We all want to keep our kids away from gadgets but we all know that it’s just not possible to keep them away from gadgets like mobile phones, i-pads, smart watch as they see these things around them all day. One thing that I have learnt in my 11 months journey of motherhood is that babies learn very less of what you try to teach them and learn most of the things by observing and imitating. And these mocking little humans see us using phones and such stuff whole day. So it is very difficult to keep them away from screens.
Honestly answering, NO. Ideally, screen must be introduced after age of two. But it’s not practical to keep them away from phone. It is integral part of our lives and at some point we all break our rule of no screen and use phones to distract, engage or calm down the baby.
My point is that it is impossible for us to keep them away from phones till 2 years of age, until we are ready to give up phones.
We can’t quit but we can certainly be more careful about using phones in front of babies. There are few things we can follow so that phones don’t have too much impact on their lives.
Limiting the screen time works in two ways. First limit the time you are using the phone yourself. If the baby sees you overusing the phone, they will ask for and expect more time for him also. Secondly limit the interval for baby also. 15-20 minutes of screen time is enough for one session.
It is very important to spend time with children. Have conversation with your baby. He might not be able to respond verbally but babies understand most of the things you are speaking. They are capable of answering with their voice tones or blabber. While using phones, this practice must be continued. It’s important to interact with them and see what interests them.
Be careful about what apps you have and what content baby is exposed to. There is a kids mode available in phones, make sure to turn that on before giving it to baby. Kids friendly apps must be there and parent lock and supervision is very important.
Baby is too young to understand that device is expensive. Be cautious that he doesn’t throw it away like a ball or toy. Also check that charger is not connected while baby has mobile phone.
Anything used wisely and within limits can turn out to be beneficial. Same is with phones. Some ways that can help phones to be good experience for your one year old are:
Physical play and activities develop all aspects of development of babies. So try to keep them away from mobiles as much as possible. These are just pointers to minimize the usage. I am in no way encouraging the phones for 1 year olds.
Also read: 5 Ways to Keep Your Kid Away From Gadgets