singing, all dancing models that can house an iPad (I kid you not). The Fisher Price Woodsy Friends Bouncer falls into what I would call the bottom of mid-range as far as bouncy chairs goes, at approximately £28 it's not the cheapest of the cheap, but neither is it as fancy shmancy as many.
I bought this chair some weeks before Baby JJ made an appearance and put it together in the week or so before his birth. I can't say that it was particularly difficult to put together, because it wasn't, the instructions were easy enough to follow and while it did take a little tugging to get the cover in place it wasn't that much of a problem. I would say it took me less than quarter of an hour to put the chair together and that's with a huge bump hampering my movement. As this chair is suitable from birth (some aren't) I then put it away ready to bring out once Baby JJ made his big appearance although I have to admit that we didn't use the chair at all for the first few days as we spent that time almost constantly feeding.
Rather than being aimed towards a particular gender the Woodsy bouncer has a fairly muted and completely neutral colour scheme. It features lots of cream, beige and pale green, with splashes of brighter colours in the form of paw prints, apples and mushrooms, oh and there are a few cute animals too. I can't say that Baby JJ has shown any interest in the colour scheme and pictures on the chair, because he hasn't and to be honest he covers most of the pictures when he's sat in it anyway. There is a head-hugger cum pillow for young babies, at least I assume that's what it is, it really isn't shaped but does seem to reduce how much a very young baby's head rolls to the side. As with many bouncy chairs this does have a vibrate function which is operated via a switch on a box at baby's feet and is powered by a single size D battery. To help keep baby occupied there is also a toy bar that features an owl that when pulled activates sounds, an apple and a few apple teethers/clankers, as well as the size D battery you will need a single AAA to power the sounds.
Baby JJ was just a few days old when he used this chair for the first time and while I did think he would be swamped, he fitted in rather nicely, being well supported in the semi-recline position. The three point harness was easy to adjust to hold him securely in place and has been easy to adjust as he has got bigger. The level of padding is perfectly designed to give a soft, almost nest-like seat for a young baby and the material has a smooth, warm to the touch finish. While I cannot say that it's been particularly hot (it is winter after all), so far I haven't noticed any of the sweat associated with spending time sitting on a waterproof surface. From the very first time he was sat in this chair, Baby JJ has seemed to be very comfortable, although he is not at all impressed with the vibrate function, far preferring that I gently rock him with my foot. There is a good level of tension in the chair legs, meaning that I can easily bounce him and adjust how hard the bounce is as he falls to sleep.
As he has got older and bigger Baby JJ has spent many hours in this chair and always seemed very comfortable, although I am a little sceptical as to whether he will still fit in here right up until he is sitting independently, but he's a large lad, who couldn't fit into newborn clothes an hour after his birth. While he's not at all impressed with the vibrations, the toy bar fascinates and frustrates him in equal measure. At nearly eleven weeks, Baby JJ enjoys batting and grabbing at any toy and he will happily hit out at the owl and apples to get them to clank together, but he knows the owl makes a noise and doesn't yet have the strength to pull hard enough. Plus when he does manage to persuade the owl to make a noise (with Mummy's help) the reward simply isn't good enough as the sounds clip are very, very short. There are a couple of snippets of tunes (one of which is the farmer's in his den) and a hooting sound but nothing that lasts over five seconds. As he finds the attached toys so frustrating, I have slipped his favourite Lamaze toy over the bar and that keeps him amused for ages.
So far in our, albeit limited to eleven weeks, experience the chair has proved very robust, it has survived the weight of a very enthusiastic Big Brother leaning on it without bending out of shape and the initial batteries are still going strong. The cover can be removed and machine washed, which is a real blessing as it was christened a couple of weeks back with a particularly huge, bright yellow poop. It came out of a 30 degree wash unscathed and actually clean, if a little crumpled. I simply allowed it to dry on an airer for a couple of hours and then put it back over the frame so that it could finish drying overnight ready for the next day.
For us this bouncy chair has been a godsend as Baby JJ does not like being left on his own and there are times when I just need to take him out of his sling so that I can get on with household tasks. He always seems comfortable in this chair and will often take catnaps in between play sessions. While there are a few things I personally feel could be improved such as longer and easier to activate sound bites, this is a pretty decent bouncy chair and a real improvement on those I bought for my older children. All in all, I think that I will give the Woodsy Friends Bouncy Chair four stars out of five and recommended to those looking for a comfortable seat for a young baby that has a neutral colour scheme but not the latest fancy gizmos.
Having already got a son, when I was pregnant with my second child there was not quite so much I needed to buy in terms of baby and nursery equipment. We had a lovely set of furniture, walkers and a swing to reuse. The one thing that I knew that I wanted to buy at some point was a new bouncer chair. Ours was very basic and cheap and the stitching had started to some apart in places. I wanted one that would be more comfortable for our new arrival.
After searching online, I came across the Fisher Price Woodsy Friends Comfy Time Bouncer which was on the hot deal website at just £16.99 on Amazon (currently priced at £35, Jan 2014). With an RRP of £42.99, this was a fantastic deal and I didn't hesitate to purchase one, especially as Fisher Price is a brand that I know and trust.
The chair comes flat packed in a cardboard box which features pictures of the chair and a very happy baby enjoying the chair. Inside, there are instructions for making the chair up and it's use, the fabric seat cover, four brown metal bars that make the frame of the seat, a small bag containing small parts (screws, plastic covers) and the toy bar. The instructions are easy to follow and it took us roughly ten minutes to put the seat together with relative ease.
The frame of the seat is what makes this a 'bouncer' chair - it bends back at an angle which means if you rock the chair once, or baby kicks their legs, it carries on bouncing for a while. The brown metal rods that make the base of the chair form this shape and the chair sits on the ground as these make up a three sided shape on the floor. At the front, they have plastic attachments where they bend upwards - these are non slip feet so that the chair doesn't move when on the floor.
The seat cover is a creamy beige colour with green grass at the bottom (around the seat part). This means that it is gender neutral and equally suitable for both sexes - important if, like us, you don't know the sex of your baby until they arrive. There are bright, vibrant pictures on it of animals - an owl, bear, mouse and squirrel - and coloured paw prints and toadstools splashed about too. At the very bottom of the seat, there are a series of brightly coloured horizontal stripes of various thicknesses. At the top of the seat, there are the words 'the happy forest animals'. There is also a detachable headrest cushion - ideal for younger babies - which also features these words and a picture of a bear picking apples from a tree. There is a three point harness to keep baby in position, with two white straps at the sides and a padded strap that comes up the middle to go between baby's legs. This has cherries and paw prints on. The fabric seat pad can be washed in the washing machine.
At the base of the chair, there is a small box which needs to be fitted with a D battery (this is not supplied). This box has the Fisher Price label on it and the words 'Calming Vibrations'. It has a sliding switch which is used to turn the vibrating function of the chair on and off. About halfway up the chair, on baby's right hand side is a slot that the toy bar provided can be slotted in to. The toy bar also needs to be fitted with a battery (AAA) to allow it to play music. The toy bar is in the shape of a branch and has green material leaves that are soft to the touch attached at the top and halfway up. It bends in an arch so that it lies above baby when in position. Attached to the toy bar there are three different toys - an owl, apples and cherries. The cherries come on a green plastic ring that is clipped to the toy bar - these can be removed and the two cherries make a clacking noise when shaken. Further up, there is a red apple which is attached to the bar by cord and attached to this apple is a green apple which is clipped on and can be removed and used as a teether. The owl is at the top and attached by cord. It is friendly looking with big eyes. It has a yellow breast, brown wings and beak and blue feet so is quite colourful and attractive to look at. Hanging from the owl is a flat red plastic toadstool with white spots. When this is pulled down, music plays. If the owl is pulled directly, it hoots.
As I said, this was very easy to assemble and, once assembled, it felt safe and secure to use. We put our son in it for short periods even from birth - although he was quite small in it then and couldn't hold his head very well so we kept the use minimal at that age. He is now seven weeks and spends a lot of time in the bouncer, watching as his brother plays around him. It is great for this purpose as it keeps him elevated off the floor so he won't get trampled on or hit with cars being pushed along the floor etc but means he can be close by and included in family time. It also means that I have somewhere to put him where he is content and happy to be rather than carrying him in my arms - so I have hands free to play with my elder son.
My son seems to find this very comfortable to sit in, it supports him in a position that is comfortable to him - with it curving naturally around his back. It keeps him at a nice angle so he can see what is going on around him too. It is quite 'snug' with a soft fabric which is what he likes, having spent all those months in a very snugly womb, this is not surprising. The harness keeps him in place well and this is easy to adjust. The fastenings are fully embedded in the cushioned strap in the middle so there is no fear of pinching his skin as I fasten him in. It also sits comfortably around his waist without rubbing. The vibrating function is very gentle and seems comforting to him. We also find that it can be good when he has a little wind - soothing him and helping him to get rid of it. It is also very bouncy - much more so than the one we had previously. When he kicks his legs, it continues bouncing for a few seconds after. It is also easy for us to gently rock him to sleep for a nap in this - and he sleeps comfortably in this too.
The seat is very lightweight and we find it easy to pick up and move it around the house with us - it can be done with one hand as is always useful if you tend to be carrying baby too. It is quite big in size though, with feet that stick out a bit so it can be difficult to get through door frames. This can also be a problem when it is sitting as the feet pads are white in colour and not immediately obvious - we will often trip over these. However, the pads do function well in keeping the seat in place on our laminate flooring and it does not slip.
The toy bar is easy to attach and remove. My son is a little young to play with the toys just yet but they are definitely stimulating to him and capture his attention as they hang over him. They are helping as he learns to focus on objects and he will often look at these and smile. The music is also soothing to him as he is rocked.
I am extremely pleased with our purchase, especially given the price we paid - I think we got an absolute bargain. It is well made, beautifully designed and, most importantly, my son loves to sit in it. The vibrations work well and the battery has, so far, lasted quite extensive use. It bounces well and is very sturdy too. I would thoroughly recommend this for any parent of young babies or any parent to be, I don't think they'd be disappointed.
This adorable bouncer was given to me as a gift on the birth of my son, I fell in love with it right away as did my son!
The theme is forest/natural with pictures of owls, trees, mice and neutral colouring. This chair would be suitable for either a boy or girl in my opinion. The setting up of the chair took me about 10 minutes, literally put a few parts together and you're good to go. The bouncer vibrates which I found soothed my baby to sleep or at least calmed him on many occasions. The vibrating unit is placed at the foot of the chair and the battery compartment is tucked away underneath, just a sliding switch to turn the vibrations on or off.
The music comes from the toy arch which hangs overhead. Just a little tug on the owl and the melody plays. The batteries for the music is in a desperate compartment to the batteries used for the vibration. The music ones are located in the toy arch. So if the batteries for the vibration run out quicker than the music ones you can just change the ones you need to. There's a removable toy apple which came in handy for teething.
The only con I have for this chair is that to put baby in or take baby out you have to remove the arch. It's simple to do just can be a bit of a pain. Also when baby figures out how to bounce in the chair, the owl gets awfully close to their face.
The covers are easily removable for washing. I have wished mine plenty of times and still looks as good as new.
My baby fitted in this comfortably until around 12 months and after a year of use still looked brand new. Excellent value for money.
I bought this for my little boy when he was 2 months old, I was given one when he was first born (not this model), but sadly his older sister sat in it and broke it, so I had to replace it, I bought this on offer for around £30 but it normally retails at around £42.
Product description / spec
The Fisher-Price Woodsy Bouncer surrounds baby in the comfy, cosiest fabrics with a deep seat design that gives them a wonderfully secure feeling. The soothing continues with calming vibrations. When its time to play, baby will enjoy pulling down on the musical owl, or playing with the removable teether & clacker toys.
Winner of Mother & Baby Silver Award 2012/2013
Must not be used once child can sit unaided.
Features soothing vibrations and music lights to captivate baby's attention.
Detachable toy bar with2 toys.
3 point safety harness.
Detachable head hugger for extra support of baby's head.
Support strap to keep baby secure.
Suitable from birth.
Suitable for babies up to 9kg.
Removable washable cover - machine washable.
Batteries required 1 x AAA and 1 x D.
Size H44, W45, D9cm.
It was fair easy to set up, it took about 20 minutes, and a screwdriver is needed. Also unlike a lot of toys batteries are not included.
After fitting the retainer together, you put the chair cover on and it's good to go.
The colours of the chair are mainly green, cream, and a light brown, and is a forest theme.
The chair is a lovely looking little thing, and could be used for both boys and girls; I would say the colours are more boyish though. On the seat cover there are a few different animals such as an owl and a bear, also different natural bits like an acorn and mushrooms.
The seat feels very comfy and snug. The headrest is like a little pillow and I would say it's just right for little heads, not to thick or thin.
The retainer has non slip feet which are a god send with a two year old leaning on it, I know that the seat is firm enough not to tip or move.
The toy bar hangs over the seat, and has a musically owl with a mushroom daggling below it which has to be pulled down for it play a sound, the sounds are a owl tooting and the tune for farmers in the den. For it to make a sound it has to be pressed quite hard and my son was only able to do this from 4 ½ months (although he is quite strong for his age, I think some babies might have more difficulty pulling it).
It has a red apple with another attachable green apple on it and to the side it has a attachable clip with two red apples on (which are quite good for taking off and giving them to teething babies) and it has a few leaves on it giving it a real forest sense, which have a nice soft material touch to them.
You have to remove the bar every time you want to get them in and out because it is very difficult for babies to go in without the bar hitting some body part (normally their head or arms) but you do get used to removing it.
After putting my son in it and putting on the bar, I will always remember him looking at the owl and smiling. It was such a cute moment.
Since that moment my little boy has spent ages in this chair, he loves it, from about 4 months he was able to kick his feet and make himself bounce, which was great because he use to bounce himself to sleep.
He now talks to his owl aswell as still giving it his lovely smile, whenever I put the bar across for him.
He loves he vibrates on it aswell, the vibrations bar is where his little feet go, and it has helped calming him when he is screaming due to teething.
The seat cover washes really well aswell, as my son got weaned from 4 months he was unable to go in a high chair, so I used this chair as a feeding tool, it has been covered in food, not only from him but his sister to, and after washing the seat looked brand new, no stains what so ever, plus no colours running or fading.
The only things I would change about this is the pulling off the owl, as it's a shame young babies are unable to do it there self's, also I would make the sound play a little longer.
Also as it only goes up to 9kg my son will soon be outgrowing this which is a shame as he can't quite sit upright unaided yet, but even though he has hit the 9kg mark I think I might be able to get another month out of this until his is sat upright.
Features: Removable toy bar with pull down musical owl, teether and clacker toys to entertain baby in the bouncer or on the go. Deep cosy seat with soft, comfy head rest and calming vibrations to soothe baby. Must not be used once child can sit unaided. Soothing vibrations. Music. Detachable toy bar. Includes 2 toys. Detachable head hugger. Support strap. Non-slip feet. General information: Suitable from birth. Suitable for babies up to 9kg. Removable washable cover - machine washable. Batteries required 1 x AAA and 1 x D. Size H44, W45, D9cm. EAN/MPN/UPC/ISBN: 0746775128333.