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Screen time (iphones/ipads) for under 3's

(19 Posts)
1500mmania Wed 19-Dec-12 12:56:52

I met up with someone the other day who made me feel slightly guilty my DS was playing with my iphone. Apparently there is research to show this can affect babies development?

My DS isn't glued to my phone but he does love it and given half the chance would love to get his mitts on my ipad. I was considering getting one of those childfriendly ipad protective covers for xmas - but now I'm not so sure.

Anybody else heard of this?

GreatUncleEddie Wed 19-Dec-12 13:02:21

I wouldn't let an under three on one. I think it messes with their heads, and there's no need for it.

Ninetyninepercent Wed 19-Dec-12 13:21:39

Its probably the same as TV and other screen entertainment. Think there was some research that suggested no screen time for under 3s and limited for over 3s (to an 30min-1 hour?). I think the main prob for young children is that if they're on the ipad or whatever then they're not playing with their games, interacting with people/siblings/parents (so affecting them developmentally) and being more sedentary. I think there's also something about over-use of small 3D handheld computer games that it can have a negative impact on eye-sight (but that might be serious over use!).

I don't know - unless your baby is spending lots and lots of time on the iphone (which I doubt as its not yet broken!!! grin) I'm sure its fine. I doubt having it for a small amount of time to distract them from something or other would be particularly problematic. Some of the programs these days can be quite educational (although I don't think my 4yo and 7yo who are obsessed with playing Angry Birds is particularly educational!)

HoFlippinHo Wed 19-Dec-12 13:26:20

Under 3 is too young imvho.

I have 2 dc (7 and 8) who are allowed to play on my iphone very occasionally. I just think it's too risky - who knows what the long term effects of these gadgets will be on developing brains?

fairylightsandtinsel Wed 19-Dec-12 13:31:59

why do we think there is such a difference between using an iphone though and looking at a picture book? Really, I'm not sure what the difference is. DS loves the TV and looking at videos of himself on my phone (he's a total narcissist!) but I would say he does interact with them - he show me things, talks to the screen, learns colours and numbers etc. If it was all from book we'd be wildly applauding. Why is a screen different?

k2togm1 Wed 19-Dec-12 13:55:52

Fairylight my dh would agree with you, he said books are overrated and there is much printed rubbish and some tv gems...
I too feel guilty about this although it is tv for us, ds wasn't interested in it at all a a baby but from 18 mo is obsessed, but a has been said, he is not passive, he narrates, predicts, imitates and hopefully learns!

Alfiepants Wed 19-Dec-12 14:06:52

I find the judgey TV is evil posts really irritating. Cbeebies programmes are really educational - my 2 year old loves counting along to the num tums! And obviously like everything in life it's a question of balance. I used to give my son my iPhone in the small hours to distract him when he was teething. All these things can be good when used in the right way. It's just nonsense to think that any screen time is damaging and suddenly at 3 it's not, it's down to the parenting!!!

lljkk Wed 19-Dec-12 14:10:00

All those flashy screens cause ADHD. And Autism. And other brain problems. Including horns that grow out of your forehead and permanent green spots on the tummy. Screen time makes your kids fat, stops them from learning to talk, & gives them heart problems. Screen games over-activate some parts of the brains and under-activate others, leading to over-aroused numpties with no self-control. This is how even the tiniest amount of screen time affects all kids, everywhere. No other factors need to be considered. Not mother's education, social factors in the home, genetic inheritance. Nothing else at all matters. Just screen time. It's proven somewhere, I'm sure.

Go on, 1500mm, I dare 'ya Ask your friend when & how much screen time she plans to give her own kids.

matana Wed 19-Dec-12 14:21:51

I'm with Alfiepants on this. Providing they're not stuck in front of a TV/ electronic gadget all day every day and have a good mix of activities i really don't see the harm. My main issue i suppose is that they're expensive items that are easily damaged - i personally would not want my 2 yo DS playing with my phone or tablet without supervision because i can't afford to replace them when he drops them. But that's a personal choice, other parents take that risk and are fine with it.

We've used our phones to keep DS entertained at the dinner table because he's not good at sitting still. We play it with him in an interactive way, show him photos etc. We've also just bought him a child's version of a tablet which is absolutely brilliant and very robust. All the downloads are fabulous for his age group and the stylus helps with his fine motor skills as he's not good with using a pen and i want to encourage that. His accuracy has improved greatly because the games actually engage him. Sit him in front of a piece of paper with some crayons and he soon loses interest. We read to him, sing with him, dance with him, play with him, go for walks and do everything we can to help him develop and the kid's tablet is just another way to help him and perfect when he's getting board when we're out and about.

As for TV, i think CBeebies is great both in terms of learning and in terms of social development (i.e. seeing that people can be disabled, black, or deaf). There's also a difference between plonking them down in front of it, and sitting with them and explaining what's happening, teaching them to recognise different emotions and feelings etc (Finding Nemo has been great to help DS learn the difference between sad, angry and happy for example and is already able to identify these emotions in other people in 'real llife').

I gave up beating myself up for too much screen time long ago.

matana Wed 19-Dec-12 14:25:32

Oops, mean 'bored' - clearly the amount of screen time i've had over the years has suppressed my literacy...

FirstTimeForEverything Wed 19-Dec-12 14:29:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Virgil Wed 19-Dec-12 14:32:42

I am another who wouldn't let an under three on one at all. There is just no need. You do however see lots and lots of little ones playing on them rather than interacting with their environment and real people. I think it's awful and its an area where I'm afraid I do judge (and I know I'm not alone).

My DSs are five and seven and they are allowed a maximum of an hour each weekend on the wii. That's it. No handhelds.

diyqueen Wed 19-Dec-12 15:02:06

I think it depends what they're doing on the phone. Dd (20mo) loves looking at photos on mine, of herself and of friends and family, and it helps her remember people and places we've been. We do ration doing this to an occasional treat though, and i try not to use mine much in front if her. as I don't want the phone to be this exciting thing. I think if your dc is starting to get really upset when it's put away, or getting that glazed eyed look when on it, it's time to cut back but I wouldn't worry too much otherwise.

diyqueen Wed 19-Dec-12 15:03:38

And I didn't say above, she never gets her hands on it independently, it's always me holding it and showing her pictures. Wouldn't let her loose on it on her own for all sorts of reasons...

fairylightsandtinsel Wed 19-Dec-12 15:21:48

virgil but it IS their environment - you say there is no need for it, but I ask again, WHY is interacting with a book different / superior to interacting with a tablet? Do you honestly NEVER need your pre-schooler to be occupied with something for bit of time so you can do something else - have a shower, pay some bills, do something with another child? My DS will play with lots of his toys for a while on his own, but if I need to have a shower and hair wash when alone with him and DD (18m) the TV is the best bet that won't have them fighting or needing me for that 10 mins. He goes to pre-school every day for half the day, once or twice a week we do soft play or swimming, we read books and play trains every day, we go to the park. Within that mix somewhere, a bit of downtime on fron of the TV or looking at photos on the phone (again, how is that different to an album?) is fine by me.

matana Wed 19-Dec-12 15:35:08

Yes fairy my DS is one of the few 2yo children i know who actually plays interactively with other children, rather than alongside them. He does not stop talking and socialising and is also exceptionally affectionate, confident and active. All this, despite being exposed to TV, tablet and phone.

MrsJourns Wed 19-Dec-12 15:48:38

Firstly, there is lots of research that shows children engaged in passive activities can affect development, and almost all research into young children watching TV fits into that category. It tends not to take onto account what they are watching and more importantly how they are watching it. I regularly watch TV with my 2 year old and he loves it, we talk together about what we are watching. He loves some of the CBeebies programmes and any wildlife documentaries. He loves looking at pictures on my iPhone and he uses the iPad. We have 3 apps for him one the iPad, one has lots of pictures of animals to flick through, one where he takes food from a fridge and feeds animals and one with coloured blocks that play music. He enjoys them and they are one of the many different activities he engages in.
My 15yo has spent many hours watching TV from a young age and a lot more on iPads/ laptops. He is healthy, articulate, well adjusted and has a wide group of friends, he is also predicted top grades in all subjects for GCSE, so it hasn't harmed his development.

iclaudius Wed 19-Dec-12 15:54:05

The most recent study I read said none for under threes iirc will link when not on phone

forevergreek Wed 19-Dec-12 15:59:45

We don't have a tv, but do have tablets/ laptops. They only use to look at photos with us.

If one of us is alone with them and needs a shower/ to cook etc they either come with us and shower too/ play with sponge/ or 'help' with dinner ie eating raw ingredients/ mixing empty bowls. I do think starting them off with tv to keep quiet is a downhill thing as they don't learn to play quietly whilst you make a phone all or something, but each parent is different.

If you don't mind them on it I would just limit to small sessions when you might want to occupy and no toys available ( may e in doctors waiting room/ on bus/ supermarket queue)

I do think playing is vital to a child's development though. Turning pages of a book gives them textures and promotes being gentle and learning how to turn pages, drawing with a pencil helps their grip on small things/ concentration... The list goes on

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