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back to article Fisher-Price in hot seat: iPad bouncy chair lets APPLE BABYSIT tots – parents

A US toy maker is facing criticism for selling a baby seat equipped with an iPad holder for small infants. The Fisher-Price Apptivity seat ... A is for Apple – which loves you more than Mummy and Daddy The Apptivity Seat for babies provides a built-in caddy to hold Apple's fondleslab and display the screen to the tot without …

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Oh, rilly?

"The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood condemned the product for discouraging parents to interact with their babies."

Grown ups can make decisions for themselves, if they're going to be bad parents this shiny thing will make no difference. How some app can discourage me from doing anything I choose to do or not do is a mystery.

If you don't like it don't buy it. Others will make their choices as they like. This whining is wrapping *parents* in cotton wool.

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Re: Oh, rilly?

Good thing you put "parents" in quotes.

I think the bigger issue is that devices like this signal to the dumber parents / those who don't give a damn that it's OK to completely abandon your kids to devices like this. If you don't have kids or don't interact with a wide cross section of families, you might want to look at what's going on lately.

Electronics are fine in small doses, when appropriate, and when combined with parental interaction. Strapping your kid to an iPad is not.

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FAIL

Or, protecting infants from bad/lazy parents!

see title

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iPad vs plastic trinkets

So what's the difference between an iPad and a row of plastic trinkets held on a string, both inches in front of a child's face.

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Re: iPad vs plastic trinkets

I think the trinkets are actually better because a baby can kick its feet or reach for them and feel them or chew them. But in other regards I don't see a big deal just because the lights / music happen to be coming from a tablet instead of some lights hooked up to some AA batteries.

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Trollface

Re: iPad vs plastic trinkets

The ipad is interactive and prompts cognitive development and motor skills?

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Rob
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Re: iPad vs plastic trinkets

Not when it's out of reach of the child as stated in the article.

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Paris Hilton

Re: iPad vs plastic trinkets

One is a garish plastic toy and the other one is a stimulating infant bauble....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iPad vs plastic trinkets

"iPad vs plastic trinkets

So what's the difference between an iPad and a row of plastic trinkets held on a string, both inches in front of a child's face."

My concern that you don't know the difference would be shared with social services, unless they too have been pwned by Apple! Bloody good possibility of it, have you seen how much public money is wasted on Apple toys? It's bloody shocking. Maybe stop wasting money on this rubbish would save 1Bn.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iPad vs plastic trinkets

My iPad has been kicked, played with and chewd on. I'm still not seeing the difference.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iPad vs plastic trinkets

"So what's the difference between an iPad and a row of plastic trinkets held on a string, both inches in front of a child's face."

Several hundred quid, probably.

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Coat

Re: iPad vs plastic trinkets

Plastic trinkets do not emit wi-fi signals, the long-term effects of which we are only just beginning to experience (alcoholism, depravity, unwanted kids, family split-ups, sexual dysfunction, increased cancer occurrence, insomnia, headaches, nose-bleeds ...) ;-)

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Car Seat?

I'd like to see you get that strapped in to a car - it's hard enough with one designed for exactly that.

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Re: Car Seat?

@ Ben 32

That's why they've used a very roomy car in the photos.

So Roomy it almost appears to be a room.

Seriously though, I don't get why the manufacturer should get much stick.

They're fully aware the world is full of sh*t parents and they have money to spend just like good parents do. Fair play to them. They're making a product that fills a gap in the market. People will buy this and that's asmuch justification as any business needs.

Yes IMHO anyone actually buying it needs to take a long hard look at alternative methods of keeping Jnr occupied but the story is "some people are dicks" not "bad company makes parents bad".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Car Seat?

"Seriously though, I don't get why the manufacturer should get much stick.

They're fully aware the world is full of sh*t parents and they have money to spend just like good parents do. Fair play to them. "

Humanity is screwed based on this! Sad people need a visit from social services.

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Reminds me of A Clockwork Orange, just need something to keep the eyes open.

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I had exactly the same scary thought.

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Ouch good call.

It reminded me of 'wall-e' when the babies of 'modern humanity' are briefly seen at playschool being taught by a robot.

"B is for Buy n' Large - your very best friend."

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It's not that they did it that bugs me...

It's that they've used that appallingly annoying trick of using 'baby' as a proper name.

"Baby" or "the/a baby".

Please.

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Re: It's not that they did it that bugs me...

Doctors, nurses, madwives - they all do it.

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Re: It's not that they did it that bugs me...

Also the use of "grown ups" by adults

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Anonymous Coward

ipad parents?

I didn't think i-owners would also want to own babies? Unless it's going to be the i-spitting image of themselves?

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Anonymous Coward

Can we size this up to a lazy-boy?

Such effort having to actually hold a device these days

</sarcasm>

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Anonymous Coward

imperfect design

I can't see a re-charging socket or a battery compartment! I mean, how can you supply energy to the baby?!

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Re: imperfect design

"I can't see a re-charging socket or a battery compartment! I mean, how can you supply energy to the baby?!"

Chocolate raisins, also exercises the output port...

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Re: imperfect design

Via the loudspeaker?

Yes it is an odd design feature.

It do worry about the environmentally hostile biological waste disposal system.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm looking forward to the lockable, sound-proofed cot-box!

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Boffin

It's called a 'crate'.

That bit at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark? Actually a giant kindergarten.

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Mushroom

Could be worse

Though I do not agree with the device at least it’s made by a reputable manufacturer and has (hopefully) gone through proper safety testing. Just imagine if it was some no name Asian company who had come up with the idea and flooded the market!

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Re: Could be worse

As soon as they see this, they will...

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Re: Could be worse

Or it could be Windows8

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Re: Could be worse

Actually that might be the only good application for not-metro I've seen to date.

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I wonder

If these same parents are the ones who strap their children in the back seat of a car with a back seat video playing to keep them quiet?

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Re: I wonder

I don't think that's a fair comparison.

While I don't like the idea of this iSeat for babies, which to my mind is simply training the baby to become a couch potato*, I have considerably less of a problem with strapping them into a car and letting them watch a video - especially when it's only one parent in the car with them.

Better to keep the baby quiet with a video than the parent's concentration on the road ahead being reduced because he/she is also trying to deal with the child - which could lead to the death of the parent, the baby, or other people.

* The baby should be made to work in the mines!

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Re: I wonder

At the age this is aimed at, which is before they're toddling or crawling, they are basically a couch potato and need no training to sit or lie there. No amount of motivational words will cause them to be able to leap up and run off.

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FAIL

Re: I wonder

"At the age this is aimed at, which is before they're toddling or crawling, they are basically a couch potato and need no training to sit or lie there. No amount of motivational words will cause them to be able to leap up and run off."

I hope it doesn't come as too much of a surprise to you that I know that for the first n months of a baby's life it can't do much else than sit or lie.

My definition of a couch potato is a little more than that. It's sitting and staring at a (TV) screen - and I'd wager that is the most commonly accepted definition of it. And in the context of this baby seat the iThing is little, if anything, more than that. There's no interaction that the child would get if presented with a suitable dangly mobile, or set of toys attached to the chair - which the parents could also use when they are interacting with the child.

I was originally going to say something like that in the footnote, but I concluded people in these parts would probably be intelligent enough to know what I meant by couch potato. Thanks for proving me wrong on that score. You wouldn't be an iFan by any chance, would you?

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Re: I wonder

No. It does surprise me that you know that, but I suppose Google is good for many things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wonder

Why in the world is it bad to have kids watch a video in the car? Its not like they're missing out on valuable learning opportunity, they'd just be screaming their heads off, attacking their siblings, and distracting the driver.

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Not sure I get the ire

Most baby toys have bright lights, buttons and music to keep them amused and many of them are chairs / bouncers where the baby can be plonked for a while.

So I don't see a fundamental problem with a chair that houses a tablet. It can run an app which amuses the kid with lights, shapes and music.

But I think a more traditional bouncer would still be better simply because it would have tactile objects, textures etc. and it doesn't require someone to happen to own a horribly expensive tablet of one brand in order to operate.

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Re: Not sure I get the ire

Mobiles hanging over the bouncer or car seat are different on many levels.

Interaction with others: You can play with the mobile with the baby, swinging the toys backwards and forwards etc, the iPad is a single person activity, cutting the baby off from the world

Interaction with the world: Mobiles have different materials on the toys to introduce different textures to the baby, the iPad is a flat glass screen

Eyesight: This would force the baby to focus at one single distance for a long period of time. As the mobile swings the baby follows the toys and learns how to focus it's eyes, plus the iPad blocks off a whole lot more of the baby's field vision than a mobile does - it has no choice but to focus on the tablet.

Hand eye coordination: If you take the above two points then you could also argue that this would limit hand eye coordination. The iPad is always the same distance away and all you can do is poke it, where as a swinging toy takes more control to reach.

Personally I don't like mobiles with flashing lights either, but even one of those would be better than this...

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Re: Not sure I get the ire

And if you read through to the bottom of my post you would know I said I still thought was traditional was better. But neither do I see a tablet playing lights or music as being bad.

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Re: Not sure I get the ire

I did see that.

And I said that I don't like the ones with the flashing lights either.

But also said why I think and tablet for a baby isn't just bad, but dangerous for development of the baby, and it's relationship with the parent.

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*sigh*

Geez. And they wonder why ADHD is on the rise...

Learning to deal with boredom is one of the absolutely most essential skills in order

to become a calm human being able to focus on something specific for more than 5 seconds.

This toy is not helping. It's a Bad Idea, just the way early exposure to anything addictive is.

and don't play the "Grown ups can make decisions for themselves" card. Of course they can. And now yet another Very Bad Decision is available.

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It isn't just boredom

Yes, babies need stimulation to develop their brains, but at that stage of development everything in the world around them is new and stimulating. They really don't need an idev to provide stimulation.

The second part of brain development is having lots of down time to process the input and form the connections. Much of that happens during sleep, but a lot also happens during non-stimulated time when the baby just sits there. Putting an idev in the baby's face will wreck that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *sigh*

ADHD!= inability to deal with boredom.

ADHD is having a brain that can't stay on track. What you are talking about is a personality that doesn't know how to deal with boredom.

I have ADHD. I deal with boredom quite well. I just let my ADHD entertain me with strange and wandering thoughts whilst wating for the boredom to end.

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Anonymous Coward

Baby can now binge in comfort

On those Walking Dead back eps!

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What is the issue?

As a father of 3 I can't actually see an issue, both my boys 3 and 5 use my tablet for games.

An iPad is just an interactive device, it's not hooking a child up to crack cocaine.

Yes, some parents may shove them in a chair and leave them, but we are not all idiots. Some of us understand a mixed and varied selection of activities and stuff will stimulate the little sweeties.

And also, what a great way for Granny to learn about FaceTime.

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Re: What is the issue?

Are you serious? OK, let's pick apart your post:

1. Your children are 3 and 5. This is aimed at infants, well under 1.

2. At the age this is aimed at, infants haven't yet learned to interact with the real world. An ipad is NOT interactive in the same sense as a mobile, beads on a string, etc. There is nothing physical about interaction with it, which is what babies need to learn.

3. This is clearly aimed at the "shove them in a chair and leave them" style of parenting. Also, ANY screen time for infants is counter-productive to development, so this should NOT form part of any selection of activities for an infant.

4. Granny doesn't need the baby strapped into a seat with the ipad inches from his face. Granny needs to see you cuddling the baby. She's got more sense than to think something like this would be a good idea.

I'm also a parent of two children, but mine are 6 weeks and 20 months old. If anyone gave me something like this for them, the angle grinder would make very short work of the ipad arm.

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Re: What is the issue?

Am I serious - Jezz assume much do you?

1, I said I have 3 children, I didn't mention the new born.

2, Babies actually learn by sight and sound, I am not suggesting they play angry birds. Last time I looked the iPad has both. As for the chair, the bouncy chair, the bouncy chair with obvious hanging rattle and things. Well I guess you must of missed that.

3, That is entirely your opinion, and you are wrong with your assumption of screen time. For instance, my 3 year old speaks conversational Spanish thanks to Dora and Diego. This was from watching the television. He also speaks a bit of French from an App. Learning isn't just a set of rigid rules. I guess you will learn that when your kids are older and you are in a corner sobbing gently.

4, Seems you are in the wrong industry, this is actually progression. Maybe you're not an early adopter and are still struggling with Windows ME. It's time to understand that perhaps Granny needs to keep up to date, sometimes it's not about what you want, but what the needs of a child wants.

And really, you would destroy the arm that has a mirror on it, just because it also holds an iPad. Who are you, 1950's Dad? Seems that you need to take a long hard look at the world and try to fit in.

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Re: What is the issue?

Mostly the problems seem to come from what is going on on the screen, or from using the screen too early in brain development. So learning Spanish with the help of Dora and Diego - fantastic. A screen displaying false perspective inches from the eyes just when a young infant brain is wiring up the feedback loops between cognition and motor skills - not so hot. Fast-moving content which holds attention (i.e. a good babysitter for the parents) but wires the brain up to expect too fast a reality has been linked to ADHD http://www.examiner.com/article/television-and-children-under-two-can-too-much-tv-lead-to-adhd

There is a world of difference between and infant and a toddler in terms of stages of brain development. Studies of brain damage in Romanian orphans show that the first two years after birth are when neurons grow the fabric of connection that supports future learning. Miss that or mess it up and you are screwed for life. Connection growth is stimulated by interaction. So with an _infant_ you either give the interaction human brain development has evolved in response to, or you do something 'modern' and take a gamble (you know, like when thalidomide was the 'modern' cure for morning sickness)...

My experience (as a father of several teenagers and a foster carer to some children exposed to very poor parenting): well chosen TV and apps in moderation can be a great tool. But I'm going to be critical of any product that discourages human and real-world interaction for infants, and by its existence might mislead parents into impairing their child's brain development.

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