• Heather Pawelkiewicz

Unplug from Technology and Hard wire Your Baby's Developmental Skills

Feature Fact Friday!

Technology...Isn't it wonderful? We can look up any fact in a matter of seconds, we can watch any show at any given time of the day, and we can receive test scores, medical results, and correspondence much faster with the help of the internet. Yes, technology definitely makes our lives easier.

But, have you thought about how all this technology could also be a detriment? Most recently, we have been seeing a deterioration of gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and speech/language and social skills in school age children. There are children entering kindergarten who do not know how to throw or catch a ball, who have not yet established hand dominance, who are not using scissors appropriately, who have an immature writing grasp and who cannot hold a simple conversation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics ( recommends no screen time whatsoever until a child is 18-24 months old. At two years old, it is recommended that screen time be very limited (less than one hour per day). There are, no doubt, a plethora of educational programs and apps from which to choose; however, these technologies cannot replace human interaction. Learning language is far more than just some vocabulary and syntax. In order to be an effective communicator, one must also understand and use facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and intonation. These aspects of language are nearly impossible to learn from a television, computer, or tablet. Just think of how many times you have sent a text or an email that was misinterpreted due to not being able to convey intonation, facial expression or tone of voice.

Reflect on the amount of time children are spending watching television, playing on their tablets, computer, and video games. All of this screen time takes away from the time children could be playing outside, using imaginative play, coloring, crafting, and having conversations with their friends and family.

Think of the time technology is deducting quality time spent with your baby. We have to make a conscious effort to not check our phones each time we hear a notification and to turn off the television while baby is awake. Remember, we are the most interesting thing to our babies and technology is competition we just don't need.

Instead of an hour of educational television with your baby, pull out the Our First Year backpack and follow the recommendations on the activity cards. These "toys with a purpose" are sure to increase your child's gross/fine motor skills, as well as their speech/language and social skills. Check out the video of Kelly playing with her baby, free of technology. There will be plenty of appropriate opportunities for children to discover the world of technology. But for now, engage in meaningful playtime with your's all in the bag!

*Order your OFY backpack today.

#unplug #noscreensforbaby #childdevelopment #babyshower #developmentalmilestones

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