Let’s be honest, smartphones and tablets might be seen as irresponsible parenting, but there are times when you just need to keep your baby occupied, right?

While too much screen time can be bad for your child – resulting in cognitive and social problems – limiting the time on apps or TV shows can actually help in developing your baby’s skills.

It is actually not recommended for children under the age of 1 to have screen time, other than video-chatting, of course. Once your toddler hits 18 months, screen time is recommended only if it is high quality content.

Source: Shutterstock

What is good quality content?

Good quality content means that your children get to learn something from it – be it literacy skills by singing along to nursery rhymes, or motor skills by dancing along to a song.

Good quality apps and games for your toddler:

  • Encourage creativity, by getting them to come up with story ideas or draw pictures
  • Encourage problem solving, by asking them to match objects to colour/shape
  • Develop their communication skills, by teaching them another language or improving their current language skills
  • Build on their interests, by getting them to solve puzzles or the such

Good quality TV programs, movies, or videos:

  • Have positive messages about relationships, family, and life
  • Inspire new play ideas¬†
  • Have positive stories where your child will learn life values
  • Are simple and easily understandable¬†
  • Do not have scary stuff such as explosions, yelling, or violence
  • Have little to no commercial exposure
Source: Codes

While watching shows or playing with an app can be a positive experience for your child, keep in mind that it is also important to balance this with other activities, such as physical play time. Also, remember to manage screen time by only allowing them a certain amount of time.

Sources: Raising Children, Common Sense Media.

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