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Controversy over new Fisher-Price baby bouncer that comes iPad-ready

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There's a new baby bouncer on the market with an overhead compartment for an iPad that's stirring up controversy.

Is it a good learning tool or a babysitter for busy moms?

The Fisher-Price gadget is supposed to entertain infants with videos and apps, but critics warn this method of keeping babies busy will stunt their ability to crawl, walk, and talk.

Marycarol Berchman is a mom of four with children all under the age of 5. She understands the benefits and challenges of parenthood.

When she heard about the Fisher-Price newborn to toddler Apptivity Seat with an iPad hanging over a young baby's face, she was surprised.

"I've been through majority of the gadgets and I can't say I'm a huge fan," she says. "I think at this age a lot of it is about, you know, sensory and playing with things that they would be able to learn cause and effect."

Another Chicago mom and tech blogger, Kris Cain, has her concerns about the iPad on the baby seat.

"The iPad screen is probably no more than 12 inches from the baby's face and I think babies have enough going on around them with learning how to soak it all in and they don't need that extra stimulation quite yet," Cain tells FOX 32.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says screen time, whether on a TV or a tablet should not be introduced to a child younger than two years old.

Dr. Renee Slade, a pediatrician at Rush University Medical center agrees.

"The best thing for babies is to be able to interact with you," Dr. Slade explains. "That's how they learn, that's how they develop. That's how they learn speech, that's how they learn to move and so sitting in a chair and watching a screen is not going to help the baby's development."

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