Bouncy seat with iPad attachment: Smart invention or wrong?

Fisher-Price has introduced a new infant seat with an attachment that can hold an iPad for a baby to watch. Parents and advocacy groups are criticizing the chair.

Here is video of the chair. (I can’t embed it.)

From The AP:

“Fisher-Price is selling an infant seat with an attachment where parents can insert an iPad so baby can watch video content aimed at the youngest children — an idea that is being criticized by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. The Boston-based advocacy group started an online petition campaign Tuesday, urging Fisher-Price to recall its Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPads.

“CCFC says it’s not healthy for a baby’s development and encourages parents to leave baby alone.

“The seat is the ultimate electronic babysitter. Its very existence suggests it’s fine to leave babies all alone with an iPad inches from their face,” said Susan Linn, the group’s director, in an interview. “Babies thrive when they are talked to, played with and cuddled, not when they are alone with a screen.”

“Fisher-Price, in response, said the Apptivity Seat is a niche product that is only available online — one of more than a dozen seats for infants — and is not meant to be seen as an educational product for children.”

“The seat, which resembles a bouncy seat, has an attachment with colorful toys that dangle so a baby can reach and grab. The case where a parent could insert an iPad has a large built-in mirror for the baby to see its face when there’s no iPad. In its product description, Fisher-Price says parents can download apps to their iPads with soothing sounds and high-contrast patterns that help infants develop eye-tracking skills.”

“Fisher-Price spokeswoman Juliette Reashor said the seat has a time-out feature that only allows for ten minutes of activity with an app before requiring a manual reset, so the app wouldn’t play endlessly. The attachment bar for the iPad can also be removed from the seat, if the parent prefers that.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any electronic “screen time” for infants and toddlers under 2. It cites research that found infant videos can delay language development, and warns that no studies have documented a benefit of early viewing.

In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission — which enforces truth-in-advertising laws — agreed with the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood that the developer of “Your Baby Can Read” lied when it promised consumers it could teach babies as young as 9 months old to read. That business shuttered after the FTC imposed a $185 million settlement.”

So what do you think? Smartest invention ever or just plain wrong for babies? Should it be an option to parents or pulled from the market?

40 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

December 13th, 2013
5:27 am

A

December 13th, 2013
6:09 am

Wrong, wrong, wrong! I’m glad my child was born 8 years before iPads first came out!

Maude

December 13th, 2013
7:25 am

This is so wrong it is scary!!! What will this poor generation of kids be??

Mayhem

December 13th, 2013
7:37 am

Wrong, oh so wrong. However, no says you HAVE to buy it. But there are plenty of people who will buy it, just to say their baby had an iPad before yours did…

I don’t believe babies need this kind of stimulation. You are supposed to be bonding with your new baby, not hooking them up to an electronic device hours after birth.

So sad….

i LOVE...

December 13th, 2013
7:40 am

This is NOT the kind of stimulation a baby needs! They HAVE to have physical, human interaction. What kind of emotionless, drooling, robots will this type of “entertainment” create? It’s a terrifying thought to ponder…

Holden Caulfield

December 13th, 2013
7:50 am

I think its wonderful! After all, I love children but really only on my time – when I feel like it. This is why I purchased a mini van with video screens in the back playing DVD’s so when we drive our kids to school in the morning I don’t have to speak to them. As a parent, I find it taxing to instill discipline in them so its easier for me on trips just to plug in a movie, put headphones on the kids and then I can get some time to myself. I know I’m a great Dad. I work so many hours and when I come home tired from a road trip I want to relax, which is why I purchase for my kids only the best video game XBox so I can watch football in a room by myself while my boys are downstairs. Mom and I love our smart phones so much when we go to watch the boys little league games we just text everyone we know in the stands or play Angry Birds or check in on Facebook with an occasional picture of Little Johnny going up to bat – then back to my phone. See, we fit in amoung parents because during little league none of the parents watch the game – we stare at our smart phones – thats where the good stuff is at. So yes, I would love a baby chair with an iPad holder.

justmy2cents

December 13th, 2013
7:52 am

They also make an attachment that goes with a potty chair. How stupid is that? These kids will end up dropping a load in Kindergarten every time the teacher brings out the ipads.

Atlanta Mom

December 13th, 2013
7:55 am

I guess Fisher-Price didn’t get the memo from the American Academy of Pediatrics concerning screen time.
“Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”

HB

December 13th, 2013
8:02 am

I think iPads and other screens for babies is a terrible thing, but can we tone down the melodrama? Yes, babies need physical, human interaction, but no one’s suggesting it be replaced by this, or toys that dangle above them on other bouncy seats for that matter. Parents have been plugging their kids in for decades to get a break here and there – it’s not a new problem, just a new smaller device. So now the iPad is attached to the seat instead of the seat being in front of a TV playing Baby Einstein.

Holden Caulfield

December 13th, 2013
8:07 am

Think of how dumb the average person is. Then realize half of all people are dumber than that.

Same applies to children – they are not all cute and witty. Just like any other age demographic, there are a few winners and a whole lot of loosers. Like adults, most children are not going to develop into anything special and most are not going anywhere in life. So I say, plug ‘em in! Accelerate evolution!

motherjanegoose

December 13th, 2013
8:26 am

“It takes 1000 hours of lap-time for young children to have the readiness skills in place to learn to read.” – National Institute for Children’s Health and Development

How many parents have provided this lap-time or even knew?
This will not help the struggle teachers already have trying to work with children who are not ready to learn to read. Nor parents who are mad at said teachers or simply do not care. Nor children who really cannot help the fact that their parents did not help them.

motherjanegoose

December 13th, 2013
8:27 am

Can we say $$$?

DB

December 13th, 2013
8:27 am

Ugh. Well, thank goodness I’m past that stage with my kids — it will be interesting to see what kind of decisions my kids make when they are parents. Speaking as a parent who would never even allow DVD players in her mini-van, or even a game system until the kids were in the mid-teens, you can imagine how I feel about this. :-) To my way of thinking, if you were in the car, it was a good chance to talk, read, listen to music, or just observe the world around you. Especially on family vacations — the whole idea was to see new sights — a DVD of “The Lion King” for the upteenth time was NOT a “new sight.” The parents who flipped on the DVD for the 10 minute ride to school — really? Your kid cannot spend a single second un-entertained?

I dunno — an iPad on the baby bouncer just seems like lazy parenting, to me. I see a lot of future incidents of ADHD, as these kids brains synapses get completely confused at the age of 6 months.

FCM

December 13th, 2013
8:50 am

Had mine at the doctors office yesterday for check-ups. The nurse said how much tv, video, computer, etc time do they get? I said one is a teenager and the other is a tween…so TOO MUCH I am sure. She smiled. They use computers and videos in school these days.

It should not take the place of interaction with a caring adult: reading, cuddling, teaching…or self time: blocks and hands on play. Still, I DO believe that technology has a place even with infants.

At one point TV was the “new” thing……Here is how the late (great) Mr. Fred Rogers was about this new “tool”:

“[Fred Rogers] did not like the images he saw on the television. But, he immediately understood that television was a powerful tool. He understood that television could be used for good or bad purposes. He immediately decided to become involved in making good television. ” – See more at: http://spotlightenglish.com/listen/mister_rogers_neighborhood#sthash.g0bBXFuG.dpuf

FCM

December 13th, 2013
8:58 am

@iLove: It has been scientifically (albeit unethically/immorally in my opinion) determined that babies deprived of the interaction you mention will often die, even if the basic needs (food, cleanliness, clothes, diaper changes are met). Children need those interaction to thrive and grow.

“n a rather brutal experiment during WWII two groups of infants were separated. The first group of babies were held, rocked, touched, and stimulated in a physical manner. The second group of babies were fed and changed but not held and touched in any other manner.

The first group of babies thrived and grew into well function children. So many of the babies in the second group died and failed to thrive that the experiment was actually called off. This provided the scientific evidence in a manner that proved beyond reasonable doubt that babies physically need to be held and touched in a caring and loving manner in order to thrive. No additional experiments of this nature have been performed due to the harsh nature of the results and the abusiveness of the initial trials”

motherjanegoose

December 13th, 2013
9:28 am

@ FCM…I hear you! A neighbor here allowed 1 hour per day of screen time, when her kids were small. This included TV and video games. Daughter graduated from GA Tech and son is there now. Both are great kids and really intelligent. This is not the same as the one with the perfect SAT. We have some amazing kids on our block who are actually adults now. Sending your kids in the right direction and sticking with it, is tough! Not many parents are up to the task and then they say, ” Wow…you are lucky to have such great kids.” You and I know this is not a lot about luck but more about working at what we thing our kids need, together.

motherjanegoose

December 13th, 2013
9:29 am

ooops…same family as the one with the perfect SAT.

Techmom

December 13th, 2013
9:36 am

I definitely don’t think screen time is good for infants but there are plenty of shows & electronic games and books for toddlers that I don’t think are terrible. I don’t agree with a ton of screen time by any means but lets not “throw the baby out with the bath water” and say that they shouldn’t be exposed to ANY screen time at all.

DB

December 13th, 2013
9:39 am

This was making the rounds on Facebook last week: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/12/1912-eighth-grade-exam_n_3744163.html. It’s a copy of an exam that was given to 8th grades in 1912. I suspect that most 8th graders would do poorly on it, now — I have the lowering feeling that most adults would not be able to pass the History or the Civil Government portion of the exam.

But, hey, we can find videos of cute puppies on the internet! Look at all the information we have at our fingertips! (she says, wryly)

FCM

December 13th, 2013
9:40 am

@MJG…parenting is tough stuff..I agree with you. Same doctor visit they asked how much sleep do they get? I said more than I do but probably not nearly enough…again look at their ages. To get the 10-12 hours of sleep a night recommended for the 11 year she would go to bed at 7pm…you try that. The nurse laughed. I do think I have challenges with my 2 but in general they are good kids.

motherjanegoose

December 13th, 2013
9:54 am

@ DB…I flew through the spelling portion but had problems with some questions in other sections….just being honest here. MOST adults could not do the math section. They cannot even figure this out: Your total is $23.57, I give them $24.07. They owe me 50 cents but do not know why. If the cash register does not tell them what to hand back…they have no clue. SAD!

In my world, doing something helps me to learn more about it. I am great with naming all 50 states and locating them plus the capitols. That is because I have been in most of them. I am terrible with science and history is a close second.

MANGLER

December 13th, 2013
11:11 am

Will the screen rotate as the chair bounces?

missnadine

December 13th, 2013
11:17 am

Do you ever write your own column?

jarvis

December 13th, 2013
11:19 am

@Holden Caulfield, I think you just described a median not an average, but whatever. Feel free to take shots at the intelligence of others if it makes you feel better.

Denise

December 13th, 2013
11:40 am

I think a bouncy seat with an iPad is too young but I will say that my friend’s son is learning French on YouTube and he just turned 3. I don’t know how he got started but he now knows more than she does (which is none). He is also learning Spanish via YouTube. Maybe he’s too young but he’s learning things at home that he would not learn at school. She is teaching him lots of things on the iPad. At 2 he was reading to his class in school. He tries to “teach” me to read and write when I visit. And he is sociable, has friends, is fully of joy, smiles and laughs all the time, an overall well-rounded kid. He loves music, can sing his face off, and plays a mean “air guitar”. Unless something crazy happens he won’t be living in his mom’s basement at 40 playing video games with no friends but those he makes on the computer. My point is that all use of technology is not of the devil. If used correctly it can really enhance a child’s learning.

catmom

December 13th, 2013
12:20 pm

Epitome of lazy parenting.

jct

December 13th, 2013
3:48 pm

While technology isn’t some evil menace lurking in a corner, there should be a time and place for its use. This is one use that a child certainly can do without.

I don’t know why some many people think you must entertain/distract a child for every second of the day. What happened to being bored? What happened to just sitting quietly or playing with a toy? What happened to the parent reading to the child?

This is just too much. I would not purchase or give as a gift if this comes to market.

Shark Punch!

December 13th, 2013
8:58 pm

“Fisher-Price, in response, said the Apptivity Seat….is not meant to be seen as an educational product for children.”

“In its product description, Fisher-Price says parents can download apps to their iPads with soothing sounds and high-contrast patterns that help infants develop eye-tracking skills.”

So which is it?

catlady

December 14th, 2013
7:22 am

Theresa, my evening post did not show up! And it was full of such wisdom and experience! Haha

FLNavyWife

December 14th, 2013
10:26 am

I just had our first baby 10 days ago, and at his first pediatrician appointment, the doctor emphasized, “No screen time from 0-2″. I had read recently where the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with new “screen time” recommendations and this was one of them. Our doctor also told us about parents he sees who protest giving their kids coloring books and crayons, for example, because they might draw on the walls–instead, they’ll give the kids an iPad to “draw” on. Crazy!

It drives me nuts to see parents turning over tablets/smartphones, etc. to young kids when they *should* be parenting. Or when the parent is so absorbed with their device that the kid is ignored (waiting for a table in a restaurant, in the lobby of the doctor’s office, etc.) My mom would bring coloring books, or a storybook to read, or even play hangman/tic-tac-toe, etc. with us to keep us occupied in situations like this.

motherjanegoose

December 14th, 2013
2:45 pm

@ FLNavyWife ^^^^ LIKE!

HB

December 14th, 2013
5:47 pm

That’s great about your mom, FLNavyWife, but it’s not like she was trying to come up with better options than a screen for those boring waits — our moms didn’t have smart phones! Personally, I’m not willing to judge a parent as “not parenting” for letting their kid entertain themselves quietly with a phone for a while waiting for a table in a restaurant. They very well could have been playing with them all afternoon or have just spent a few hours helping with homework and need a few minutes of not being “on” for them.

I feel bad for parents. Looking at the comments here daily, it’s clear that people are constantly on the lookout for how they’re not parenting and assuming anything they see going on for a few minutes in public must be indicative of how they parent 24/7.

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2013
1:43 pm

Off the cuff comment…the proficiency, I observe, with little children who are using their parents electronic devices indicates that they spend quite a bit of time on them. I have had my Iphone for months and there are still plenty of things I can’t do. Plenty of other things that I can do but not very quickly. Of course, I am techno challenged…haha!

Bottom line… I have raised two children and did what I thought was best. I made my share of mistakes but I listened to others whose children I admired and tried to emulate what they did. I am proud when others compliment my adult children.

Bisnono

December 15th, 2013
8:27 pm

Wow, the number of perfect parents posting on this blog has got to be a statistical impossibility. How about instead of judging other parents whose circumstances may be completely different from your perfectly behaved, angelic babies you maybe understand that if you can find something–anything–that stops a colicky baby from crying for 10 minutes after HOURS of trying to console him/her, it’s like a miracle.

motherjanegoose

December 16th, 2013
8:21 am

Sometimes….birds of a feather flock together….not taking statistics in mind at all!

FCM

December 16th, 2013
10:49 am

I handed my youngest the phone at the pediatrician’s office in front of the doctor! I was trying to hold a conversation and she was buzzing about the room. I said ok this is bad, but you can have the phone so I can talk….but let’s face it the doctor office (where the check up is held) is boring….and the Ped was playing video (Disney movie) in the waiting room.

FCM

December 16th, 2013
10:50 am

btw the doctor smiled…of course my child is 11

Denise

December 16th, 2013
12:45 pm

I’m glad I am not the only person frustrated by the judgment. I like to see what parents are doing for when I adopt my own or even when I interact with my nieces and nephews because sometimes I don’t think I do a good job of relating to them. I also feel like I don’t do a good job of letting them be themselves; I want them to be like me, mainly because it’s easier to relate to. So I read every day to learn new things but sometimes the judgment folks pass on here is frustrating.

Anyway…Why is giving a child a coloring book better than giving them something electronic…especially when you don’t know what they are doing on the device. Sure the age is a consideration but I do think it is all child-dependent.

motherjanegoose

December 16th, 2013
4:30 pm

@ FCM…haha!

My bigger problem is with children under age 5. I am with kids that age all the time and know there are lots of other things they can be doing, that I feel are a better choice. But that is just me.

beth

December 16th, 2013
5:47 pm

I don’t understand why parents don’t want to communicate with their kids. When mine were babies (only 6 and 8 now), I used to put them in a regular bouncy seat and set them on the floor just outside of the shower. Crying usually wasn’t an issue, but if there was, it wasn’t anything a little shower curtain peekaboo couldn’t fix.

Parents rely WAY too much on technology to shut their kids up. It’s sad because both kids and parents are missing out on so much. It always makes me sad when I am out running errands or going somewhere early in the mornings and see the droves of SUV’s with their dvd players on in the back for their infants/toddlers… just so they don’t have to communicate with their kids. I will never understand that. I get the best conversations out of my kids…. IN THE CAR!

This past weekend, we went out to a restaurant and it was kind of long drive to get there. We did not allow the kids to take any electronics. They were loud and had to be told a couple of times to quiet down. My husband was getting a bit annoyed at the noise, but I reminded him that they are being normal kids who don’t have a computer shoved in their face. They were noisy, but they were playing and giggling so hard, I thought they might pee their pants. I love that sound. And it would not have happened if they had had been allowed to bring iPads or other electronics. We should be enjoying our kids not trying to shut them up all the time!!!