Funny story: Once upon a time a mommy-to-be had her own 30 gig iPod and was happy. But once the baby came, the little princess took over the iPod in the nursery for nightime lullabies on the mommy's iHome2go.
For months, the mommy left the iPod in the little princess's room for naps and bedtime on the appropriate "Buttercup's lullabies" playlist. Although the little princess loved her sleepy-time tunes, the mommy was REALLY missing her iPod.
That's when she discovered the SweetPea3 mp3 player for kids. And the mommy rejoiced.
This award-winning little baby is seriously AWESOME! The Sweetpea Toy Company was kind enough to send one for Buttercup to try out for our trips to see her daddy who is working out of state, and I can already promise my future unborn children that I will by each of them a sweetpea3 of their own because it is that cool.
The sweetpea3 itself is the brain-child of a small Canadian start-up designed for kids ages 0-6. Yep, you read that right. But before you freak out, no one is talking about sticking nickel-sized headphones into your little prince's or princess's ears. Instead, the player is designed to play with our without headphones, and has a jack for older kids to listen to their chosen tunes in peace. The littlest music lovers can enjoy naptime lullabies in their nurseries with the sweetpea3 shushing them to dreamland while perched safely on a dresser or shelf.
The design itself is pretty smart. It's small enough to throw in a diaper bag for happier car rides and made of a durable enough rubber that it survived Buttercup's baptismal spike onto the floor from a shopping cart the day we got it. Add the fact that it's easy for little hands to carry around and it's one smart kiddie mp3.
Other bonuses are the easy-to-use kiddie controls with three buttons which allow kids to go forward, backward, or stop a song. Hidden parental controls allow for saavy parents to set the volume, play time (you can have it auto shut off after a few minutes or let it play for a few hours), select the playlist (you have three you can choose from to easily separate boisturous play time music from gentle night lullabies), and set the volume to your desired level.
The Sweetpea3 holds up to 16 hours of music and easy to get going with the included USB chord. You can load it up with mp3 and WMA files, but save yourself the trouble of even trying to get any of your iTunes music on this little player. It won't work. Ninety percent of my iTunes playlist is from my own personal CD collection, including Buttercup's tunes, and I wasted a good chunk of time trying to load it with music it basically just rejected.
This really is my only major complaint as I have about 5 gig of music for Buttercup on the iPod that I have no chance of letting her listen to on the Sweetpea3.
And as far as complaints go, I also have one minor one: Buttercup listens to the Sweetpea3 all day long and no battery can outlast her. And when you add in the 8 hours of uninterrupted nighttime serenades, we use up AA batteries pretty quickly. The Sweetpea3's $60 price tag would be much more attractive to me if it included the AC adapter, which currently sells as an optional accessory for $10.
If you are looking at purchasing this for your child for plane trips, keep in mind that unless your child is old enough for safe headphone use, you will only be able to use the sweetpea3 while waiting to board the plane. But it's a great buy for long car rides and even longer layovers in boring airports.
All in all, I think this is a great option for mjusic-loving kiddos and parents wishing to reclaim their own prized electronics. You can get your own sweetpea3 from the Sweetpea Toy Company.
***Post edited on March 3 to include a message from the Sweetpea Toy company***
Thanks for the review.
FYI, you can use iTunes to copy your CD collection but first you have to change the setting from AAC format to MP3 format (see http://sweetpeatoyco.com/SupportTroubleshooting.cfm#6 for details). Also, 40 hours on one AA battery is exceptionally good. I get many comments about how long the battery lasts. About 1/3 of customers purchase the adapter. Separating the adapter from the package allows me to lower the price for 2/3 of my customers who don't actually want or need the adapter.
I'm pleased to offer you a promotional code that you can distribute to your readers. They enter the code on the order page of my website and it knocks $10 off the purchase price of a SweetPea3. It would be wonderful if you could let your readers know. Your promo code is 24WWW.
Thanks so much,
SweetPea Toy Company Ltd.