username   password stay logged in   Become a Member

Baby Tech

Gadgets and new innovations for babies and their parents.

Links to products may be affiliate links and earn money for this website. Read our full disclaimer.
Baby in a Longboard? Check it out!

Strollers manufacturers are constantly trying to outdo one another, and this one is no exception.

The Quinny Longboard Stroller allows adults to skateboard with their baby riding sidecar in an attached stroller seat. Safety is somewhat controversial, however, since it is only approved in Europe and not in the U.S. The strollers are available for European buyers for a purchase price of 599 Euros (nearly $650 at this writing).

My advice: if you want to exercise, get a jogging stroller. You have more control over the baby’s safety. When your child is ready to skateboard, teach her so you can ride alongside each other, instead of using your baby as a bumper!

Is the Quinny Longboard Stroller right for you?

Is the Quinny Longboard Stroller right for you?

Merrily down the streaming videos
, ,

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 12.41.40 has just added a slew of educational videos for babies to its video streaming service.

Geared toward ages 6 months to 2 years, the videos cover everything from vocabulary to shapes to numbers to movement to sounds.

Baby Playpen Intro to Color Movement and Games (six episodes), Peekaboo I See You; Surprise! (five episodes), and Vocabulary with Fred and Fiona (four episodes) are all each about 30 minutes long and provide hours of enjoyable learning that can be shared between parent and child.

The videos are available for streaming for free to Amazon Prime members; each episode is available for streaming for either $1.99 (for standard definition) or $2.99 (for high definition).


Pregnant? Here’s an app for that.
, , ,

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 4.15.04 PM
Winkpass Creation’s iPregnant app for iOS (iPhone and iPad) is a pregancy tracker chock-full of features.

Its Journal feature provides room for tracking weight, doctors appointments, and notes as your pregancy progresses. You can customize reminders (a lifesaver if you have the all-too-common “pregnancy brain”) as well as questions for your doctor.

The Photos feature allows you to add your own titles/captions, and you can choose various color themes and calendar styles.

The week-by-week guide shows you the estimated size, length and weight of your baby, as well as 3-D graphics of that stage in utero.

The app also has special sections of interest for parents of multiples, teen parents, high-risk pregnancies and pregnancies to women older than 35.

The iPregnant app is free; you can find it in the iTunes store or here.

This ball will make baby move and crawl
, ,


Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 12.30.31 PMVTech’s Move and Crawl Baby Ball, currently priced at $15 with free shipping for Amazon Prime members, is a learning toy that also provides exercise for your little one.

Once the toy is turned on, it rolls around by itself slowly, giving baby the motivation to crawl or walk after it. The ball, which runs on three AA batteries (included), has sound, touch and sight stimuli, and introduces baby to numbers, shapes, colors animal sounds and music. It includes over 40 sing-along songs, phrases and sound effects.

The ball is geared toward children six months to three years, although most parents who’ve bought it say that it’s best for children learning to crawl.

The VTech Move and Crawl Baby Ball is available here.

A common-sense guide to technology and young children
, ,

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 5.16.29 PMToddlers on Technology: A Parents’ Guide,” currently under $20 at Amazon, was written by a mom and two early-childhood educators to help parents choose how and when their children are exposed to various technology, from iPads to computers to cell-phone apps.

The book explains, in easy-to-understand language, why technology is so fascinating to little ones, what constitutes a “good app,” and how to match an app to your child’s temperament and learning style. It also helps gauge when technology is useful and educational for young children as opposed to when it’s used to “check out.”

Chapters cover today’s toddlers and how they’re most often introduced to technology; various hardware and software used by young children; balancing technology with non-technology play and learning; app reviews; and the science behind toddlers on technology.

Amazon reviewers currently give the book a solid five-star rating. Buy the book here.


[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”1481730509″]

Soothing Slumbers Bear makes bedtime a breeze
, ,

Is your little one fussy at bedtime? VTech Baby’s Soothing Slumbers Bedtime Bear will help Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 3.24.09 PMlull her to sleep with its soft, plushy fabric and an array of calming and tranquilizing tunes.

The Bedtime Bear, geared to ages newborn to 2 years, plays lullabies when the button on her tummy is pressed and stops automatically after 10 or so minutes (or before then if the button is pressed twice). Forty-seven comforting sing-along songs, melodies, sounds and phrases are included so baby never gets bored.

There’s a volume-control button (by the battery compartment), and a soft, pulsing red light to help soothe baby.

Currently selling for under $15 at Amazon, the Bedtime Bear, which runs on two AA batteries (included), makes a great shower or new-baby gift. Buy it here.







Online homework helpers and learning activities

Our last two columns reviewed some of the learning websites for younger children. This week we look at homework helper sites for older children.

Fact Monster includes homework help for a variety of subjects, from geography to writing to math to science. Each topic includes facts, timelines, quizzes and other self-paced learning tools. The site, which is free to use, is text-based and easy to navigate.’s School Success offers not only homework help pegged by grade level, but also helpful articles on how parents can best work with their children’s teachers, dealing with back-to-school jitters, and curricula guides for different grade levels. It also has a flash-card maker, a spelling wizard, and learning activities by grade level.’s Zoom School has activities and quizzes for grade-school children across science, math, geography, and language arts. Although the site looks to be geared toward early-grade teachers, its activities can also be used by parents to help children directly.

BJ Pinchbeck’s Homework Helper, created by a child and his dad back in 1996, is a site aggregator with links to other websites that offer help in math, English, science and computers. Links avoid websites with excessive advertising, and tend to be the “best of the best” when it comes to online learning. Homework Helper includes links to sites that help grade-school, middle-school, and high-school students.

No matter what age and learning level your child has attained, there are plenty of websites to help both you and your child.

Make learning fun: Part 2
, ,

This is the second in our series on learning websites for children. Read Part 1 here.

A few more websites to acclimate the kids to the Season of School: is a favorite learning site among teachers and parents, but I found the navigation and sign-up process clunky (password authentication is a series of pictures, e.g.). Still, if you or your little one can figure it out, PBS kids offers lots of apps and games for preschoolers to teach letters, sounds, numbers and elements of science.

Sesame Street’s website, on the other hand, is a terrific, easy-to-navigate website for preschoolers, where kids can play learning games with their favorite Sesame Street characters. Many of the learning games mirror environments and activities that children learn in preschool, so this is a great site to familiarize younger children with the preschool experience.

The Kidz Page, which has been online since 1998, has thousands of free games, puzzles, art projects, and other various activities. Its learning-games page lists math games, word games, spot-the-difference games, and Sudoku games, among others. The interface is easy to learn, and navigation across the site is simple.

Next week: Homework help for older children.



Make learning fun: Part 1
, ,

Now’s the time of year when the kidlets are either back to school or getting ready to go back to school. If their brains have turned to mush over the long, hot summer, here are some websites to pique kids’ interests and teach them at the same time: was developed by a grade-school teacher and features hundreds of games and apps for children from pre-K to 5th grade. Games range from counting and letters for younger kids to ratios and geography for older ones. Banner advertising displays during most games, but a no-ad subscription is only $2.99/month.

highlightsThat perennial favorite of pediatricians’ offices, Highlights for Kids, has a terrific website at which kids can read stories from the magazine, hear and read listen-and-learn stories to develop reading skills, solve hidden-pictures games, and create science projects and crafts. Some of the games require adult registration, but all activities on the site are free. is another website with learning games that teach reading and math, although I found the navigation and rules for some of the games a bit confusing. I do like Funbrain’s index to games by type and grade-level, though, as well as its parents & kids intro to the site. Funbrain is free for users.

In the coming weeks Baby Tech will look at other learning websites that are popular among parents, teachers and children. If you have a favorite learning website that your child uses and loves, feel free to fill us in by sending an email to sue[@]



Spectra Baby Pumps: Portable and Quiet

With the highest ratings on Amazon and raves from new moms, the Spectra Baby series of breast pumps are getting a lot of attention. Many even seem to prefer them to their comparable Medela counterparts. There are two models of Spectra pumps available, in vastly different price ranges:

The Spectra Baby USA S2 is a quiet, battery operated model, complete with night light. It boasts a “closed system” so the milk goes nowhere near the pump itself, ensuring hygiene and motor performance. It has a maximum suction strength of 300mmHg and the ability to be used as a single or double pump. You can customize the speed and rhythm settings to make sure its running at a pace that’s most comfortable for you. It starts in “massage mode” to stimulate the milk letdown, similar to your baby’s sucking technique. You can also adjust whether you want it in letdown or expression mode, so you can switch as-needed.  It is portable, running on a replaceable lithium metal battery. It can be used as a single or double pump.

The Spectra Baby USA S1 is a little pricier at almost double the price of the S2 on Amazon. This model comes with a rechargeable battery and has a maximum suction strength of 350mmHg. Like the S2, it can be used as a single our double pump and is equipped with a timer and nightlight. It can be used with the rechargeable battery for one hour on full charge or plug. This model comes with a wider pace range and a mobile tote. Not sure if that’s worth the extra $100 or not. Most reviews say to stick with the S2 model.

Both Spectra models are considered “hospital grade.” Moms’ reviews say they are comfortable while pumping, extremely quiet (great for the office) and easily portable.spectra