During a child’s first few years, their physical and mental health matters the most. According to research, 80% of a child’s brain development takes place within the first three years of their life.
In today’s world where technology is always with us in our purses and pockets, and now with smart watches it is often on our wrists. As a result, children are introduced to screens early and often.
Let’s first look at how technology can help with your baby’s development starting with this first question:
What does your baby need to grow their brain and develop spoken language?
- Lots of talking. The more words your baby hears, the better!
- A tuned-in communication partner. Your baby’s cries, coos, smiles, and laughs are their way of communicating with you. Responding to them is important!
- Your full attention. A lot of learning occurs when you pay attention to your baby’s interests and react accordingly, such as acknowledging when they point out a bouncing ball by saying “Oh, you see that ball? It’s bouncing.”
Restricting or limiting the use of technology for babies is crucial as it can have adverse impacts on their development. Parents should also reduce their own screen time to prioritize spending time with their children. Here are some reasons why having screen-free time is crucial.
- Studies have shown that parents speak fewer words when they are using a smartphone. To enhance communication with your child, it is recommended to limit screen time and engage in activities that promote conversation. By doing so, you can help your baby learn more words.
- Looking down at your device makes it harder to notice your baby’s smiles and sounds. This often leads to missed opportunities to bond and communicate. Your babies want to see your face!
- Babies’ speech and language development may be delayed by screen usage, but they still learn words through interaction with you.
- Babies may have difficulty learning to self-soothe when exposed to screens. While giving your phone to a fussy baby may provide temporary relief, it may not be helpful in the long run.
Why Does Your Home Need a Healthy Tech Setup?
Setting up a healthy technology home for both you and your baby as you need to create a safe environment for learning and growth. Here are some tips you can take note of in preparing a tech wise home for your baby:
- Discuss with your partner ways to be Tech Wise while spending time with your baby.
- Create technology-free spaces.
- Make a daily habit of setting aside technology-free moments for tasks like eating, taking care of them, and playing.
- Consult with your trusted pediatrician, speech-language pathologist, and other experts about any questions or concerns you have about managing screen time.
A healthy tech environment benefits parents too.
- Parents experience a sense of calmness and improved ability to understand their baby’s needs;
- Parents feel a closer connection to their baby;
- By accomplishing more tasks during the day, parents can have better quality time with their baby and still feel rested despite frequent wake-ups.
Why should parents regulate their screen time?
By managing your screen usage, you can establish a stronger connection with your infant and
- Make your baby feel close to you
- Engage your baby to delight in your attention
- Soothe your baby more easily
- Help your baby feel safe as they learn about you and their world
While technology is indeed part of our lives, we must remember that time with our child should always come first. So put away those devices and create a healthy tech environment for your and your child now.