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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“Bath time can be reading time with the Sing and Squeak Bath Book,” Vtech says. “This soft, waterproof book actually floats in the tub.”
There’s also a light-up music button for sing-along songs — and a rubber ducky button for funny, squeaking sounds. Two electronic buttons introduce first words, fun sounds, and music.
The short rhyming songs promote language development, the company says, and the playful sing-along songs encourage parent-child interaction.
It’s $15 here.
Fisher-Price says its new baby seat “is soothing and entertaining, with a touch of technology.”
There’s a 7×5-inch mirror “to reflect your baby’s smiling face, and promote facial recognition and a sense of self as baby develops,” Fisher-Price says. When you put your iPad into the mirror case, it can provide stimulation and engagement for your baby, while protecting your device from sticky fingers — or unintentionally navigating to other apps. Speaking of apps, with the guidance of child development experts, Fisher-Price developed free iPad apps especially for use with this seat.
It’s not just for staring at a screen: The toy bar puts dangling activity toys always within reach — and it’s adjustable or removable.
And finally, the comfy seat reclines to three different positions, with a soft head-support. It’s $67 here.
The Letter Factory Phonics has 26 singing letters to bring the alphabet to life, LeapFrog says.
It’s based on the award-winning Letter Factory DVD, but doesn’t require a disc player. Instead, “little learners place letter tiles in the “factory” to hear songs that teach the corresponding letter names and sounds,” LeapFrog says.
The learning system has helped more than 7 million children practice phonics in a fun way, the company adds. The tactile play with the individual letter tiles helps reinforce the curriculum.
It’s $20 here.
Baby monitor for iPhone
Mar 20, 2014 by Paul W.
“By reassuring you that your baby is resting peacefully,” Belkin says, a monitor “allows you to use your free time more productively. You’ll be able to tend to household tasks, catch up with friends, or enjoy a quiet moment to yourself while your baby is resting.”
Of course there are plenty of baby monitor systems available, but the WeMo from Belkin works directly with your iPhone. “You’ve already got everything you need,” Belkin says. “WeMo Baby works with your existing WiFi router” and an Apple mobile, “so there’s no need to carry an extra device.”
Actually, it works with iPads and iPod Touch iOS devices as well, turning them into a monitor with which the company says you can “hear your baby from the backyard, garage, anywhere.”
And unlike a traditional baby monitor, the WeMo doesn’t have a range limit. Since the device works with mobile Internet networks, you can stay connected anywhere your mobile device has data service or access to WiFi. “So whether you’re spending a night on the town or traveling for work, you can use your smartphone or tablet to check in on your baby.”
Also, “for additional peace of mind,” the from the WeMo is encrypted, which means it can’t be picked up by someone else’s mobile device. “You won’t have to worry about someone eavesdropping on your baby’s room.” It’s $40 here.
Yep, Fisher-Price is still making the classic See ’N Say toy. “Children love animals, and The Farmer Says engages children by providing colorful images and sounds of animals,” FP says.
The toy teaches kids fun facts about 16 different animals, Fisher-Price adds. “Your child just points the arrow and pull the lever.” Kids can also play quiz games, and sing along with the melodies from Old MacDonald and Farmer in the Dell. It’s $15 here.
(The original first came out in 1965. Hey, so did I!)
Dads-to-be feeling a bit unconnected from the baby in the womb? Designer Marco Righetto has come up with a perhaps-too-novel approach to the problem: a dress worn by the expecting mother that senses baby’s kicks, and a bracelet worn by the father that transmits that action in a way he feels immediately.
“Aura is a set of wearable devices for expecting parents,” he says, “a dress and a bracelet. It enables non-verbal communication between expecting parents. Fetal movement is translated into a light message for the mother-to-be, and a haptic one for her partner.”
It’s just a concept now, apparently. There’s more information here.