InnoTab 2 BabyThis morning I opened my email to find exciting news! The first-ever tablet specially designed for babies is out for the holidays, and it's selling for the low, low price of nearly 90 bucks. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Another piece of crap babies don't really need to lure parents into the baby commerce trap!
Moms! Dads! You're going to need to learn the following phrase once your kid hits the toddler years anyway, so listen up: just because it's there doesn't mean you need it.
In fact, there's zero evidence in this world that babies need their own tablets. Not even the fancy schmancy InnoTab 2 Baby from VTech.
Hold on, I'm not some Luddite out here trashing tablets. I own an iPad, and my 7-year-old got a Kindle Fire for her birthday. But we're both of an age when we can actually do things like, oh, I dunno, read, and wipe our own butts. And neither of us has chewed on anything that's not actually supposed to go in your mouth in years (well, OK, so maybe she still chews her hair, but we've weaned her off gadget munching).
We both use our tablets for exciting things like reading (both of us), playing My Little Pony (her), going on Facebook (me). We both put them away after we're done with them, safe on a shelf.
I think of putting a tablet in a baby's hands, on the other hand, and I envision a several-hundred-dollar item that they will now use for the following games:
1. Throw the tablet on the floor. Cry. Let someone pick it up. Throw it on the floor. Cry. Let someone pick it up. Throw it on the floor ...
2. Taste test the tablet. Watch someone remove it from the mouth. Cry. Get tablet back. Shove tablet back in the mouth.
3. Abandon tablet in the middle of the living room floor in favor of something really fun. You know, like the box it came in.
Putting a tablet in a baby's hands seems to be this parenting generation's version of the special baby TV programs that sent parents scurrying for the DVD aisle a decade ago. Everyone wants to raise the next Einstein, after all. And why stick with the old-fashioned, have worked for decades (even centuries) baby toys when you can get something new, flashy, and expensive?
Well, because babies still need to crawl before they can walk. They still need the basics, all the silly little traditional baby games that are really their way of developing their brain.
That throw the item, get it picked up game? That's how babies learn what happens when something is thrown. It's simple, but it's something they don't know until they try. Shoving everything in their mouth? It could be because they're teething, but it's also a means of learning about texture and preparing the mouth for speech.
Getting your baby a tablet may seem like a great idea because, aww man, you love that kid and want to give them everything. I believe you. But trust me, a board book will suffice. They can shove it in their mouth and throw it off the high chair as many times as they want.
What do you think of tablets for babies?
Image via Wal-Mart