The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood has started a petition, asking Fisher-Price to stop manufacturing and marketing their Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity™ Seat for iPad® device.
Let me tell you about this atrocity. It’s a bouncy seat that has an attachment where a parent can place an iPad — right in front of their baby’s face. This contraption retails for $80 and parents can download four “age-appropriate” apps, including one for the youngest babies.
This is not Fisher-Price’s only baby toy that is designed for use with iPads, which shows that technology is really overtaking our lives in every aspect — including parenting. How many moms and dads hand over their smartphones to their toddlers, and how many preschoolers have their own tablets? I’m definitely not anti-technology, but the idea of planting an infant in a seat, strapping him in and sticking an iPad in his face is ludicrous.
Experts agree that no screen time before 2 years of age is the way to go. And really, the iPad aspect isn’t the whole problem — it’s also a baby container problem. There are so many things for modern parents to put their babies into. Strollers, bouncy seats, car seats… the list goes on, and on, and on. There is almost an epidemic of babies with plagiocephaly, or “flat head syndrome.” That’s not always caused by an overuse of baby-containment items, but often it is.
Here’s an idea. Interact with your baby. Hold her, carry her, wear her. Put her on the floor for tummy time. Don’t strap her into a seat and play iPad apps for her. She needs visual stimulation from the real world, real experiences and real people.
Check out the petition here and sign if you’re so inclined.