Busy moms and dads who have no time to read to or talk with their infants can now belt the tykes into a baby seat just inches from an iPad – and let the computer take care of those pesky parental duties.
Just in time for Christmas, toymaker Fisher-Price has unveiled the “Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad,” a baby seat that features a plastic case designed to hold an iPad smack in front of baby’s eyes – and developing brain.
“Lock your iPad device inside the case to protect from dribbles and drool. Play and learning are at baby’s fingertips, with free apps you can download for your iPad,” the company’s product listing on Amazon gushes.
The $79.99 seat is also “designed with a 3 point restraint for safety” – and to make sure junior can’t escape.
But while some lazy parents might jump at the chance to let their babies vegetate watching the high-tech boob tube, others were outraged at the idea.
“Don’t buy it, tell all your friends not to buy it, and for goodness sake don’t give it to a BABY!!” Hope Moffatt commented on Amazon.
“I am disgusted with Fisher Price and urge Amazon to reconsider carrying this terrible contraption!! … the American Pediatric Association recommends NO SCREEN TIME for babies under 2. babies need to move to understand and explore their world and they need to manipulate things, not passively watch them!” she fumed.
“Horrible. Damaging. Terrible idea,” added Jood Milne Home, another Amazon reviewer.
“If you want to damage your child’s development, buy this chair. Children of a very young age are genetically programmed to respond positively to interacting with PEOPLE. Even if they are just watching the world go by. This is a horrible gadget,” she wrote.
Dr. Nava Silton, a child psychologist, told Fox News the main worry is that parents will use the seat and iPad as a babysitter, exposing their kids to the screen for hours on end.
But a Fisher-Price rep defended the product, saying it’s up to parents to decide if they want to expose their children to a bombardment of pre-school digital programming.
“We created the Seat iPad feature for those times when parents want to use this visual display option as another way to stimulate and engage their baby,” said Kathleen Alfano.
“If parents don’t want to use the iPad, they can remove the device and a mirror will be overhead, or they can remove the bar completely. The choice is theirs.”
Get more tech news and reviews at The New York Post.