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Baby Tech

Gadgets and new innovations for babies and their parents.

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iPad addicted infants ‘unable to use toy building blocks’?

baby ipad

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers warn that rising numbers of children are unable to perform simple tasks such as using building blocks because of overexposure to iPads, according to a report by the UK’s Telegraph.

Rising numbers of infants lack the motor skills needed to play with building blocks because of an “addiction” to tablet computers and smartphones, the Telegraph adds. “Many children aged just three or four can “swipe a screen” but have little or no dexterity in their fingers after spending hours glued to iPads, it was claimed.”

Parents should turn home WiFi off overnight to stop children playing online games on iPads, the association advises.

You can read the full story here.

 

Babies on FaceTime: what are they thinking?

skyping baby

When adults and even children use video conferencing, we of course recognize that the screen is merely showing us an image of someone far away as we speak. Babies? Not so much.

Science News reports on a new study looking at how young children respond to video calls. “Lots of families use video calling to connect with long-distance relatives, but scientists don’t know how babies handle the technology,” the article notes.

The researchers at Georgetown University are studying how young children interact with video communication technology like Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts. “There’s almost no research that explores how children under age 2 are using video calling at home, yet these are the children who are most likely to benefit from it,” they said.

The full article is here — as the reporter and her child participate in the study.

 

If only they worked: “Mute button” pacifiers

mute buttonTwo companies are offering tongue-in-cheek pacifiers with “mute buttons” to muffle a babies incessant sounds.

“Sometimes you just need your little angel to be a little less…noisy,” says Personalized Pacifiers. Its Mute Button Pacifier “is the perfect way to please your baby,” the company says, and is made of non-toxic, hygienically formed, natural bite-resistant materials designed to form naturally in the mouth, “satisfying babies need for supplemental sucking and providing parents with peace of mind.” It’s $5 here.

Big Mouth Toys’ Mute Button Pacifier looks more like a real mute button. It’s BPA free and exceeds CPSC safety standards, the company adds, and costs $11 here.

Fun ways to early reading skills

leapfrog alphazooWith the AlphaZoo Spinner, children can “press and spin their way to early reading skills,” LeapFrog says.

Toddlers can listen and learn the names of the letters when in Letter mode, and the names and sounds of animals when in Animal mode, “all while building gross and fine motor skills. Children learn more when they’re having fun,” the company adds.

It’s $20 here.

 

Free “one-stop app” for parenting advice

dr jen app

Pediatrician Dr. Jen offers a new free app for your mobile device that provides parental tips and advice.

Baby Bundle is billed as a the first comprehensive app that “helps new parents be the best parents they want to be by simplifying the process of recording milestones and medical information, and delivering guidance and reassurance from Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 11.41.13 AMThe Parenting Guide includes expert tips from Dr. Jen and is particularly relevant and useful for expectant parents. The Monitoring Tools let you easily record your baby’s daily activities (sleeping, feeding, diaper changes, and pumping/expression.) The Growth Tracker records weight, length, and head circumference.
There’s also a vaccinations and check-up planner, and a photo organizer.

Dr. Jen is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and mother of three children.
The free app is here.

 

Sesame Street whenever your child wants it

Sesame Go

Could this app help your child prepare for school? Studies show preschoolers who watch Sesame Street perform significantly better than those who don’t, the Sesame Workshop says.

With Sesame Go, your children can instantly watch hundreds of episodes of Sesame Street, Sesame Street Classics, and Pinky Dinky Doo episodes. The shows are presented in a secure, ad-free, and child-friendly environment. They can watched on a PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet. “Sesame Go’s video player was specially customized with little hands in mind,” the developers add, saying its “colorful, easy-to-control buttons will make it simple for your child to use.”

The video subscription service is $4 a month, with a 2-week free trial.

Baby’s Exerciser and Learning Center

evenflo playpenThe “Life in The Amazon” Triple Fun Active Learning Center “offers parents a safe alternative to walkers,” maker Evenflo says.

The center has eleven age-appropriate toys that “help your baby achieve important developmental milestones,” the company adds, “with rock, spin and bounce actions that provide your baby with plenty of exercise to strengthen legs, back and neck muscles” to help develop fine motor skills, object exploration, and tactile development.

It’s good from newborn to 24 months with a 3-position height adjustment that “grows with your baby.” The playmat, “exersaucer,” and activity table are one unit, and fold to “significantly smaller to make travel and storage easy.”

It’s $90 here.

 

Laugh & Learn Laptop

fisher price laptop

The Laugh & Learn Smart Screen Laptop “makes learning fun,” Fisher-Price says. “Power up a world of learning fun with a baby-appropriate laptop that’s just their size.”

The small device has nine colorful keys that are easy to press, and “bring learning to life on the animated screen so baby can learn numbers, shapes, colors, object names, initial letters and more.” Character comes to life when the lid is flipped open, Fisher-Price adds, and there are sing-along songs, words, sounds and exciting activities, in both English and Spanish.

It’s $20 here.

Print My Baby delivers easy and affordable personalized products
,

pmb screen

Your beautiful baby’s face would look great on a new blanket, wall art, phone case, or t-shirt — but making your own personalized product could be costly or difficult… until now.

PrintMyBaby is a free iPhone app with which you can easily select a photo, choose an item, and instantly see onscreen what it will look like when it arrives at your home. It takes only a few clicks to complete your order. Product prices are among the lowest available, and they guarantee your satisfaction with the quality.

It’s currently US-only, and an Android version is in the works. Give it a look here for free.

 

Baby jumper with music and zoo theme

FP jumperoo

Toddlers and babies need to move, and the Luv U Zoo Jumperoo can make it more fun for them to do so.

With sounds, lights, and the opportunity for plenty of movement, the Jumperoo is a fun, entertaining way for baby to develop crucial motor skills, Fisher Price says. It’s designed with a sturdy, freestanding base, and features a spinning seat with bright and colorful toys to touch, tug, and pull.

The seat height is adjustable to grow with your baby, while the soft spring covers are safe for little fingers, the company says. “Best of all, the Jumperoo rewards baby’s jumping with lights, sound effects and music so baby is encouraged to keep jumping. Whether your baby is turning, jumping, or grasping, the Jumperoo encourages gross motor development, hand-eye coordination, and introduces baby to a variety of textures, shapes, and colors.”

Normally $100, it’s $77 here.