By Maria Pribis, OD, FAAO, of Stamford, Connecticut
As I’m currently experiencing, babies under two are a bundle of joy (most of the time). However, as a new mom I can’t help but notice how baby seems to have come with a built-in knack for technology. Case in point, if I lay out a bunch of toys on the floor along with my iPhone, baby passes up all the other toys and go straight for the iPhone. Surprisingly enough, she can also swipe and tap and find buttons to push just like mommy does.
As an eye doctor, I completely understand the health risks associated with excessive screen use and would prefer to delay her focus on screens as long as possible. But where should I draw the line? And where can I find some good advice? And who’s telling the truth when it comes to this fairly recent problem of digital digital overuse? Not trying to date myself, but these aren’t the same problems my family had to deal with when I was a kid.
Limit tech-time with baby to the absolute minimum
Let’s face it, the easy thing to do is to give baby an iPad or an iPhone or whatever digital device is handy so she doesn’t scream and yell and make these hard times even more miserable. But here’s the truth, it’s not a good idea at all to let baby get her hands on your screen no matter how convenient it seems. From current experience, I understand this suggestion is easier said than done, especially when you’re down to your last ounce of patience. However, before you give in, think about giving baby doll or teddy bear or bunny face (yes, bunny face) a chance to catch baby’s attention.
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