What's Your New Year's Resolution? No Screen Time for Your Baby, Perhaps?
Happy 2019! It's a new year and the perfect time to simplify your life...and your baby's. There are no doubt, several new "educational" apps available that promise to teach the alphabet, numbers, and various other skills. Sure, tablets have their appropriate place in education, but are screens beneficial for babies and toddlers?
Just last month, CBS news put out a story, Groundbreaking Study Examines Effects of Screen Time on Kids. The National Institute of Health is launching a study that consists of following 11,000 nine and ten-year old children for a decade to understand the impact of screen time. The researchers have already found premature thinning of the cortex in children (on MRI). This thinning of the outer layer of the brain is happening a little bit earlier now. They have also found that children who spend more than two hours a day on screens got lower scores on thinking and language tests.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents avoid digital media use in children younger than 24 months. According to pediatrician, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, There is evidence that when "babies play with iPads, they don't transfer what they learn from the iPad to the real world, which is to say that if you give a child an app where they play with virtual Legos, virtual blocks, and stack them, and then put real blocks in front of them, they start all over." Knowing this, why would any of us provide our babies with an iPad?
Babies are naturally curious about people and their environment. Make a new year's resolution to stimulate all of your baby's senses. Take a walk outside, engage in a peek-a-boo game or song, stack blocks with baby, and most importantly, talk and read to your baby. Babies do not learn language through television or apps.
For more ideas on how to engage your baby in play, without the use of a screen or tablet, check out the Our First Year backpack and toddler tote. Keeping your new year's resolution...it's all in the bag!