My 13 month old son is a gadget geek, which makes me both proud and a little concerned (but mostly proud). He has mountains of toys and things he can climb or roll around on but once he’s caught sight of a laptop or cell phone his toys no longer exist. I typically wait until he falls asleep before getting my devices out. Lucky for our son, my wife had an iPod Touch when she made the switch to the iPhone so we were able to give him his own iPod to bang around and occasionally chew on.
The App Store has several apps designed for babies and toddlers and the ability to sync the device with our collection of music and videos for him makes the iPod Touch a great baby entertainment hub. Unfortunately, there was one problem that hindered the baby entertainment/temporary parental relief. When we had an app or video up for our son, he would inadvertently press the home button and leave the app, so we were constantly relaunch them. It was a viscous cycle and it was tearing our family apart. When it seemed that all hope was lost, I discovered an application called IncarcerApp. IncarcerApp allows you to disable the home button of your iDevice while in an application. So now when I launch, let’s say the Baby Rattle Toy app (which he LOVES), I enable IncarcerApp, which disables the home button and avoids any unintentional exiting. When he’s had his fill of flashing lights , floating suns and animal noises, I re-enable the home button, allowing me to exit the app as normal. Unfortunately, your iDevice must be jailbroken in order to use IncarcerApp, but it’s free and can be downloaded from Cydia.
Another great application that we’ve found very useful for keeping him entertained for long car rides is MxTube. MxTube is another jailbreak app that allows you to search YouTube and save videos directly to your device. We have tons of educational videos saved for him to watch when he gets fussy in the car or while we’re out.
The iPod Touch has been a really great toy for him. It’s also nice to have our collection of classical music to soothe him during nap time when we’re away from home. Check out Parents Magazine’s Best iPhone Apps for Babies and Toddlers for a great list of apps your baby will enjoy.