Is The Hue And Cry Over This Baby Seat With iPad Holder Justified?

When it comes to kids and technology, there is a growing controversy over how much screen time is too much. This topic gets even more divisive when it comes to infants, which is why the Apptivity bouncy seat and iPotty are causing such a stir.

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A new infant seat featuring an iPAD holder is sparking debate with mothers and parenting educators over how young is too young to spend time with technology

A bouncy chair with an iPad holder is being slammed by some parents for getting kids hooked on technology too early.
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The Fisher-Price 'Newborn to Toddler Apptivity Seat' allows you to strap your baby into a bouncy chair just inches from a mounted iPad.

It costs $80 and the company says babies can play and learn while using educational apps.

A baby bouncy chair with an attached iPad holder is being offered for $80 by Fisher-Price. Think it's a good idea?

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Some doctors are concerned it could affect your child's brain development, although Fisher-Price says parents have the option to remove the iPad.

While its not unusual for parents to pacify their children with the iPad, is there a difference if a product 'encourages' parents to do just that?

"I just think that it's a terrible idea, especially being that its marketed for infants." Said one mother. She added, I have a friend that has a two-year old, that he had an iPAD addiction, and she literally had to break him of wanting this Ipad and screaming for it."

A baby discovers Apple's tech wonders courtesy of the Fisher-Price iPad Apptivity Seat.

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The Newborn to Toddler Apptivity Seat by Fisher Price features an iPAD holder to engage the youngest of future techies, but some parents said kids don't need to be exposed to technology at such a tender age.

But others say there is a benefit "I think its a good tool, I think that the kids will be entertained, As long as there is maybe some limitation to how long they're watching it."

Pop your baby in the seat, switch on your iPad - and just leave them to grow up

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The American Pediatric Association says children two and under should have limited amount of any kind of screen time.
"But with proper monitoring," Said Leader, "There are benefits to interactive technology." She explained. "They get a lot of mental and physical stimulation by making the cow moo on the screen, books kind of come alive, that sort of thing."

There are several other high-tech geared for baby products on the market and it is up to parents to decide if these are the right fit for their family.

The Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad comes with a mirror that can hold a tablet

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Meanwhile, an advocacy group has called on toy maker Fisher-Price to stop selling the product, saying it encourages parents to leave infants alone to watch screens that could be harmful

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a Boston-based advocacy group, wants the company to recall its Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPads.
The group says it's not healthy for a baby's development and encourages parents to leave baby alone.

A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that electronic screen time for children under age 2 is linked to language delays, sleep disturbance and future learning problems.

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The seat is angering parents and child advocates who say the introduction of screen technology so early is harmful to the health and development of babies and claim Fisher-Price’s seat hits a new low.

Fisher-Price’s iPad seat is the 'ultimate electronic babysitter, whose very existence suggests that it’s fine to leave babies as young as newborns all alone and with an iPad inches from their face,' said Susan Linn, director of child advocacy group the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC).

'Fisher-Price should stay true to its mission to foster learning and development by creating products for infants that promote, rather than undermine, interaction with caregivers,' Ms Linn said.

‘Babies thrive when they're talked to, played with, and held — not when they're alone with a screen,’ the director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said.

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The group cited research by the American Academy of Pediatrics that suggested screen time for children under age 2 was linked to language delays, sleep disturbance and learning problems later in childhood. There was no evidence it was advantageous.

According to the group, babies left alone with iPads also could be deprived of activities shown to be beneficial to brain development, such as hands-on creative play and positive interaction with adults

"By manufacturing a device to restrain infants in front of a screen, even when they're too young to sit up, Fisher-Price actually discourages interactions that are crucial to learning and healthy development," Dr. Susan Linn, the group's director, said in the statement.

"Babies thrive when they're talked to, played with, and held - not when they're alone with a screen," Linn said.

Juliette Reashor, a spokeswoman for Fisher-Price, a brand owned by toy manufacturer Mattel, said in a statement:

That consumers who purchased the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad gave it positive reviews "that show strong parent involvement and support."

The seat was never meant to be an educational product for children and is only available online, she said.

The arm can be removed to 'disable' the iPad-holding feature

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"We wanted to offer it as yet another option for those parents who want the added feature of engaging in age-appropriate content with their children," Reashor said in the statement.

The infant seat includes a mirror that can hold an iPad, providing "another way to stimulate and engage baby while protecting your device from baby's sticky fingers and preventing unintentional navigating to other apps," a product description on Fisher-Price's website said.

The company offers free apps to use with the seat that feature "soft, soothing sounds and nature scenes, black-and-white images and high-contrast patterns that help develop eye-tracking skills," it said. Other apps for older babies introduce letters and numbers through sing-along tunes, sounds and friendly characters.

The Apptivity Seat is a bouncy seat for infants with a place for an iPad directly above the baby's face.

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The apps' visual content ends after 10-12 minutes to help parents keep track of their child's viewing time, the website said.

Other retailers have created similar products aimed at putting screen devices in front of children at the earliest ages and there is an equal amount of outrage aimed at it

CTA Digital’s 2-in-1 iPotty With Activity Seat for iPad allows babies and toddlers to tap away at a tablet positioned in front of a plastic potty-training bowl.

CTA’s iPotty potty-training device is on display at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Retailers have created several products aimed at putting screen devices in front of children at the earliest ages.

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The company, which makes accessories for tablets and video games, has a commissioned study on its site that touts the use of technology in child development, including potty training.

“Many young children already love playing with their parents’ iPad, and now they can safely do so with the iPotty,” CTA Digital says on its Web site. “It provides a fun and comfortable place to sit, while learning how to safely use the potty, playing apps, reading books or watching video clips.”

The Brooklyn-based company said that despite some criticism, it has seen a boom in sales of the iPotty. The toilet trainer was first introduced a year ago and has become the company’s second-most popular product aimed at babies and children.

Bathroom reading: There have also been complaints about this potty-training device that comes complete with room for an iPad

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The slew of new baby-tech products has drawn criticism from parents blasting CTA and Fisher-Price in’s customer-review sections. Fisher-Price’s seat had more than 100 reviews, many negative.

It's not the first time Fisher Price has been in the hot seat for a high-tech baby toy.
Last year the company picked up the same worst toy award from the group for a stuffed monkey toy that mounted an iPhone in the belly area, and ran special Fisher Price apps.

What do you think of the seats? Would you use it for your baby? Leave your thoughts in the CHAT section.

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