World Health Organization Says NO to Screen Time for Babies
The Our First Year team has always been about promoting engagement between caregivers and infants and purposeful play. According to the BBC article "No Sedentary Screen Time for Babies, WHO says," the World Health Organization (WHO) is in agreement.
The WHO recommends no screen time before a child is two. This includes television, movies, computer games and phone apps. And the limit for 2-4-year-olds is less than an hour per day. Unfortunately, most children are watching much more. Children are inundated with screens; in the car, the doctor's waiting room, at the restaurant, on a walk, etc.
The WHO considers screen time as "passive" and "sedentary" and children need to be active and eager to learn. In addition to limiting screen time, the WHO warns against leaving an infant strapped in a car seat, chair, or stroller. This aligns with the Our First Year team's fight against container baby syndrome. When a child is strapped in a chair or carrier with a screen in front of them, they are prevented from accessing their environment and learning about it through their five senses. Infants need the opportunity to be curious and that will in turn improve their problem-solving abilities as they get older.
Instead of putting your child in a container with a tablet, try these activities instead:
-Read with your child
-Go for a walk and narrate what you see
-Give them a bowl and spoon to play with while you prepare dinner
-Sing songs; interactive ones are lots of fun: Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald, Itsy Bitsy Spider
-Shaving cream fun
-Chalk in the driveway
-Toys from the Our First Year infant backpack or toddler tote
Parents, remember, you are your baby's favorite toy and they would rather engage with you than sit in front of a screen.
For more ideas on engaging with your baby, purchase any of the Our First Year products. They all contain research-based activity cards that are full of ideas to enhance your child's developmental potential.
Child engagement is easy...it's all in the bag!