Life Relationships Fisher-Price defends iPad baby bouncer

Fisher-Price defends iPad baby bouncer

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A controversial baby bouncer that comes with an iPad holder so infants can watch baby apps won’t be available in Australia, its manufacturer says.

Toy company Fisher-Price describes its Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad as “another way to stimulate and engage baby”.

The company says parents can download its free apps for babies featuring “soft, soothing sounds and nature scenes, black-and-white images and high-contrast patterns that help develop eye-tracking skills”.

But it’s come under fire from children’s advocates in the US who say babies need “laps, not apps”.

But Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has started an online petition campaign urging Fisher-Price to recall the product, describing the toy as the “worst yet”.

Fisher-Price says the product won’t be available in Australia.

“The item has not been selected for the Fisher-Price range in Australia and New Zealand,” Fisher-Price spokeswoman Kathleen Alfano told AAP.

“We know the Apptivity Seat isn’t for everyone,” she said.

The CCFC described the product as “the ultimate babysitter”, saying it blocked a baby’s view of the world.

“Because screens can be mesmerising and babies are strapped down and ‘safely’ restrained, it encourages parents to leave infants all alone with an iPad,” it said on its website.

Ms Alfano said the iPad feature was designed “for those times when parents want to use this option as another way to stimulate and engage their baby.

“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,” she said.