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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How will your genetics combine with those of your spouse? A new service can emulate your potential embryo by virtually mixing DNA.
The technique is primarily aimed at letting parents screen out genetic disorders. But GenePeeks’ science will also, according to its patent, show eye and skin pigmentation, height and waist size, and more.
The company’s Matchright service will be available in two US fertility clinics later this month.
New Scientist has the full story here.
Snap and Surprise camera
Apr 30, 2014 by Paul W.
No, it doesn’t actually take a picture. The Snap and Surprise camera is all about “colorful role-play,” Vtech says. It has fun mechanical features, such as a light-up lens your baby can spin, and a slider “to choose images for imitative play.”
When the shutter button is pressed, it doesn’t snap an exposure, but a “cute puppy pops out of hiding for some peek-a-boo fun.” The Snap and Surprise Camera “is sure to make your baby smile.”
It’s $12 here.
Translating a baby’s cry
Apr 30, 2014 by Paul W.
Why is your baby crying? Some scientists believe they can translate the variations in the crying to determine just what the infant would like to communicate. And now you can understand as well with the Biloop Cry Translator.
In 3 seconds it will tell you the reason for crying, the developer claims.
The CryTranslator is medically tested and has been praised by pediatricians and professionals in the sector, the maker says. It’s a simple and lightweight device that’s designed so you can handle it with one hand and attend to your baby with the other.
It’s $80 here.
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.
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.
Two 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.