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Baby Tech

Gadgets and new innovations for babies and their parents.

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A car-seat technology that alerts parents
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We’ve all read those horrible stories about babies’ being left in car seats by forgetful and/or overtired parents. Now Evenflo has come up with a solution to avert such tragedies wiScreen Shot 2015-07-26 at 1.27.28 PMth its SensorSafe Car Seat Technology, debuting this month at WalMart stores and online.

The SensorSafe technology is a Bluetooth-enabled wireless system that reminds a driver that baby is still in the car upon arrival at a destination. The transmitter is embedded in the seat’s chest clip, and also pings the driver if the seatbelt becomes undone during travel.

The receiver plug uses the connector port for power to monitor the SensorSafechest clip, and to determine if the car is ON or OFF. The SensorSafe reciever plug will not drain your vehicle’s battery, as it only uses a tiny amount of power, the same amount required to run your dashboard clock.

The SensorSafe car seat isn’t compatible with all cars seats, or cars; it is compatible ONLY with Evenflo® Embrace Infant Car Seats that carry a weight rating of greater than 30 pounds. The receiver plug works with any 2008 or newer gas or diesel equipped vehicle purchased in the U.S. or Canada. (You can contact 800-233-5921 to order a hybrid- or Stop/Start-compatible receiver.)

Watch a video of the SensorSafe technology in action here, or download the product FAQs.

A “cell phone” for baby
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Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 3.49.46 PMTired of baby-drool on your personal cellphone? Maybe it’s time to give baby her own. LeapFrog’s Chat and Count Cell Phone, currently available at Amazon for under $14 with free shipping for Amazon Prime members, will keep baby busy with its 15 phone activities.

Geared toward babies 18 months and older (although Amazon reviewers report babies as young as 12 months are able to use it), the Chat and Count cell phone plays sing-along songs when the music button is pressed, and has animated Scout recite numbers for each of the number buttons.

Children also learn conversational skills such as saying hello, how are you, nice to talk to you, and goodbye, and can trade messages and voicemails with puppy Scout by pressing the call button.

The phone, which runs on three AAA batteries (included), is made of durable plastic and the buttons are sized right for young fingers.

The LeapFrog Chat and Count Cell Phone is available here.

Baby will laugh & learn with this play puppy

 

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Fisher-Price’s Laugh & Learn Play Puppy with bonus CD will provide your little one with hours of creative learning play.

Geared toward ages 6 months through 3 years, the play puppy comes with two interactive modes that introduce baby to numbers, alphabet and parts of the body as well as singing songs like Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, This Little Puppy (This Little Piggy), Patty Cake and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

The Play Puppy runs on 3 AA batteries (included) and includes an on-off button located on the puppy’s left foot. The Play Puppy’s “heart” lights up when the sound is activated.

The Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy is currently available on Amazon for under $30 + $6 shipping. Purchase it here.

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.