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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Most every adult has had the experience of being driven nuts by a toddler toy that plays the same song over. And over. And over. Ralph Waldo Emerson wasn’t referring to tykes in his quote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…”–but it’s an apt description nevertheless. My niece just started college, yet I still remember the opening drum riff of the Mickey Mouse marching-band toy she got on her first birthday.
So it’s no wonder that Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes is currently the top-rated toy on Amazon.com. It’s priced at well under $10, comes with seven sweet extended classical music pieces to keep baby busy or relaxed, as the case may be (and Mommy/Daddy sane). It has a carry handle and lights that sync with the music, and uses 2 AA batteries (included). It’s lightweight–only 3.7 ounces–and baby can toggle through the music selection by pressing an easy-to-use button.
Take Along Tunes features “baby-friendly” versions music by composers Chopin, Vivaldi, Mozart & Rossini, among others. Although the manufacturer recommends it for babies 3 months and older, many parents report using it even earlier.
Buy it here.
Having a new baby introduces a lot of complications — including sending photos of your infant to all your friends and relatives, on all the various services they might be using.
A new service named KidPost aims to simplify that for you, by consolidating all the shots on all the sites, and sending them in one email message to those people such as your grandparents who might not be the most tech-savvy…
You can still share photos wherever you like — just add the hashtag “#kidpost” and those pictures are later consolidated into a daily message. The end result: “Everyone in the family — and only those folks — gets to see the photos you post automatically.”
The service is here.
Take a hike, baby!
Nov 16, 2014 by Paul W.
Some baby carriers area almost baby-sized — but the Bitybean is an “ultracompact” carrier that can fit in purse when not in use.
It’s made of machine-washable nylon/polyester, with an optional fleece infant liner.
It weighs just 8 ounces and is “smaller than a water bottle,” but it will let you front- or rear-carry for infants 3 months old, from 8-40 pounds, with anatomically designed shoulder and waist straps. It’s “comfortable, convenient, and thoughtfully engineered,” the company says. “The versatility of this carrier allow parents the freedom to be ready for anything – from shopping to hiking, to travel or family adventures.”
It’s $60 here.
All right, you’re asking, “What the heck is a Bilibo and why does it come in two sizes anyhow?”
The Bilibo “combines a rocking chair, spinning top, cradle and tunnel in one single toy,” says its maker Kid O.
Bilibo arouses curiosity, engages the imagination and playfully trains basic motor skills and balance, the company adds. It’s designed to encourage imaginative play with indoor and outdoor activities. “Our toys engage and stimulate children again and again with a rich variety of shapes, colors, and sizes — so the possibilities for open-ended, creative play are limitless.”
There are multiple sizes and colors. The Kid O Bilibo Yellow is $24 here.
Start singing, baby!
Nov 5, 2014 by Paul W.
This gadget is more than just an amplified microphone: turn the mic on “and a glowing baby-animal will appear on the mirror with a mic in the hand” to join your tot in a tune.
And it’s more than just songs: With its Activity Cube Center, “everywhere baby turns there is something to do and learn,” maker WolVol says. There’s a toy phone, a steering wheel with real car sounds, and more.
It’s $50 here.
3D “printing” is a new manufacturing technique that sprays out solid material like an inkjet printer, building it up layer by layer into a larger object.
The first 3D printed items were simple lumpy toys. But the technology has advanced fast — and now surgeons have used a 3D model of an infant’s heart to prepare for life-saving surgery.
No, they did not *make* a new heart on a 3D printer! Maybe someday…
Instead the doctors at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City worked from MRI scan data to make a 3D model on which they could better see how it was “riddled with holes and structured unusually,” The Independent reports. “Surgery was going to be complicated and dangerous, but this 3D printed heart provided the surgeons the opportunity to study the organ, and develop a detailed surgery strategy.”
The full story is here.