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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Would You? iPad Baby Seat: Bad Parenting or Sign of the Times?

    It's likely you've seen a child that's too young to speak in complete sentences operating his mom's iPhone better than, well, his mom.

    But what about a product that's geared specifically toward babies -- like an infant seat -- that comes with a iPad holder?


    The Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat by Fisher Price is just that. It features, in addition to the iPad holder, bat-at toys on the removable bar and a mirror that reflects the baby's image when the iPad is removed. But it's that iPad holder feature that's got moms up in arms.

    "Babies should be entertained by looking around and by their family or caretaker, not a screen," said Libby Conover, mom to two girls ages 4 and 3.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. It recommends screens be avoided for children under 2. "A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens," the website reads.

    The description on the Fisher Price web site reads, "Soothing, entertaining and technology all in one great grow-with-me seat for baby! Lock your iPad device inside the case to protect from dribbles and drool." Though the name of the seat is the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat, the product is found on the baby section of the site.

    Jennie Chambers, mom to a two-and-a-half-year-old girl, said, "I can see how it would just be so easy for overtired parents or lazy caregivers to abuse it, plopping child in seat and plugging in a video and hypnotizing baby for hours at a time."

    But the free apps that come with the seat purchase aren't exactly episodes of Sponge Bob Square Pants. The youngest apps include soothing sounds and patterns that Fisher-Price claim help develop eye-tracking skills.

    Still, it may be a slippery slope. "I think parents need to be really careful here," said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief medical editor and a practicing pediatrician. "A child's brain is going through incredible development and change during those early years. The best thing for a child is extensive interaction with people, hearing voices, seeing faces, physically touching toys. I worry that screens will replace these important human interactions."

    And while Chambers told us that she makes a point to limit screen time in her home, that's not necessarily the reality of what's going on inside living rooms across America. A survey by Common Sense Media, a family advocacy organization, found 38 percent of children under the age of 2 have used a mobile device for playing games, watching videos or other media-related purposes.

    "We strive to provide thoughtful features and solutions for parents that we've identified through researching their needs," Kathleen Alfano, Ph.D. and senior director of child research at Fisher-Price, told ABC News in a statement. "We know the Apptivity Seat isn't for everyone. We want to give parents options, which is why we have over a dozen infant seats from which they can choose."

    And while Alfano said the iPad feature was created for times when parents wanted to use it as another way to stimulate and engage their baby, they certainly don't have to use it.

    "If parents don't want to use the iPad, they can remove the device and a mirror will be overhead, or they can remove the bar completely. The choice is theirs," Alfano said.

    The seat isn't the only geared-for-babies product with a hi-tech feature. The Apptivity Gym for iPhone and iPod touch Devices features a holder for these devices.

    The Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity seat retails for about $80.

    Apple could not be reached for comment.

    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Having a toddler now myself I can tell you that things like this are definitely helpful in a clinch. Sometimes you need a distraction and you have to get stuff done. However this method shouldn't be relied upon to keep the kid occupied all the time.
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  3. #3
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    No different than putting your baby in front of the TV. My girls have been using an ipad since they were walking. Lots of great educational apps.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    This kind of technology is going to be absolutely everywhere and on everything by the time these kids are enough to drive. I see no problem with getting them adept at it right now.
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  5. #5
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS View Post
    This kind of technology is going to be absolutely everywhere and on everything by the time these kids are enough to drive. I see no problem with getting them adept at it right now.
    me either.

    Exposing your kids to all of this stuff is a good thing. I wouldn't recommend having the IPAD on the kid's chair all the time but for the odd cartoon to keep them settled it's not the worst idea. It shouldn't replace playing with toys or going outside to play but if used properly an IPAD can be an asset for kids.


    It's funny that before we had kids my wife was very much for "no tv for the kids" and I'd laugh and say that wasn't gonna work. She held on to that until she got hold of the Baby Einstein DVDs. My son would always smile whenever the caterpillar came on screen.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    I can definitely see the flipside concern of this. No piece of technology should replace flesh and blood parenting.
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  7. #7
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS View Post
    I can definitely see the flipside concern of this. No piece of technology should replace flesh and blood parenting.
    Funny as it sounds I'm actually ok with it replacing parenting from any parent who thinks it's a good idea to use it as a full time parent replacement.

  8. #8
    Eruption markp's Avatar
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    Hmm.. Wall E here we come


  9. #9
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    I see no problem with this but like anything else, just be careful that it doesn't become a crutch. These kids that are being born now are getting closer to living in Star Wars land. Imagine 50 years from now, even the ipad will be seen as quaint. Everything is interactive with kids and an ipad is basically no different than this:



  10. #10
    Good Enough pickslide's Avatar
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    A "flashy" thing is an excellent tool for a baby or toddler. It's probably even good for their brains, the whole tap-response thing. But as with any other product, it won't be long before we hear the story of some mom who leaves her baby in the chair 9 hours a day instead of raising it. Also, the title of this thread is a false dilemma. It is both a good thing and the thing people fear it will be, just like every other thing that exists in the world.

    Cognitive dissonance, people. Embrace it.

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  11. #11
    Hang 'Em High jetguy5150's Avatar
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    As an absolutely supreme father of 3 kids... I have no issue with this nor do I have an issue with kids watching tv, or playing video games etc. We have all had things along this vein when we were kids. It is ultimately up to the parents to determine what a reasonable amount of time to be on an iPad or in front of a TV is. If the plan is to plop them down in this chair with an iPad for 8 hours then, as Mike says...this is a parenting issue. Kids need to be exposed to this technology because this is what their world is and will be. My parents didn't understand why I was taking a computer class in high school. No one had a computer in 1983. Our times were changing and it will continue to be that way for future generations. It's not the new items that are introduced, it's how the parents utilize them.
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  12. #12
    Good Enough pickslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetguy5150 View Post
    As an absolutely supreme father of 3 kids... I have no issue with this nor do I have an issue with kids watching tv, or playing video games etc. We have all had things along this vein when we were kids. It is ultimately up to the parents to determine what a reasonable amount of time to be on an iPad or in front of a TV is. If the plan is to plop them down in this chair with an iPad for 8 hours then, as Mike says...this is a parenting issue. Kids need to be exposed to this technology because this is what their world is and will be. My parents didn't understand why I was taking a computer class in high school. No one had a computer in 1983. Our times were changing and it will continue to be that way for future generations. It's not the new items that are introduced, it's how the parents utilize them.
    Amen. There was a moral panic when the Bible was printed in "common" language. And we've been panicking about books and magazines and rock records and phones and the interwebs ever since, even though they've done nothing but make life better.

    TK

  13. #13
    Baluchitherium
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    This kind of shit is fine, just make sure your kids are still playing real games too....like the fart game.
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  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetguy5150 View Post
    As an absolutely supreme father of 3 kids... I have no issue with this nor do I have an issue with kids watching tv, or playing video games etc. We have all had things along this vein when we were kids. It is ultimately up to the parents to determine what a reasonable amount of time to be on an iPad or in front of a TV is. If the plan is to plop them down in this chair with an iPad for 8 hours then, as Mike says...this is a parenting issue. Kids need to be exposed to this technology because this is what their world is and will be. My parents didn't understand why I was taking a computer class in high school. No one had a computer in 1983. Our times were changing and it will continue to be that way for future generations. It's not the new items that are introduced, it's how the parents utilize them.
    I more or less agree, although I think we need to be aware that this new child-seat is for new-born babies, as opposed to slightly older children.

    I think it's very important that BABIES still experience physical interaction with real human beings as opposed to parents relying on electronic gadgets, as that is the means by which they develop emotional intelligence or, to put it another way, the ability to relate to other members of their species.

    I'm fine with older kids having exposure to all manner of technology - but I also worry that the art of human, face-to-face communication, understanding, and empathy is gradually being extinguished, and that isn't a good thing for the human race, it really isn't!
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  15. #15
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