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Baby Tech

Gadgets and new innovations for babies and their parents.

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The mother of all body pillows

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 12.07.51 PMLeachco’s Snoogle Total Body Pillow is the top-selling body pillow on Amazon, thanks to its ergonomically designed comfort and support for moms-to be.

Designed by a registered nurse and mom, the Snoogle’s flexible shape conforms to the shape of your body, providing support for your back, hips and tummy while keeping your knees and hips in a neutral position.

Once baby’s born, the Snoogle can be used as a nursing pillow, and then again as a cozy spot for toddlers to nap. The Snoogle comes with a removable, washable cover (replacements covers are available on Amazon), and weighs 5.5 pounds.

The Snoogle Total Body Pillow is available here.

And on keyboard…
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Ginzick’s Kids Music DJ Style Playmat with Keyboard & Microphone, currently available at Amazon for under $40 (with free shipping for Prime members), is the type of toy I wish had been around back in olden days when I was a kid. (I’m tempted to get one now, since the product is pitched as “fun for the whole family” and does seem to be just that.)

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 3.27.15 PMGeared to ages 3 and up, the Playmat is a self-inclusive DJ system that serves as a karaoke machine, a DJ sound system, and a one-piece band. In addition to the keyboard, the Playmat includes eight instrument sounds (including guitar, saxophone, harp and violin) and four different drums, and you can plug in an MP3 player or your phone to play tunes through the Playmat.

The Playmat, which runs on four AA batteries (not included) has an energy-saver function that turns the unit off when not in use, and a volume control. A headset is also included for your budding DJ.

Purchase the DJ Style Playmat with Keyboard & Microphone here.

“Trying for a Baby” Tech
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When I was trying to conceive–back before the Internet or smart phones or apps–I got serious. I’m a programmer so I had to do it by the numbers. So I whipped up a LOTUS 1-2-3 spreadsheet (I know, I’m dating myself) and plotted my basal body temperature, bodily changes, and even the dates and times of our marital sex bouts. My friends thought I was crazy…until two months later, KA-BAM a ocmonitor“BFP” as we call it in the TTC world. BFP= Big Fat Positive, TTC=Trying to Conceive.

Fast forward to the 21st century and now there’s an app for that. Actually, there’s an integrated website, mobile and app for that called This website creates a TTC “Journey” for a couple who is trying to conceive and creates an easy interface to enter all of your physical and nutritional data in order to improve the chances of conceiving a baby.

I would have totally geeked out over this when I was pregnant. Each time you login, it prompts you for the information it needs to give you recommendations on when to have sex. I know, not the most romantic way to get it on with the spouse, but we’ve got a job to do here and OvulationCalendar is there to help you do it!

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As you can see by the screenshot, above, it asks you to input info about your diet, temperature, health and even mood! Although I’m beyond my baby making years, I played around with the modules and found them to be  self-explanatory and extremely easy to use. The site even has a blog for parents who are TTC and expecting with articles like “When Should I Take Maternity Leave?” and “What Are My Chances of Having Twins?” There is no cost to sign up or use the program. For more information, visit

“ tracks our users cycle and lifestyle data in order for us to make accurate predictions on when they are actually ovulating. This significantly improves their chances of conceiving” Phil Druce, Co-Founder

A homework helper for younger spellers
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The Franklin KID-1240 Children’s Talking Dictionary & Spell Corrector, currently available for under $50 at, offers personalized greetings, phonetic spell corrections, a rhyme finder, and 5 word-building games that include different skills levels.

Geared to children ages 6 and up, the unit runs on 4 AAA batteries (not included) and comes with 44,000 vocabulary words, as well as a guide to writing cursive for little hands. A parent can create customized spelling lists and have a child learn those words through the unit’s games.

Reviewers on Amazon are particularly pleased with the Talking Dictionary & Spell Corrector’s help in aiding children who have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, and for children for whom English is not the primary language.

The Children’s Talking Dictionary and Spell Corrector is available here.

For your budding Buddy Rich
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Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 3.20.51 PMVTech’s Kidibeat Drum Set, available on for under $20, provides little ones with hours of jamming, fun and learning.

The drum set works in three modes: free-style, playing along with nine pre-set songs (the drums light up as a learning guide to the songs), and learning about letters and numbers through structured play.

Geared to ages 2-5, the Kidibeat Drum Set runs on two AA batteries (included) and weighs two pounds. It includes a volume control for sound-sensitive parents, and comes with two drumsticks (but tiny hands work as well).

You can purchase the VTech Kidibeat Drum Set here.

Everything a mom-to-be needs in one place
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WebMD’s Pregnancy app, which is free foScreen Shot 2015-04-02 at 12.44.37 PMr downloading and runs on iOS, has just about everything you need to guide you through your pregnancy. The app comes with 626 pregnancy-related articles, 129 quizzes, 104 tips, 23 videos, 10 tools, and five slideshows.

After you download the app, take the video tour to show the app’s features, then navigate the simple-to-use home-page menu, which includes checklists for you and your doctor, an appointments calendar, a symptom tracker, a contraction time, a kick counter, and entries for your vital statistics throughout your pregnancy. There’s also a journaling feature and a section to store your weekly belly pics.

Its Pregnancy 101 section is what makes this app stand out among pregnancy apps; it includes articles on nutrition, exercise, labor and delivery, prenatal testing, high-risk pregnancies,  and health and safety.

The WebMD Pregnancy app runs on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch and is available here.

A science kit for future electrical engineers
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Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.17.46 PMElenco’s Electronic Playground Learning Center 130, currently available at for under $35, is a comprehensive science kit for older children (ages 8 and up, with adult supervision needed for the younger end of that range) that teaches them the nuts and bolts of electricity through creative play.

The kit includes learning activities that include teaching about magnetism and physics in addition to basic principles of electricity. Projects include building an AM broadcast radio station, an electric organ, an LED strobe light, logic circuits, and a metronome.

A PDF of instructions and activities is available on the manufacturer’s website here. The Electronic Playground Learning Center 130 can be ordered on Amazon.

Smart Watch for Smart Kids
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Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 1.18.52 PMVTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch, selling for around $50, isn’t just a tool to help your child learn time, but also serves as a pushbutton camera (with customizable filters and frames for pictures), a voice recorder and mini-video (60-second) recorder.

The Kidizoom Smartwatch comes with four games, voice-altering effects, and more than 50 face designs. Time displays include both analog and digital, and the watch includes alarm and timer features.

The watch includes a USB cable that lets you charge it, as well as upload pictures from the watch to your computer or tablet.

Parental controls are included for game-playing limits, and the wristband is made with endurable rubber. Games that come with the Kidizoon Smartwatch are Super Detective, Rotating Puzzle, Finger Dance, and Time Master–and parents can purchase and download more games through VTech’s website.

The Kidizoom Smartwatch is available here.

Write On: Penmanship for Little Ones
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Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.53.02 PMLeapFrog Toys’ Deluxe Writing Workbook with Mr. Pencil is an absolute steal at $7.99 with free shipping via Amazon Prime.

The instructional toy utilizes a rechargeable, electronic pen to guide your child through the process of learning how to write letters while following a 20-page story with 45 tracing and writing activities that are reinforced through audio responses.

Geared toward 4 to 8 year olds, the Writing Workbook teaches both uppercase and lowercase letter-writing, and includes a two-octave musical keyboard as well as 26 tracing sheets. The pen’s recognition feature can tell where a child left off and trigger audible cues to help learn correct style and form.

The Writing Workbook is part of LeapFrog’s LeapReader series, so if your child works through the activities in the Writing Workbook you can purchase or download other age-appropriate activities.

The Deluxe Writing Workshop with Mr. Pencil is available here.


Making music-lovers in the womb

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 2.45.26 PMWant to woo your in-utero baby with some sweet classical music, or with recordings of baby’s parents’ and siblings’ voices? Look no further than Lullabelly’s Prenatal Music Belt, currently available at Amazon for under $60.

The Prenatal Music Belt plugs into any type of portable music player–iPhone, iPod, CD player, etc.–and comes with an audio splitter and headphones so you can listen along with baby. The belt utilizes safe-sound-level technology, so that the maximum volume level never exceeds that of a normal  audible conversation.

The speaker inside the belt is removable, so the adjustable belt can be washed, and the belt is made of an ultra-soft fabric and attached by a long, wide strip of velcro.

The Lullabelly Prenatal Music Belt comes in a wide range of colors and is available here.