Browse any online retailer for children’s toys, and you will soon come across a range of products that encourage fathers to outfit children with their own tiny smartphones and laptops.
Here are three examples, engineered for digital entertainment at any time of day:
- One item from Fisher Price upgrades the classic bouncy cradle by adding a frame attachment to hold a tablet computer in front of your infant’s drooling face.
- A web site called Baby First offers a virtual jigsaw puzzle, so infants can drag and drop pieces on a smartphone.
- A product from CTA offers a plastic training potty modified to hold an iPad screen for babies to watch while they do their business.
The only problem with these is they try to solve a problem that never existed – bored babies.
To an infant, the entire world is a touch-screen. Any item they can grab is an app. And every time they twist their face into a new expression, they have invented a new emoticon.
Being a baby is a process of constant amazement, perpetual experimentation, and algorithmic learning. Every time they heft a sippy cup, babies learn countless rules like how to hold a liquid level, when to tip it further to drink, and whether volume corresponds to weight (it does).
Busy dads are often bound to their digital devices by work schedules and the demands of modern life. But the best gift for a baby is the freedom to explore the wide world with the most powerful tools of all – their five natural senses.