BabySparks App Store  BabySparks Play Store 

10 Oct

We had the fortune to attend a great event in Miami the other night - the Expectant Moms' Night out at Tutti Bambini. If you are expecting a baby or a new mom, there are few places in Miami that offer so many great services - from concierge services to classes to nursery design.

While at the event we got some great questions about the BabySparks development app and we thought we would share them more broadly. If you have questions of your own, feel free to post them here or on our Facebook page and we'll get back to you ASAP. We love feedback and are very interested in what you have to say.

This week's questions:

1. How early should parents start supporting their babies' development with early stimulation?

The truth is that it is never too early. From the minute your baby is born, there are opportunities for helping boost development. Many of those things in the early days are introducing the baby to its senses - through the sound of your voice or gentle music, by making different faces, and exposing your newborn to different smells.

Surprising as it may be, you can also start tummy time almost immediately - even before the umbilical cord has fallen off. The earlier you start, the better for the baby. One way to introduce tummy time gently is to turn the baby over onto its stomach for 30 seconds to 1 minute after each diaper change. Then it just becomes part of the routine.

The BabySparks app has 20+ similar activities for newborns - you can download the app and see a few.

 

2. Why do you have speech in your app if the current activities are for babies under 1 year of age?

Even though babies won't articulate actual words until they near their first birthday (or beyond), there is a great deal we can do to help them use sounds to communicate. By 2 months old, you might notice that your baby is already paying attention when there are adults speaking. In subsequent months, your baby will develop a repertoire of babbles, sighs, coos, and gurgles. The baby might understand very simple instructions (i.e., "pick up the toy" or "crawl to mommy") and shakes its head "no" by 9 months old.

In general, your child is establishing all the communication foundations that will allow speech when the time is right. The BabySparks app gives you ideas to support the process of language acquisition through the first year so that these foundations are established as strongly as possible to help transition to verbal communication.

3. Why is there no product for 3- and 4-year olds?

The current set of 300+ activities are all dedicated to babies 0 - 12 months old. In the next several months we will offer activities for babies from 1 - 2 years old. We will stop at age 2 for this specific type of application. The reason is that after 2 years old, there are many options for parents to continue to support their toddlers' and preschoolers' development. Sports, arts, music and other classes are all very stimulating to young children.

We felt that in the first 2 years of life was when parents required the greatest amount support and decided to create a product to help them in this stage of their babies' lives. Parents of newborns and infants might not feel comfortable (or be able to afford) going to a different early stimulation class every day of the week. BabySparks gives them the ability to help their babies in whatever circumstance they find themselves - and they can have a big impact with just a few minutes daily.

With our first son we were in London, at the mercy of its challenging weather conditions. Some days were fantastic for walks in the park, playing in the grass, exploring all that the city could offer. But other days we were trapped by the rain and gloom. Doing stimulation activities at home meant that my son got his necessary dose of input, regardless of what Mother Nature had in store.

 

Do you have a question about the app? About infant development? Put it in the comments and we'll get back to you quickly.

 

 

16 Sep

Becoming a new parent brings new challenges at every turn. What kind of stroller? Cloth diapers or disposable? Breast or bottle? Which approach to sleep do you want to take? And now, with the proliferation of smart phones and all of the fantastic apps for iPhones and Androids, there are more questions to answer.

This is not a definitive list, to be sure - there are new apps every day. But these are the ones we used with our first and are using with our 9-month old today.

1 - Kindle (iPhone or Android)

Not a baby app, but a baby survival app for me. There were a lot of late night feedings and snugglings where I had 15 - 45 minutes of time. Certainly there were times that I just stared at my son's face, but often I used the time to read. Prior to motherhood, I was a staunch supporter of paper-only reading. I love to read more than most things and I was going to stand with the book people to the end. And then I had a tiny baby in my arms and couldn't juggle a book and the baby while he ate. So my staunch support faded away and now I'm almost exclusively an electronic reader. Sad, but true. But at least I still read.

2 - Total Baby (iPhone)

I still use this app for both of my boys. It lets you track feedings (breast or bottle), diapers, sleep, doctors appointments, vaccines, milestones, and more. I love the handy CDC and WHO growth charts (see below) and being able to go back and see when it was that my first son had an ear infection. This app saved me during the first weeks and months when I sometimes couldn't remember my own name but needed to know when I had last fed the little one and whether or not he'd had sufficient wet diapers.

Growth Chart

3 - My Smart Hands (iPhone or Android)

There are lots of sign language apps on the market - many of them great. This one was my favorite, as it has handy little videos to show you how to use sign language. My little one is 9 months old now and I'm beginning to use sign language again. Lots of kids struggle to speak and get frustrated when they can't communicate with words. Sign language can significantly reduce that frustration. We only used a few signs with my first son ("more" and "all done" and "up"), but it made a difference. We have a bilingual household, which often means later talkers. So I'll be breaking this app out again soon.

SignLanguage

4 - Amazon (iPhone or Android) and Diapers.com (iPhone or Android)

Diapers in two days. At your door. Enough said. If you're an Amazon shopper, join Amazon Mom to get great discounts on diapers and other items. When you spend money, you get free months of Amazon Prime, so you can get free 2-day delivery.

5 - White Noise Machine - by TMSoft (iPhone only)

This is great for keeping the baby's room sleep-ready... for blocking out dogs barking, snoring, and more.  There have been some studies recently that warn against constant white noise. So check the volume level and vary between white noise and some of the other sounds.

***

There are lots of apps.. so many. But these are the ones that we absolutely can't live without. What apps do you need to have?

 

05 Oct

Leer en Español

BabySparks App, the All-in-One Tool to Help Parents Support their Babies' Development, Launches Spanish Version

Miami, FL; October 5th, 2015: Today BabySparks, LLC, a technology company focused on baby and child development, announced the launch of its iPhone app in Spanish. The English version of the app has been downloaded by hundreds of thousands of parents and is one of the leading apps in its field. With this release, the millions of Spanish-speaking parents and caregivers around the world can use the powerful baby development activities and milestone content in their own language.

BabySparks targets parents of babies 0 – 12 months old. It provides hundreds of activities to support infant development across the most critical areas, as well as detailed milestone information, all customized for each baby's age and specific needs. BabySparks is essentially a playbook that empowers parents to know exactly what to do and when to do it to help their children progress across key development areas. The activities and supporting content have been created with the collective wisdom of leading baby development experts with decades of research and practical experience.

New parents often face endless questions related to raising their children across topics from feeding to sleeping to development. BabySparks provides the answers to many development-related questions and also offers a program that encourages active parental engagement in supporting their babies' individual progress.
BabySparks suggests a daily program of 10 – 12 activities for the baby, based on age and development level. Each recommended exercise is illustrated by a quick video to help parents do everything correctly. If they prefer a more focused approach, parents can look for activities around a specific need – by development area (e.g., gross motor, cognitive, etc), location (e.g., at the park or at mealtime) or a specific milestone (rolling over or crawling, for example).

BabySparks can be synced across iOS devices, so that parents, grandparents, and other caregivers can all support the baby with the right activities.
"Since our launch last year, there have been significant numbers of downloads in Spanish-speaking countries. Previously, early stimulation programs for babies were available only to those that could afford to spend a relatively significant amount. Now, for just a few dollars, every parent with an iPhone can deliver an expert-quality program to their child," said Gustavo Rodriguez, managing partner and co-founder of BabySparks. "We built BabySparks because we are convinced that the right development support early in life provides children with lifelong benefits."

This launch is for an iPhone app for babies from 0 – 12 months, but the Company expects to have available content for older babies and Android users in the near future.

About BabySparks, LLC: BabySparks is a baby and toddler development and early stimulation company focused on offering parents, caregivers and child-focused professionals technology solutions to help support areas of critical development. The first series of products are smartphone apps to give parents the tools to become their baby's development coach. With expert-created activities and essential development content, BabySparks gives parents an all-in-one solution for helping foster their babies' progress. Founded in 2013, BabySparks operates in Miami, San Francisco and Boston. For more information see www.BabySparks.com or download the app at www.BabySparks.com/itunes.


 

BabySparks, la aplicación esencial de estimulación temprana que ayuda a padres a apoyar activamente el desarrollo de sus bebés, lanza versión en español

Miami, FL; Octubre 5 de 2015: Hoy, BabySparks, LLC, una empresa de tecnología enfocada en el desarrollo temprano de bebés y niños, anunció el lanzamiento de su aplicación para iPhone en español. La versión en Inglés ha sido descargada por cientos de miles de padres y es una de las aplicaciones líderes en su campo. Con este lanzamiento, los millones de padres y otras personas relacionadas con el cuidado de bebés de habla hispana alrededor del mundo podrán utilizar sus eficaces actividades de estimulación temprana y su contenido adicional sobre desarrollo en su propio idioma.

BabySparks se enfoca en padres de bebés de 0 – 12 meses de edad. Ofrece cientos de actividades de estimulación temprana para apoyar el desarrollo infantil en las áreas más críticas, así como información detallada sobre el desarrollo esperado a cada edad. Todo el contenido está personalizado para la edad de cada niño y sus necesidades específicas. BabySparks es esencialmente un manual de juegos que permite a los padres saber exactamente qué hacer y cuándo hacerlo para ayudar a sus niños a progresar en áreas claves del desarrollo. Las actividades y el contenido de soporte fue creado con la experiencia colectiva de expertos líderes en el tema de desarrollo temprano con décadas de investigación y experiencia práctica.

Todo nuevo padre se enfrenta frecuentemente a una infinidad de preguntas relacionadas con el desarrollo de sus hijos. BabySparks ofrece respuestas a muchas de estas preguntas y ofrece un programa de estimulación temprana que fomenta la activa participación de padres en el progreso y desarrollo de sus bebés.

Diariamente, la aplicación ofrece una rutina compuesta por 10 – 12 actividades seleccionadas basadas en la edad y el nivel de desarrollo de cada bebé. Cada ejercicio recomendado incluye instrucciones simples y un vídeo ilustrativo corto para ayudar a los padres a hacer todo correctamente. Si se prefiere un enfoque más específico, los padres también pueden buscar actividades en torno a una necesidad particular. Por ejemplo, por área de desarrollo (motricidad gruesa, cognición, etc.), por ubicación actual (actividades para el parque o la hora de la comida), o para apoyar logros específicos (dar la vuelta, gatear, etc).

BabySparks se puede sincronizar en varios dispositivos iOS, por lo que los padres, abuelos, niñeras y otras personas cercanas al bebé pueden todas apoyarlo con las actividades adecuadas.

"Desde nuestro lanzamiento el año pasado, han habido un número significativo de descargas en los países de habla hispana. Anteriormente, los programas de estimulación temprana para bebés estaban disponibles sólo para aquellos que podían permitirse el lujo de gastar un monto relativamente importante. Ahora, por una pequeña cantidad de dinero, cualquier padre con un iPhone puede ofrecer un programa de estimulación temprana de alta calidad a sus hijos", dijo Gustavo Rodríguez, socio director y co-fundador de BabySparks. "Construimos BabySparks porque estamos convencidos que un adecuado apoyo al desarrollo de cualquier niño en sus primeros meses y años, le traerá beneficios durante toda su vida".

Esta versión de la aplicación está disponible para iPhone y bebés de 0 – 12 meses, pero la compañía espera tener contenido disponible para niños mayores y usuarios de Android en el futuro cercano.

Acerca de BabySparks, LLC: BabySparks es una compañía dedicada al diseño y desarrollo de contenido y productos tecnológicos orientados a apoyar el desarrollo en bebés y niños pequeños. Sus productos y programas buscan proveer a nuevos padres y profesionales en campos afines, con las herramientas adecuadas para apoyar áreas críticas del desarrollo. Su primera línea de productos consiste en una serie de aplicaciones para teléfonos inteligentes que fomentan la activa interacción entre padres y sus bebés. Con actividades creadas por expertos e información detallada y personalizada sobre desarrollo temprano, BabySparks ofrece a los padres herramientas esenciales para apoyar el progreso de sus hijos. Fundada en 2013, BabySparks opera en Miami, San Francisco y Boston. Para más información ir a www.BabySparks.com o descargar la aplicación en www.BabySparks.com/itunes.

03 Sep

BabySparks iPhone App Gives Parents an All-in-One Tool to Boost their Baby’s Development
New app helps parents answer the question, “What should I do to foster my baby’s developmental progress?”

Miami, FL: Today BabySparks, LLC, a technology company focused on baby development, announced the launch of its first iPhone app, targeted to parents of babies 0 – 12 months old. With hundreds of development-boosting activities and substantial child development and milestone content within the app, BabySparks is essentially a playbook that empowers parents to know exactly what to do and when to do it to help their children progress across key development areas. The activities and supporting content have been created with the collective wisdom of leading baby development experts with decades of research and practical experience.

For new parents, there are more questions than answers, as they navigate the world with a baby. “What should I feed my child?” “What gear do I need?” “Will I ever sleep again?” For parents who wonder, “What should I be doing to boost the progress of my baby? How can I best help my baby reach its full potential?” one clear answer is BabySparks.

Parents and caregivers need only enter a couple of pieces of information about their baby to get started. Based on their child’s age, a suggested daily program of 9 – 13 activities will be available. Each activity provides simple instructions, illustrated by a quick video to help parents do the activity correctly. The daily program can be completed all at once or throughout the course of the day, as each activity only takes a few minutes. Or if they prefer a more focused approach, parents can look for activities around a specific need – by development area (i.e., gross motor, sensory, etc), location (i.e., at the park or at mealtime) or specific milestone (rolling over or crawling, for example).

“We chose to focus on a baby’s first months and years of life because that is when a child’s development is the fastest and most malleable. Any positive interaction or focused stimulation provides lifelong benefits to a child and often requires only a small effort,” said Gustavo Rodriguez, managing partner and co-founder of BabySparks. “The proper development of their babies is a priority for most parents, but work, family and other responsibilities often get in the way. We are parents ourselves and we are committed to building simple products that adapt to the lifestyles and constraints of today's parents.”

This launch is for an iPhone app for babies from 0 – 12 months, but the Company will offer content for older babies and Android users in the near future.

About BabySparks, LLC: BabySparks is a baby and toddler development and early stimulation company focused on offering parents, caregivers and child-focused professionals technology solutions to help boost areas of critical development. The first series of products are smartphone apps to give parents the tools to become their baby’s development coach. With expert-created activities and essential development content, BabySparks gives parents an all-in-one solution for helping foster their babies’ progress. Founded in 2013, BabySparks operates in Miami, San Francisco and Boston. For more information see www.babysparks.com or download the app at www.babysparks.com/itunes.

29 Aug

To say we are excited is an understatement.  As of 4:22am EDT, the BabySparks app is live in the App Store.

The app is just the first step in the goal to bring parents the tools they need to help boost their babies' development.  We are wholeheartedly committed to helping every parent help every baby reach their full potential.

The app itself is free, so anyone with an iPhone can download it today and check it out. To get the full benefits, you will want to get one of the activity packages, but you can get a subset of the content with the free app.

In it you will find a playbook with everything you need to understand how to play with your baby for maximum benefit. Here are a few highlights of what is in the first version of the app (available for babies 0 - 12 months old)

  • Hundreds of Development-Boosting Activities: Each activity only takes a few minutes and helps parents stimulate a particular area of development (i.e., gross motor or sensory)
  • Baby-Specific Daily Program: Just like you might have a set of exercises you do at the gym with your personal trainer, BabySparks has a set of 9 - 13 activities each day that parents can do with their babies (each one is pretty quick - so they can be done all together or throughout the day)
  • Activities Based on Specific Need or Focus: Parents can identify activities by a specific development category (i.e., fine motor or speech), by a location type (at the park or at social gatherings), or by individual milestone (i.e., sitting or crawling)
  • Simple on the Outside, Intelligent on the Inside: Those of us juggling babies don't have the time (or dexterity while literally juggling babies) to learn a complicated app - BabySparks is intuitive and simple to use; but the app is smart - as parents do activities with their babies, the app adjusts to offer the most appropriate activities for that individual baby

The team at BabySparks includes child development experts that have been working with babies for decades; through their books, research, and practical experience, they have helped hundreds of thousands of babies in multiple countries. In addition, the entire team at BabySparks is comprised of parents - so we have walked the walk when it comes to early stimulation and baby development. 

Please download the BabySparks app and let us know what you think. And get started boosting your baby's development today.