Creating a healthy technology environment for your toddler (ages 1 -3)
What does your baby need to grow their brain and develop spoken language?
• Lots of talking. The more words your baby hears, the better!
• A tuned-in communication partner. When your baby cries, coos, smiles, and laughs, they are trying to tell you something. Talk back!
• Your full attention. So much learning happens when you notice your baby's interests and respond ("Oh, you see that ball? It's bouncing.")
The use of screens-both by you and by your baby-can interrupt your baby's healthy development.
• Studies have shown that parents speak fewer words when they are using a smartphone. Find time to put screens away so you can talk about your activities. You will teach your baby so many words!
• Looking down at your device makes it harder to notice your baby's smiles and sounds, leading to missed opportunities to bond and communicate. Babies want to see your face!
• Use of screens by babies can delay their speech and language development. They may not
be talking yet, but they are learning words by interacting with you.
• When babies use screens, it can be harder for them to learn how to soothe themselves.
Giving your fussy baby your phone may help in the moment, but not in the long run.
A Healthy technology environment: Use these tips to help your toddler thrive.
• Keep the TV off as your toddler plays. Studies have shown that parents and caregivers speak fewer words when the TV is on—even in the background.
• Provide “old-fashioned” toys. Blocks, balls, cars, dolls, puzzles, and even household items (e.g., boxes, pots/ pans) are best. And remember: Loving adults are the best “toys!”
• Minimize multi-tasking. If you are speaking to your toddler, put your phone down to allow yourself to make eye contact and listen fully—even if for just a moment.
• Turn to your pediatrician, speech-language pathologist, and other trusted experts for guidance about screen-time use. You aren’t alone in trying to find balance.