username   password stay logged in   Become a Member
 
advertisement

Baby Tech

Gadgets and new innovations for babies and their parents.

Links to products may be affiliate links and earn money for this website. Read our full disclaimer.
Killer Apps for Kids: Part 1
, ,

We asked educator and BabyNames partner Kate Glinsmann for her favorite apps for children. This is Part 1 of her report:

The following apps are ones that I use with my English Language Learners who are in grades pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade. I think all kids at this age would benefit from and enjoy these apps. I try to make sure they all are academic in nature, although some might not seem like it at first. The kids really love using the iPads and look forward to Fridays, which is when I bring them out.

Interactive Alphabet ABC’s by Piikea St. LLC: this is an engaging app that my pre-kindergarten and kindergarten kids love. Each letter is named, the sound it makes is spoken, and then there is a picture of something that begins with that letter. Each one is interactive so the child can manipulate the scene in some way (or ways). It is a fun way to learn the alphabet. http://www.piikeastreet.com/apps/interactive-alphabet/

My PlayHome Stores, My PlayHome Schools, My PlayHome by PlayHome Software LTD, $2.99 each. These are great apps that encourage expressive language in children. They manipulate family members around the home, stores and school to engage in various activities with objects. The English Language Learners that I work with all love these apps because there is so much for them to do. As a teacher I love them because I can ask so many open ended questions that stimulate conversation. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-playhome/id439628153?mt=8

The Monster at the End of This Book…starring Grover! By Sesame Street. $4.99. This is an interactive version of the book. The story is read by Grover, and almost every page has the reader doing something to make Grover turn the page. Warning-this story can be a bit loud at times. J https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/monster-at-end-this-book…starring/id409467802?mt=8

 

Part 2 of Killer Apps for Kids will be posted on Friday, Jan. 23.

 

A scale for wiggly babies
, ,

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 2.17.58 PMThe Salter 914 Electronic Baby & Toddler Scale is a sturdy plastic scale with a large digital readout. It comes with a lock-in mechanism to secure the base to the platform even with the wiggliest babies.

The scale measures in half-ounce increments up to 44 pounds, and once your baby is standing you can remove the platform and have your child stand on the base for a weight reading.

The Hold function displays baby’s weight for 30 seconds after removing her from the scale, and the Zero funtion allows you to subtract the weight of a diaper or other clothing from baby’s weight reading. The scale runs on one 9-volt battery (not included), and includes an energy-saver off function to preserve battery life.

The Salter 914 Electronic Baby and Toddler scale is available here.

A chair that grows with your child
,

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 2.17.40 PMFisher-Price’s Laugh and Learn Smart Stages chair is designed to provide fun and educational activities for your little one based on his/her age and aptitude.

The chair, which plays songs and phrases when your baby sits or stands, includes three activity levels: The first level, for babies around a year old, is called Explore, and is geared toward early recognition of numbers and simple words like “up” or “down.”

The second level, Encourage, for babies around 18 months, teaches opposites and includes interactive activities. The third level, Pretend, is for toddlers around 2, and has prompts for creative playtime. All three levels include colors, shapes, numbers and counting activities.

Parents can program the chair according to their babies’ ages, or adjust the learning level manually. The chair, which runs on 3 AA batteries, also includes a manual adjustment for volume control, an empty compartment under the liftable seat, and a built-in book and “remote.”

The Laugh and Learn Smart Stages chair is available here.

Baby’s First Bluetooth
, ,

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 1.29.28 PM

I love my Bluetooth wireless headsets and own two of them. They come in handy for playing music or TV at night without bothering my neighbors, for doing household chores without being tethered to my audio source,  and for exercising accompanied by my favorite music.

So I was delighted to come across the LilGadgets Untangled Pro Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, which include all the features of grown-up headphones, but are tailored to younger ears and fingers.

The headphones, which have gotten a 5-star overall review from Amazon buyers, have a 10-hour charging life and a 180-hour standby; they come with a USB charger and a 3.5mm cable so you can use them wired to an audio device if the battery runs down. The headphones have a 30-ft range from their source device, and come with a one-year warranty.

The earphones and headband are made of soft, meshable fabric that’s friendly for young ears and heads. Although the official manufacturer’s recommendation is for use at age 4, many parents report that their 2 year olds use the headphones and love them.

The Untangled Pro Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are available here.

Countdown till Birthing Day
, ,

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 1.01.47 PM

Looking for a fun, yet inexpensive, baby-shower or new-grandparent gift? The Baby Edition Countdown Clock, currently priced at $13.95 on Amazon.com, fits the bill.

The countdown clock can be easily set to display birthing due dates and other milestone events. It comes with four template overlays for baby’s due date, baby’s first birthday, baby’s first Christmas, and first day of preschool.

As your child grows and learns to tell time, you can use the countdown clock to mark important future events.

An order form is included for purchasing additional overlay templates for first day of school, summer vacation, chanukah, and braces off.

The clock runs on one AA battery (not included) and weighs a mere 6.4 ounces. Instructions to set countdowns are available online. The countdown clock can be purchased here.

Little Apps for Little Hands
, , ,

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 5.19.37 PM

 

Tired of your little one grabbing your phone or tablet? V Tech has an app for that–or rather, a bunch of apps. The Little Apps Tablet provides hours of fun and learning for 2- to 5-year olds (although Amazon reviewers report babies as young as 18 months being able to use it).

The electronic tablet comes with a color-changing screen, musical keyboard, and applications that teach counting, words, and letters. There are also four interactive apps included with the tablet: music play, a calendar activity, a pretend camera game, and a fun question and answer chat feature.

Two AA batteries (included) serve as the power source. The tablet measures 11.8 inches by 9.5 inches and is two inches thick. At only 1.2 pounds, it can be carried around by your child. (Many parents say their kids love using it on car trips.)

The Little Apps Tablet is available here.

Lullaby your baby with a Munchkin melody
, , ,

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 1.33.15 PMIdeal for restless babies or to drown out surrounding noise, the Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System is a low-cost integrated music-and-light show that helps lull little ones to sleep.

The sound system includes 10 comforting sounds, including Heartbeat, Ocean, White Noise and Rain. Lullabies include: Rock-a-Bye, Hush Little Baby and Brahms Lullaby. Mozart Songs include Mozart Lullaby, Twinkle Twinkle and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Three image cartridges are included to play soothing images on the nursery wall or ceiling: Soothing Sea, Calming Rainforest and Sleepy Sky. There’s also a soft-blue nightlight at the base of the unit.

The sleep timer allows you to set the running time for 15, 30 or 60 minutes (the Munchkin can also play continuously) and the voice-activation option turns on the unit when baby wakes up and makes a noise.

The Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System plugs into any AC outlet and comes with a 4-ft cord. It’s available here.

ClearBlue Monitor: Fertility-Friendly
, ,

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 1.02.12 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 1.02.01 PMThe ClearBlue Fertility Monitor is an easy-to-use fertility tracker that detects both LH and estrogen hormones, and provides indicators for Low, High and Peak fertility days.

It’s non-invasive, and the manufacturer contends that results are comparable to serum-hormone measurements and ultrasound technology in gauging fertility–yet you can test yourself at home.

Test strips are sold separately.

The ClearBlue Fertility Monitor stores up to six months of your daily records at a time, and provides advance notice for peak fertility. It tells you when to test and the level of fertility every day, requiring no subjective interpretation.

(Note that the monitor does not accurately work for women with PCOS, and for women taking some antibiotics.)

Instructions are as follows:

  1. On the first day of your period, you will press the M button to let the monitor know a new cycle has begun.
  2. Each day, you must switch on the Monitor and follow its directions.
  3. On mornings when the Monitor requires further information about your hormone changes, a test will be requested.
  4. Simply remove the test stick from its wrapper. (The majority of women need 10 test sticks each cycle. Women with irregular or long cycles may have to use 20 test sticks each cycle.) Point the Sampling End of the test stick downward in your urine for 3 seconds.
  5. Take the cap off the handle and place it over the Sampling End of the test stick and remove any excess urine.
  6. Holding the test stick by the cap, insert the test into the Monitor’s Test Stick Slot, pressing down until it clicks into place.
  7. The display will flash for approximately 5 minutes while reading your information.
  8. After 5 minutes, the Remove Test Stick symbol will flash. Once you have removed the test stick, your fertile status will be displayed.

The ClearBlue Fertility Monitor is available here.

 

 

Keep track of your kids with the Filip watch

filip watch

A wearable tracker can locate your kids wherever they are, combining GPS, cell tower location, and Wi-Fi triangulation to provide the most accurate location information indoors and out.

“Parents want to keep in touch,” says Filip Technologies, which claims its FiLIP is the first location and communication device of its size in the world, “all contained safely within one small wristwatch.”

Why not a phone? The company cites a 2014 Family Communications Survey conducted online by Harris Poll in August among over 2,000 U.S. adults which found more than 20 million parents (85 percent of parents with children ages 6-12 in their household) do not believe it is appropriate to buy their child a smartphone until they are at least 11 years old. This is an increase of 21 percent in two years (64% in 2012). Also, “half of these parents find it at least somewhat challenging to stay connected with their kids during a typical weekday if needed while they are at school, participating in after school activities, etc.”

The first version of the wearable locator debuted in 2013; the upcoming FiLIP 2 has improved durability and a redesigned, sizable and closeable wristband, the company says. And the new app “makes it easier for families to stay connected and for parents to know where their children are.”

It’s available at an introductory discount of $100 here.

 

Glow App now helps post-pregnancy
,

glow nurture

From prenatal to postpartum: We covered Glow in September when it provided ovulation and fertility tracking, but now the company has added a whole ’nother niche to its service: First, Glow would help you get pregnant; then Glow Nurture gave pregnancy tips; now it takes on the behavior and feelings you might experience after giving birth.

“The ‘4th trimester’ of a pregnancy can be just as crucial as the first three,” the company says. “Glow Nurture is proud to become the one and only pregnancy app to provide postpartum support. Glow Nurture Postpartum has been designed to take care of you, while you take care of your baby. We will provide you with the most relevant insights, up-to-date research, parenting tips, content from the funniest mommy blogs and tasks that help you heal faster.”

There’s more information here.