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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Puppy plays to learn
Jan 2, 2014 by Paul W.
Baby’s best friend? You child can start learning A-B-Cs and 1-2-3’s with this toy dog, which “invites baby to learn through singing, dancing and playing.”
The Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy comes with a CD of tunes, and also plays ten sing-along songs and games. “The cuddly pal enhances baby’s sense of security, inviting baby to hug and express friendship,” says maker Fisher-Price.
It’s $22 here. (affiliate link)
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is unfortunately a very real concern — and anything that can help alleviate that worry can be worth looking into. The latest gadget we’ve heard of for this is one of the simplest to use, and also one of the most portable.
The Snuza clips over the waistband of the baby’s diaper, and monitors movement and breathing. If none is sensed for 15 seconds, it vibrates to stimulate the baby. If movement is not detected within 5 seconds of the vibration, an audible alarm is activated. There are no wires or cords, and it’s made with hypo-allergenic, medical grade plastics.
It’s $100 here. (affiliate link)
“Soft, flexible plastic with bright primary colors make this Ball fun and easy for little fingers to bend, squeeze, grasp, and roll,” says Baby Einstein.
The Bendy Ball also has a rolling Rattle Ball inside inside to add additional sounds and visual stimulation to the toy.
It’s $7 here. (affiliate link)
Chewing and Winking
Jan 2, 2014 by Paul W.
Looking for something a bit simpler for that brand-new baby? Manhattan Toy says its Winkel is a slightly sophisticated chew toy, a “mesmerizing maze of safe, soft, continuous tubes perfect for a teething baby to chew on.”
Not only will babies “be engaged and amused by the responsive rattle,” the company adds, but caregivers can “safely refrigerate this pliable plastic toy to produce a soothing teether.” One customer review says it helped her baby “develop two-handed play (an early developmental milestone) well ahead of time.”
It’s $13 here. (affiliate link)
Robot teaches tots
Dec 18, 2013 by Paul W.
“With his quirky personality, rockin’ dance moves, and funny responses,” developer Vtech says, “your child will love interacting” with its robot toy. Cogsley has an animated LCD screen, as well as mechanical moving parts, and “is the perfect learning robot friend.”
Moving parts on Cogsley include twistable ears, spinning nose and eyes, moving arms, twisting body, and moving eyebrows and mouth.
Cogsley comes with 30 “chips” — round plastic tokens with letters, words, and pictures, each of which trigger a variety of responses including movements, sounds, images, and fun animations on his LCD screen. Cogsley’s sound detector is activated by clapping, talking, and singing.
Cogsley also has “surprise responses” to enhance interactive play, the company says. “The robot will help tots learn about letters, counting, words, manners, and more.”
It measure about 5x9x12 inches, and is $72 here. (Affiliate link.)
There are lots of cases for iPads — Jennifer and I each have ours in fake leather that makes them look like hardback books — but this one looks to be the toughest yet.
The Khomo Safekids is made with dense heavy-duty foam (the same kind used in the soles of high-end sneakers, the company says). It can withstand considerable wear-and-tear, and provide extreme shock protection. The thick foam fully covers the back, sides and extends above the surface of the iPad’s screen, which means that the screen will remain safe from scratches if set facedown.
The handle provides a secure grip fro the iPad, and can be folded back to become a stand.
It’s regularly $60, but can be had for $20 here on Amazon. (Affiliate link.)