eBook Apps for Babies?

One of the exciting things about eBooks is the potential to do things that you simply cannot do with printed paper books. The Nook Color has already started to explore this territory with a growing line up of color kids books. And now for an even younger crowd, Ladybird has adapted its Baby Touch series of books for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The obvious question arises of whether or not babies are too young to be interacting with eBooks of any kind.

Having some experience with babies and technology, I know that our kids usually want to play with our “toys” as much as we do. One of the first C++ applications I ever wrote was a keyboard banging game called Baby Mush that I created so that my daughter could bang away on my computer without disturbing my other work. I’m pretty sure it was the first and only such app ever written for OS/2! And of course, the urge that parents feel to dress and accessorize our kids like mini versions of ourselves is very strong.

Still, Nintendo’s 3DS warning against use of the upcoming game console by players under 6 years of age, should give one pause against bringing babies into the digital age too soon. With eyesight and coordination still developing, babies need more interaction with the real world than the digital one. But it’s highly unlikely that any parent is going to abandon their infant to play with an eBook on an iPad all day. All in all, I’d say it’s a pretty good time to be a baby!

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