Conversations are buzzing about Fisher-Price’s new infant seat. It looks like your traditional bouncer and comes with the usual bar of colorful toys meant to entertain baby, plus a mirror so baby can see herself. Not enough for the next generation of babies? What if I told you that it also boasts a removable iPad case and downloadable baby apps? Like it or not, infant screen time is here.
If this doesn’t surprise you, then you have already been introduced to Fisher-Price’s Apptivity line of products. I had no idea these products existed until recently. We’ve all seen desperate parents at the grocery store handing an iPhone over to a fussy baby, hoping to make it through check out before an all-out tantrum begins. So, is this the next logical step as parents continue to use technology as a babysitter? Fisher-Price is making it easier for parents to do what they’re already doing.
Like or dislike?
- “Grow-with-me” seat is meant to keep baby entertained into the toddler years, maximum weight is 40 pounds.
- Visual display stimulates and engages baby while protecting your device from sticky fingers and preventing unintentional navigating to other apps.
- Download free apps for your iPad created especially for use with this product featuring soft, soothing sounds and nature scenes, black-and-white images and high-contrast patterns that help develop eye-tracking skills.
- Other age-appropriate apps introduce letters, numbers and more through sing-along songs, sounds and friendly characters.
- Visual content times out after 10-12 minutes so you can track (and limit) screen time.
Apptivity line up
Whether you’re into this private-screening seat or not, other baby-friendly device holders have arrived in abundance. Fisher-Price now has seven Apptivity products on the market, ranging from $20 – $80, meant to fit your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. These baby-proof cases come in heavy plastics, bright colors, and even stuffed animals. Something tells me that if they weren’t selling, then there wouldn’t be so many options.
Fisher-Price does include a Media Guide with these products outlining the importance of limited use and engaging with your child in the age-appropriate media apps. Whether or not parents abide by these recommendations is totally up to them, of course.
Where does this leave us?
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages screen time for children under the age of 2. In a Policy Statement published online in 2011, the AAP restates their stance against screen time for this age group by noting, “the lack of evidence supporting educational or developmental benefits for media use by children younger than 2 years, the potential adverse health and developmental effects of media use by children younger than 2 years, and adverse effects of parental media use (background media) on children younger than 2 years.” Click here to read more
Would you buy it?
It’s a new age. Kids learn to swipe screens well before they’ve ever seen a keyboard or a mouse. The abundance of tech toys on the market tells me that people are buying them up as quickly as they are being invented. As a parent of two preschoolers, I must say that I still believe in boredom and the ideas that come from staring at the ceiling looking at…nothing.
Have one? Have an opinion? Let us know what you think of Fisher-Price’s new line of Apptivity products!