"This product is great. Exactly what I was looking for. Everyone should own one of these. Fisher-Price does it again. Hail Satan."But let's be fair-minded. Let's compare this product (with the iPad inserted) to the usual distract-a-baby devices. There's television and there are those horrible mobiles people hang over cribs. Here, for example, is the Fisher-Price Discover 'n Grow Twinkling Lights Projector Mobile. Why would we think that is better than an iPad? First, you need to ask, what are the iPad apps for babies?
Check out Infant Visual Stimulation By Think Design Studio and Early Sensory Stimulation for Your Infant. These things look better than the DVDs of Disney movies or episodes of "Sesame Street" that people put on the TV for babies, and they seem immensely better than those nightmarish mobiles.
Here's a NYT article — "New Milestone Emerges: Baby’s First iPhone App" — with some info on how much time babies spend in front of various screens. (American Academy of Pediatrics says the amount for children under 2 should be: zero.)
The survey found that children under 2, on average, spend an hour a day in front of screens — engaging in activities like watching television, using computers, viewing DVDs, playing with mobile apps. Children ages 2 to 4 averaged two hours a day, and those 5 to 8, two hours and 20 minutes.It seems to me, in the real world, an Apptivity Seat with a high-quality baby app is a pretty good idea compared to the alternatives, unless the alternative is holding the baby in your arms and talking and singing or whatever the real, old-time human interactions were. Of course, we still do that much of the time, but not all of the time. In that off-the-lap time, what's the baby supposed to do? Not for too long, of course.
NOTE: If you told me it harms the development of the baby's eyesight, I would completely change my mind on this. Personally, I believe staring at the computer caused me to start to need reading glasses, but maybe that would have happened anyway, and I had the bad habit of locking on to the computer screen, for many hours a day, often more than 10 hours a day.