The First Years Kickin’ Coaster
The Kickin’ Coaster by Learning Curve is a great seat that is a little bit activity center and a little bit bouncy seat.
The Kickin’ Coaster is extremely easy to put together. A couple snaps, pull the fabric covering on and your baby is set to kick and coast. The seat is on a recline and is very similar to a bouncy seat. There is a detachable infant headrest insert that is attached by Velcro. The fabric is a somewhat muted green and yellow and while it might not exactly go with your decor, it certainly won’t stand out like a sore thumb. There is a three-point harness to keep baby in place with a little rattle attached for baby to hold on to. The seat locks into the glider at adjustable lengths, depending on the height of your baby. The foot platform at the base of the bouncer is where all the action takes place. There are lights across the top with toys attached to draw your baby’s interest. By kicking off the platform, baby will slide up and down the track while activating the music and lights.
There are three settings for the lights and music function. The first two play different songs continuously, regardless of baby’s activity. The third allows baby to activate the music and lights by kicking the platform. There are also two vibrate settings that will soothe baby to sleep once he tires himself out.
There are many great features to the Kickin’ Coaster. Unlike a bouncy seat, where baby remains still, the Kickin’ Coaster encourages movement and increases leg strength. The opportunity for constant movement, mixed with the lights and music keep baby’s attention, extending the time Mom can get things done around the house. It also demonstrates cause and effect since the movement and lights can be activated by the kicking baby.
Our first tester, a three-month old, at 24 inches and weighing 13 pounds, struggled to activate the music. He was not able to kick hard or high enough on the platform to make the music turn on. He really enjoyed the kicking and coasting aspect though. He surprised himself a couple times when he sent himself back and would laugh with delight. Sometimes, however, we think he came back down a little too hard because he didn’t have the leg strength to stop himself and it was a little abrupt. We also had to scoot him down pretty far on the seat in order for his feet to reach the platform, even on the shortest setting, and it didn’t look very comfortable.
The Kickin’ Coaster has a weight limit of 25 pounds, but baby’s ability should also be taken into account. We found out that with another baby, within the weight limit at 19 pounds, who was able to sit up can make for a precarious situation and Mom could not leave his side for fear of him falling out. He was very interested in the toys at the top of the foot platform and with only a lap harness to keep him in, he was quite wobbly when he tried to reach for them. But he loved kicking off and sliding up the track. The music only worked about half the time when in the kick mode, however, but that didn’t seem to deter him. We recommend retiring this seat when baby can sit up on his own. While still within the weight limit, there’s too great a chance for baby to fall out once he can sit up.
All in all, we think the Kickin’ Coaster is a great activity seat for baby. It encourages exercise and demonstrates cause and effect while keeping baby entertained. It would be nice if the kick-activated setting worked more often but that doesn’t offset the fun of baby pushing himself up and down.
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