This is something that is often a hot topic in mom circles and one that I am interested in for sure: Media use for kids, especially really young kids.
While I was pregnant with Bear, Andrew and I saw so many families using media (iPads, iPhones, etc) while out and about to essentially soothe kids or keep them entertained so they didn’t have to interact with the adults. One family we can both still picture was sitting at dinner at a restaurant, both parents on their phones and both kids with headphones and iPads, all mindlessly eating and not interacting with each other at all. Might have worked for them but Andrew and I knew that is not what we wanted for our family.
I researched this quite a bit and chatted with our pediatrician as well and these guidelines kept coming back as a good place to start in deciding your “rules” on this topic:
Whenever I’m wondering if something has been researched or if there is a good recommendation for anything having to do with kids, I go to the American Academy of Pediatrics first. They have all sorts of great publications and guides for parents from allergies to media use to pacifiers, all sorts of things.
Now there are certainly exceptions and sometimes giving an iPhone to a toddler who is hangry while checking out at Target is a Godsend (can I get an Amen!) but having the toddler not expect to get an iPhone to entertain them every time they are in Target is probably a good thing too. Because then you get to talk about what you are seeing and buying. You get to answer all the questions and whys. Yes, it will take longer but it will also be worth the extra time.
So that’s where I go if I am wondering if a certain type of media use is acceptable or not. Hope this helps!
Some additional reading:
CNN Article 2019: More screen time for toddlers is tied to poorer development a few years later https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/28/health/screen-time-child-development-study/index.html
Journal of the American Medical Association 2019 Article: Association Between Screen Time and Children’s Performance https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2722666?guestAccessKey=879c6c87-141e-48f8-8c95-4d684600a644
CNN Article 2017: Letting a baby play on an iPad might lead to speech delays, study says http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/04/health/babies-screen-time-speech-delays-study/index.html
Financial Time Article 2018: Apple faces activist pressure over children’s iPhone use https://www.ft.com/content/a4a0d8d0-f3fc-11e7-8715-e94187b3017e