Worst Baby Product Ever? Fisher-Price’s Apptivity Seat for iPad Turns Babies into Screen Staring Zombiesby Jennifer Chait, 12/02/13
In what can only be considered a total lapse of rational judgment on Fisher-Price’s part, the baby product giant recently released an iPad accented baby bouncer chair. Dubbed the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad device, this contraption ranks up there with the most appalling ideas ever invented in baby care, as it encourages parents to suspend their iPad device directly over their child’s head in order to, as Fisher-Price puts it, “Sooth, entertain and teach” your baby. Are you kidding me!? Where do we begin with what’s wrong with this?
First of all, there’s not a single health organization on the planet who thinks any screen time is healthy or safe for babies. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has concluded that babies are not able to process television until age 2 and instead of TV and computers, little ones should be exposed to development-building playtime and quality time with their parents. Secondly, excessive and early exposure to screen time is linked to a host of health problems. From ADHD to poor parent-baby bonding to future higher risks of heart attack and stroke to tendonitis to obesity to sleep disorders to some serious future screen addictions and much more, excessive and early screen time benefits no one.
Thankfully, if the reviews on Amazon are any indication, many parents haven’t been fooled into thinking this iPad seat is something babies or toddlers need. While a few reviewers are arguing that this is a great idea, especially if you only use the special free Fisher-Price baby apps included with the seat, most parents seem to agree that exposing babies and toddlers to such blatant screen use is entirely unnecessary. If you have a little one, avoid this baby seat. If you used to buy Fisher-Price gear, I’d highly suggest you knock it off until they pull this senseless seat off the market. There are much better ways to entertain your baby or toddler, such as:
- Get outside more often and have a nature adventure.
- 12 screen-free ways to keep kids occupied while out and about.
- Get out some good old fashioned building blocks.
- Give your child an activity bag.
- Whip up a batch of homemade play dough.
- Try some cool eco-toys that get your baby moving.
- Create some fun crafts.
- Read a book!
- Challenge young children with puzzles.
- If you really feel that your child needs exposure to technology, check out this wooden iPhone or these 5 reusable game boards, all of which are far safer than electronic screens.