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  • Good Gadgets for Great Parenting

Welcome to Baby Tech!

In this ongoing update, we’ll fill you in on the latest in gear, gadgets, and new ideas that can make caring for your baby safer, more efficient, or more fun.

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Bop that Dinosaur

dino bop

At what age do kids start lovin’ dinosaurs?

With the Poppity-Pop Musical Dino, Fisher-Price is hoping you can’t be too early with a toy dino — especially one that can “encourages motor skills stimulate the senses.”

There are brightly colored balls that pop up and out of the dinosaur — you know, just like science shows real dinosaurs did — that your baby will crawl after, as well “fun tunes and silly sound effects” that can help babies “start to understand the cause and effect of actions.” Baby activates the fun by batting at the roller, dropping a ball down the dino’s tail or onto his back “to start the popping fun and music.”

It’s $30 here.

Portable play yard

portable playyeard

No, we’re not advocating infant jail time, despite what the photo looks like: instead, it’s the Pop ‘n Play Portable Play yard from Summer Infant, which “allows you to easily create a safe portable play area for your child,” the company says.

The freestanding portable pen measures 14 square feet in area, with sides that are 26 inches tall. The lightweight folding metal frame is fully assembled and “unfolds in seconds,” they add. The mesh sides provide easy visibility, and the canvas floor is water-resistant to “help keep baby dry even on damp grass.”

It’s $80 here.

 

Oogi: Stretch that Toy

OogiAs a kid I had the pliable “Stretch Armstrong” toy — and this figure from the Swiss toy company Moluk goes further, literally: the flexible toy is made from stretchy silicone, and has a suction cup head, hands, and feet.

The Oogi can stick to smooth surfaces, and is “irresistibly tactile,” the company says. “Oogis have also been spotted playing in the bathtub, on fridges or mirrors. Oogis are very social beings: They love to touch, embrace, form chains and do crazy acrobatic tricks. Their favorite hobbies are Oogi Yoga, extreme climbing or darting onto windows and other targets.”

Sound silly? That’s the idea. Here’s a video showing what they can do:

And there’s more information here.

Sit up, Baby!

FP baby seatKids can’t be lying around all the time, I guess…. The Deluxe Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat from Fisher-Price helps tots stay upright when they want to, with “comfort and fun all in one.”

The supportive upright seat “lets your baby see and interact with the world around them,” the company says. The “squeaker sounds” reward a baby “for kicking the foot pads.”

The seat has a wide sturdy base, and a soft fabric cover that is removable and machine-washable.
It’s $45 here.

“The Wonder Within You” shows pregnancy in 3D

the wonder within you

Another baby book? Yes, but with a high-tech addition: aim your smartphone at codes in the book, and you’ll see 3D videos of babies in every week of development.

The Wonder Within You” by author Carey Wickersham showcases the development of a baby forming inside its mother. The 3D ultrasound images “show how babies in the womb blink, jump, smile, and cry,” she says.

“It’s so exciting be the first generation to use this new technology to peer inside the womb and witness each amazing stage of our baby’s development,” Wickersham adds. “From the secret moment of conception to the first breath of earthy air — It’s a journey worth celebrating, and one that is fascinating to both mothers and scientists alike.”

There are also plenty of printed pictures in the hardback book, as well as a pregnancy calendar with stickers, “to help you stay organized and keep track of your unique experience.”

Baby-Gear maker makes $41 million

origami stroller 1We’ve covered the robot baby buggies made by 4moms here — and now you can look forward to more high-tech help from the small company, as it just won a $41 million investment.

The Wall Street Journal reports “the Pittsburgh startup is known for its Origami one-click easy-fold strollers that can charge your cell phone and rockers that use motion sensors and robotics,” and the “tech-savvy customer base includes actress Natalie Portman,” adds The Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Another one of its products, the mamaRoo infant car seat, is “designed to replicate the swaying and bouncing motions parents make to soothe their babies.” [We’ve covered those here and here, and a tub temperature device here.]

The firm was founded in 2005.
What’s next? “A self-installing infant car seat and a mini-stroller,” reports the Post-Gazette. 4moms CEO Robert Daley adds “4moms is a world leader at developing consumer robots that solve real problems for families. This investment allows us to continue our focus on new product development.”

One factor in the firms success? “Plunging prices of motion sensors, accelerometers and other tools vital to advanced robotics.”

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