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Baby Tech

Gadgets and new innovations for babies and their parents.

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Jumperoo provides safety, promotes learning
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Fisher-Price’s Rainforest Jumperoo, currently under $80 at Amazon, is an all-in-one bouncy seat, play center and learning toy.

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The Jumperoo, which runs on 2 AA batteries (not included), is designed for babies who can hold their heads up, but who cannot yet walk, and who weigh less than 25 lbs. The seat rotates 360 degrees, and has three height adjustments so it grows along with baby.

Babies will also enjoy playing with the Jumperoo’s many animals and toys, including a bobbling elephant, a monkey swinging from a vine, a parrot hanging from a bead bar, a clear spinning bead ball, a tiger that plays hide and seek, a spinning lizard that makes rattling sounds, a tethered chew toy, and a stack of chips with eye-catching graphics for baby to explore. A motion sensor rewards baby’s movements with lights and sounds.

The Rainforest Jumperoo is available here.

Travel Toys: LeapFrog’s Scribble and Write
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The final item in our series on travel toys for summer learning and fun is LeapFrog’s Scribble and Write, portable and lightweight at 1.2 lbs and running on 3 AAA batteries.

The Scribble and Write, geared to ages 3 through 5, guides young ones in learning how to recognize and write the alphabet and numbers. It comes with two learning levels and includes learning games such as clapping in count to numbers.

The included stylus, designed to work with either left hand or right hand, is attached to the Scribble and Write and designed for younger hands and grips.

LeapFrog’s Scribble and Write is currently selling on Amazon for under $20, and is available here.

Travel toys: InnoTab Max Kids Tablet
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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 12.29.01 PMVTech’s Innotab Max Kids Tablet, currently around $85 on Amazon, is the third addition to our series on toys for summer travel.

The tablet, recommended for children ages 2 to 9, includes 18 learning, play and art apps, a rotating camera and video recorder, and an easy-to-use 7-inch touchscreen interface. Parents can purchase up to an additional 650 educator-approved Innotab apps and cartridges. (Two free downloadable apps come with the purchase of the tablet.) The tablet runs on a rechargeable lithium battery that’s good for eight or nine hours.

The stylus can be attached to the tablet so keeping track of it is easy. The tablet comes with a protective top case with a carry handle, and also serves as support for easel mode so that the tablet stands on its own.

The Innotab Max Kids Tablet is available here.

 

Travel toys for tots: Crayola’s Mess-Free Coloring Desk
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This week’s featured travel toy is Crayola’s Mess-Free Coloring Desk, which will provide your little ones with hours of travel-friendly and mess-free art projects.Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 3.09.55 PM

The desk, currently $15 at Amazon, is a lightweight 2.3 lbs, and comes equipped with a set of mess-free Color Wonder Markers, Paints, and a paintbrush made especially for the included 20-page Color Wonder Drawing Pad.

The colors won’t show up on skin, fabric or furniture but only on the special paper included. (Extra paper can be ordered here.) There are compartments for the special paint, and supplies can also be stashed in the storage area underneath the desk.

Although the manufacturer’s recommended ages for the Coloring Desk is 3 years and up, many Amazon reviewers say younger children can use it, too, with parental supervision.

The Crayola Mess-Free Coloring Desk is available here.

Travel toys for tots: Smart Stages Laptop
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Ah, summer… the time when families hit the road, or skies, or both, for vacation pleasure. But pleasure can turn to pain if baby grows bored or tired, which is why we at Baby Tech will focus on travel-friendly toys and games for the next few weeks.

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Fisher-Price’s Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Laptop, currently available on Amazon for $13, designed for ages 6 months to 3 years, is just such a toy. Weighing only 1.5 lbs and running on two AA batteries (not included), the Smart Stages Laptop includes three levels of play so that it grows as your baby does.

Baby can press one of nine colored buttons, or the space bar, to hear songs and phrases about letters, numbers, colors and more. Open and close the lid to hear opposites, as well. The Smart Stages Laptop comes with a travel handle for easy transport.

There’s a manual switch for parents to set the learning level; the levels include Explore (first words and sounds), Encourage (prompts for simple directions and questions), and Pretend (imaginative fun and role-play). In all, there are 30+ songs, phrases and sounds, many of which reward your child’s actions.

The Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Laptop is available here.

All aboard the Magic Learning Bus
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Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.41.03 PMLeapFrog’s Touch Magic Learning Bus (currently available on Amazon.com for under $20, with free shipping for Prime members) is a musical learning toy for children ages 2 and older.

Making movements or touching the sensor will activate the bus, which runs on three AAA batteries (included). Children can toggle between the bus’s modes (Learning, Letter Exploration, and Music), and parents can go online for tips on expanding and enhancing the learning activities.

When a child touches one of the alphabet letters on the Magic Bus, the child hears the letter name, the letter sound, and 26 words that begin with the letter. Once the child recognizes each letter, there’s a Find the Letter game, The Magic Bus, is lightweight at 1.5 lbs, and parents can use a damp cloth to wipe off grimy fingerprints.

The Touch Magic Learning Bus is available here.

A digital baby book you can send to print
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kidmonodKidmondo is an online baby book that lets parents and caretakers track and share baby’s milestones and special moments. The feature-rich site includes pages for journaling, recording physical and medical data, tracking growth, posting pictures, and a food journal to record reactions to first bites.

All data is set to be private, but you can share one or more areas with friends and family so they too can experience your baby’s special moments. (Journals cannot be set to be seen by everyone, because the company’s owners believe in protecting your family’s privacy.)

Kidmondo, which is available in English, Spanish and Italian, is free for its basic services, which include three journals and 100  MB of storage; it also offers a premium service for $39/year, which includes unlimited journals, no advertising, and 5 GB of storage.

Best of all, Kidmondo offers an option to print out your baby book as a hard copy, for which users can customize the cover, content and photos to be included. The price for printing a hard copy is $28 for 20 pages and $.50 per additional page.

The Kidmondo online baby journal is available here.

The mother of all body pillows
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Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 12.07.51 PMLeachco’s Snoogle Total Body Pillow is the top-selling body pillow on Amazon, thanks to its ergonomically designed comfort and support for moms-to be.

Designed by a registered nurse and mom, the Snoogle’s flexible shape conforms to the shape of your body, providing support for your back, hips and tummy while keeping your knees and hips in a neutral position.

Once baby’s born, the Snoogle can be used as a nursing pillow, and then again as a cozy spot for toddlers to nap. The Snoogle comes with a removable, washable cover (replacements covers are available on Amazon), and weighs 5.5 pounds.

The Snoogle Total Body Pillow is available here.

And on keyboard…
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Ginzick’s Kids Music DJ Style Playmat with Keyboard & Microphone, currently available at Amazon for under $40 (with free shipping for Prime members), is the type of toy I wish had been around back in olden days when I was a kid. (I’m tempted to get one now, since the product is pitched as “fun for the whole family” and does seem to be just that.)

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 3.27.15 PMGeared to ages 3 and up, the Playmat is a self-inclusive DJ system that serves as a karaoke machine, a DJ sound system, and a one-piece band. In addition to the keyboard, the Playmat includes eight instrument sounds (including guitar, saxophone, harp and violin) and four different drums, and you can plug in an MP3 player or your phone to play tunes through the Playmat.

The Playmat, which runs on four AA batteries (not included) has an energy-saver function that turns the unit off when not in use, and a volume control. A headset is also included for your budding DJ.

Purchase the DJ Style Playmat with Keyboard & Microphone here.

“Trying for a Baby” Tech
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sponsored post

When I was trying to conceive–back before the Internet or smart phones or apps–I got serious. I’m a programmer so I had to do it by the numbers. So I whipped up a LOTUS 1-2-3 spreadsheet (I know, I’m dating myself) and plotted my basal body temperature, bodily changes, and even the dates and times of our marital sex bouts. My friends thought I was crazy…until two months later, KA-BAM a ocmonitor“BFP” as we call it in the TTC world. BFP= Big Fat Positive, TTC=Trying to Conceive.

Fast forward to the 21st century and now there’s an app for that. Actually, there’s an integrated website, mobile and app for that called OvulationCalendar.com. This website creates a TTC “Journey” for a couple who is trying to conceive and creates an easy interface to enter all of your physical and nutritional data in order to improve the chances of conceiving a baby.

I would have totally geeked out over this when I was pregnant. Each time you login, it prompts you for the information it needs to give you recommendations on when to have sex. I know, not the most romantic way to get it on with the spouse, but we’ve got a job to do here and OvulationCalendar is there to help you do it!

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As you can see by the screenshot, above, it asks you to input info about your diet, temperature, health and even mood! Although I’m beyond my baby making years, I played around with the modules and found them to be  self-explanatory and extremely easy to use. The site even has a blog for parents who are TTC and expecting with articles like “When Should I Take Maternity Leave?” and “What Are My Chances of Having Twins?” There is no cost to sign up or use the program. For more information, visit OvulationCalendar.com.

“OvulationCalendar.com tracks our users cycle and lifestyle data in order for us to make accurate predictions on when they are actually ovulating. This significantly improves their chances of conceiving” Phil Druce, Co-Founder