IPads for Babies?!!!!

baby-in-pinkToday’s question comes to us from an article that was published on November 30, 2013 in the London Telegraph. It is the article’s title, Is this the worst baby product ever? 

The product is called a “Newborn-to-toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad device.” As your baby sits in a comfortable infant seat, he or she can look at an iPad screen for both learning and entertainment.


Is this the worst baby product ever? 


Fisher Price says…

This seat provides all kinds of learning apps.

  1. Black and white images enhance visual skills.
  2. Soothing apps show nature scenes.

Laura Perrins says…

“This is perhaps the biggest piece of advertising nonsense I have read for some time.”

  1. “As for enhancing visual skills with black and white images, you could just tape some newspaper to a wall and that will provide contrast.”
  2. “You could take baby for a walk in the park to see living trees and touch real leaves which is the best nature you do not need money to buy.” and “Mum’s voice is soothing enough, and for free.”

Dr. Sally: Thank you Laura for sharing your point of view. Yes, people of all ages and stages were meant to move and experience to learn. “Hands-on learning” has been a pillar in the field of education from the beginning of education.

Here is some old parenting learning advice. “Check that your baby has appropriate stimulation for one or more of the five senses–sight, sound, taste, touch (real arm, hand, and/or finger movement), and smell.”

Laura is a former barrister and stay-at-home mother with two small children who campaigns for “Mothers at Home Matter”:


  1. For typically developing children with parents who are around to stimulate them throughout the day this is not necessary. However, for children who are not developing properly, for instance children on the autism spectrum this might be a good idea, if it keeps their attention. Getting and keeping a child’s attention is very important for these children. We need to know what it is that they like in order to join in and get some joint attention from them. Knowing what they connect to and using that device to move their skill levels up is a good technique for their cognitive growth. When children are not typical you have to learn how to think outside the box in order to help them to make connections. I am a speech and learning specialist and I help children every day. -Noelle (SuperbTherapy dot com).

  2. Noelle, thank you very much for your thoughtful comment.

    You have taken this item to the “heart of the matter” and placed it much as you would any other, in the “Do I need it?” category. I take your advice to be something like “Don’t put the cart before the horse.” First understand what you are trying to accomplish and then decide what would be the best way to do that.

    As you point out, if this device is needed to keep a baby’s attention, develop focusing skills, teach certain concepts, or provide missing stimulation, this is a great tool. On the other hand, if there are attentive parents, grandparents, and/or other caregivers available, babies who have an abundance of hands-on learning in their environment, and children who can use all of their five senses to experience new concepts firsthand, then this is probably not the best baby seat to get.

    • I am all for technology and appreciate how it has enhanced our lives while realizing how it hinders other areas that are so essential to human socio- emotional development such as verbal communication, connection, touch and emotions.

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