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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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.
“Children learn more when they’re having fun,” LeapFrog says. The company’s toys “help your child learn about reading, writing, numbers, colors, matching, shapes and manners.”
“Read With Me Scout” is a “cuddly companion that provides the perfect interactive introduction to reading,” LeapFrog says. “The plush puppy pal” reads from 5 included books, and then asks questions to engage kids and deepen their comprehension. “This adorable introduction-to-reading experience is designed by our learning experts to inspire and entertain early readers everywhere.”
You can also switch the puppy into sleepy-time mode for relaxing stories, and 8 minutes of lullabies. It’s $24 here.
Scooping each mouthful of baby food out of bowl or jar can be tedious. This simple gadget can make feeding much simpler: just load the food into the handle, and then squirt out each individual mouthful directly into the spoon!
The Squirt Spoon dispenses baby food “one bite at a time,” maker Boon says, and it’s especially convenient for one-handed feeding, or when you’re on-the-go. There’s less mess made as well.
The Boon Squirt Silicone Baby Food Dispensing Spoon is dishwasher safe, and free of BPA, phthalate, and PVC. It’s $8 here.