I’ve been cruising through Amazon today, taking advantage of Black Friday deals, when I came across the (Amazon recommended!) Fisher-Price Ipad Apptivity Seat. It’s your typical newborn bouncy chair, but it has an arm that extends from the seat that you can slide an iPad into.
At first I laughed. “Wow!” I thought, “someone actually took the time to make the most hilarious parody of our collective obsession with tiny screens!” Then I realized this is ACTUALLY A REAL PRODUCT FOR SALE. And I died inside.
This tiny Clockwork Orange seat is for BABIES. Newborns, in fact. The designers thought of everything. For example, it has several safety systems to keep your prized possession safe from dribble and drool! Also, there is a three-point harness for the baby, if you care. But your iPad will be super-protected from that gross baby!
I really am stunned there is an actual product for sale (for seventy-five dollars!) that encourages screen time so blatantly. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that babies under the age of two should not have screen time as babies learn best from interacting with people, not screens. I’ll be the first to admit that keeping your toddlers away from TV and tiny screens isn’t easy. My daughter, Annabel, looked at baby-friendly apps and videos from time to time before she was two, but we did our best to limit that exposure as much as possible – and when she did interact with these things, I was right there with her. This product forces babies to have screen time in the most isolated way possible. I mean, the baby is strapped into a seat and has nothing else to look at!
I read some of the reviews of the product, and while most of them were appropriately horrified, some sang the seat’s praises with gems like:
” I can turn on the camera and it will be like they are using the real mirror toy!”
“My baby constantly craves attention and cries. This product has helped me curb his neediness. Here’s a hint: I made a video of myself acting interested in my baby, cooing, that sort of stuff. It took me a half hour to make but now I can play it for baby Stanley on a loop on my tablet while he sits in his chair. Fools him every time!”
Babies are so dumb! And mirrors are sooooo 2001!
(Note: some of these positive reviews were from special needs parents, which is totally legit and I’m glad they can use the product positively.)
I just…I can’t with this baby product. I have no problem with bouncer seats, but the iPad element is out of control. I see this and I think, “Y DO U H8 UR BAYBEE?” It’s just sad. I am sad for humanity, you guys. I’m going to go hold my six-month-old and sing him some songs.