Inside the iPad baby bouncy seat controversy

The $80 bouncy seat does not include an iPad.
The $80 bouncy seat does not include an iPad.

With toddlers grabbing iPhones out of their parents’ hands to play apps made specifically for them, it was only a matter of time before a baby seat with an iPad attached to it hit the market. But when Fisher-Price revealed the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad Device, it unintentionally sparked a debate about how young is too young for touch screens.

The toy boasts apps with soothing sounds and scenes, as well as interactive media. But not everyone is impressed. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement saying children younger than 2-years-old shouldn’t spend any time in front of a screen.

They toy was harshly debated on “Good Morning America,” with ABC’s news chief medical editor and pediatrician warning, “Parents need to be really careful here. A child’s brain is going through incredible development and change in 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.”

For it’s part, Fisher-Price released a statement on their website standing by the toy, saying that smartphones and tablets are part of our daily lives now, and parents are looking for ways to integrate them into their child’s play and development. The toy manufacturer also told Fast Company magazine, “Though we know this product isn’t for everyone – we have over a dozen seats from which other parents can choose – we wanted to offer it as yet another option for those parents who want to the added feature of engaging with age-appropriate content with their children.”

And so, the debate continues.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence



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