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.
- Resource List: Screens and Young Children