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Tech Time for Infants and Toddlers

Because we use technology in many ways every day, infants and toddlers often have early interactions with electronic media. Here are some ways families and caregivers can find a healthy balance with technology and electronic media in their lives.

  • Use technology together
    Talk and interact while using technology. Conversations help your child understand what she sees and how technology works. Talk about the content to help your child understand what she sees.
  • Be a good role model
    Your child is watching your technology use, which can often interfere with daily routines. Put down your device and give your child your full attention. Use electronic media away from meal and sleep spaces.
  • Choose wisely
    Choose age-appropriate programming. Infants and younger toddlers (under 18 months) can participate in interactive video chatting with relatives, but they do not benefit from programming or toys that claim to improve children’s intelligence. Older toddlers (18–36 months) may benefit from some simple, child-directed programming with support from adults.
  • Balance your time
    Infants and toddlers need hands-on practice with real objects. They benefit most from their interactions with people through play and conversations. Use technology to complement other activities rather than relying on technology to entertain, teach, or otherwise occupy your child’s time.
  • Remember safety
    Young children are attracted to blinking lights and screens. Childproof as needed, especially heavy electronic items such as big screen TVs, which are tip-over hazards.

IEL Resource

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Reviewed: 2017