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Baby Tech

Gadgets and new innovations for babies and their parents.

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A Childbirth Tutorial for Those Stuck at Home
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Childbirth: A Multimedia Course & Resource Kit is a CD that was developed by a family physician and a registered nurse who teaches childbirth classes as a guide for pregnant women as well as for their partners and caretakers.

Its eight lessons include: 1. Your Last Weeks of Pregnancy (relaxation techniques, breathing, exercises, labor induction), 2. Early, Active and Transition Labor (breathing techniques, comfort measures, timing contractions, medical interventions, fetal monitoring, analgesics), 3. Pushing (breathing methods, pushing positions, episiotomies, forceps and vacuum use), 4. Delivering the Placenta (expelling the placenta, massaging the uterus, cord blood testing), 5. Special Situations (cesarean sections, breech and multiple births), 6. Postpartum Care of Yourself (physical changes, diet, exercise, sex life), 7. Care of Your Newborn (bathing, colic, cord care, diaper changing, sleeping, spitting up), 8. Feeding Your Newborn (breast feeding instructions and demonstrations, expressing and storing breast milk, breast care, formula preparation and feeding, feeding cautions).

Each lesson includes video clips, text and images demonstrating key concepts of delivery, infant and mother care, as well as an optional self-assessment. The resource kit that accompanies the CD contains birth-plan templates, a baby-shower planning guide, doctor-visit templates, and a video of an actual birth. The self-paced tutorial makes it easy for parents with hectic schedules or who are on bedrest to find out the nuts-and-bolts of prenatal and postnatal care, and also serves as a refresher course for subsequent pregnancies.

Purchase it here.



Baby’s First Music Player
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Most every adult has had the experience of being driven nuts by a toddler toy that plays the same song over. And over. And over. Ralph Waldo Emerson wasn’t referring to tykes in his quote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…”–but it’s an apt description nevertheless. My niece just started college, yet I still remember the opening drum riff of the Mickey Mouse marching-band toy she got on her first birthday.

So it’s no wonder that Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes is currently the top-rated toy on It’s priced at well under $10, comes with seven sweet extended classical music pieces to keep baby busy or relaxed, as the case may be (and Mommy/Daddy sane). It has a carry handle and lights that sync with the music, and uses 2 AA batteries (included). It’s lightweight–only 3.7 ounces–and baby can toggle through the music selection by pressing an easy-to-use button.

Take Along Tunes features “baby-friendly” versions music by composers Chopin, Vivaldi, Mozart & Rossini, among others. Although the manufacturer recommends it for babies 3 months and older, many parents report using it even earlier.

Buy it here.




Send those baby pics more simply


Having a new baby introduces a lot of complications — including sending photos of your infant to all your friends and relatives, on all the various services they might be using.

A new service named KidPost aims to simplify that for you, by consolidating all the shots on all the sites, and sending them in one email message to those people such as your grandparents who might not be the most tech-savvy…

You can still share photos wherever you like — just add the hashtag “#kidpost” and those pictures are later consolidated into a daily message. The end result: “Everyone in the family — and only those folks — gets to see the photos you post automatically.”

The service is here.

Take a hike, baby!


Some baby carriers area almost baby-sized — but the Bitybean is an “ultracompact” carrier that can fit in purse when not in use.

It’s made of machine-washable nylon/polyester, with an optional fleece infant liner.

It weighs just 8 ounces and is “smaller than a water bottle,” but it will let you front- or rear-carry for infants 3 months old, from 8-40 pounds, with anatomically designed shoulder and waist straps. It’s “comfortable, convenient, and thoughtfully engineered,” the company says. “The versatility of this carrier allow parents the freedom to be ready for anything – from shopping to hiking, to travel or family adventures.”

It’s $60 here.


Both Big and Mini Bilibos


All right, you’re asking, “What the heck is a Bilibo and why does it come in two sizes anyhow?”

The Bilibo “combines a rocking chair, spinning top, cradle and tunnel in one single toy,” says its maker Kid O.

Bilibo arouses curiosity, engages the imagination and playfully trains basic motor skills and balance, the company adds. It’s designed to encourage imaginative play with indoor and outdoor activities. “Our toys engage and stimulate children again and again with a rich variety of shapes, colors, and sizes — so the possibilities for open-ended, creative play are limitless.”

There are multiple sizes and colors. The Kid O Bilibo Yellow is $24 here.


Start singing, baby!

wolvol cube

This gadget is more than just an amplified microphone: turn the mic on “and a glowing baby-animal will appear on the mirror with a mic in the hand” to join your tot in a tune.

And it’s more than just songs: With its Activity Cube Center, “everywhere baby turns there is something to do and learn,” maker WolVol says. There’s a toy phone, a steering wheel with real car sounds, and more.

It’s $50 here.



3D “printed” heart helps save baby’s life

3D heart3D “printing” is a new manufacturing technique that sprays out solid material like an inkjet printer, building it up layer by layer into a larger object.

The first 3D printed items were simple lumpy toys. But the technology has advanced fast — and now surgeons have used a 3D model of an infant’s heart to prepare for life-saving surgery.

No, they did not *make* a new heart on a 3D printer! Maybe someday…

Instead the doctors at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City worked from MRI scan data to make a 3D model on which they could better see how it was “riddled with holes and structured unusually,” The Independent reports. “Surgery was going to be complicated and dangerous, but this 3D printed heart provided the surgeons the opportunity to study the organ, and develop a detailed surgery strategy.”

The full story is here.


Kids, watch this!

vtech watch

Dick Tracy would be envious: it’s not just a watch, it’s a camera!
With the Kidizoom Smartwatch, “young photographers can take photos and videos on the go,” VTech says.
The color touchscreen can be set with 50 clock-face designs.
There’s also a voice recorder, with “wacky voice-changing effects,” and four learning games.

VTech’s first portable camera “watch will create an entirely new play experience for kids 3 and older,” the company says.
It’s $60 here.


Best Time for Baby-Making


The makers of the Ovatemp fertility tracking app are now offering the complementary ONDO digital thermometer to monitor the start of ovulation.

A woman’s fertility cycle can be measured based on basal body temperature throughout the month, TechCrunch reports, and the thermometer makes it easy to check that, sending the temperature information via Bluetooth to your iPhone when you stick the thermometer under your tongue.

Ovatemp says its methods are based on traditional Chinese medicine.

The ONDO will ship next Spring, and is available for pre-order now for $75 here.


Baby goes for a drive

FP car

All right, it’s actually a stationary car — but it encourages your baby to sit up, crawl, pull up, stand & move all around for play inside & out, says Fisher-Price.

The Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car is a “vehicle for fun” the company says, “fully loaded with busy activities inside and out.”

Your baby can turn the key, honk the horn, turn the steering wheel or shift the gear to activate lights, learn phrases, and sing along to 75 songs and tunes. There are Learning, Music, and Imagination modes to introduce babies to letters, numbers, colors, first words, greetings & more.

It’s $67 here.