Technology Babies

baby and technology

I have finally hit that time in my life when I can grocery shop ALL BY MYSELF! (I know you are jealous, right?) 

If I use the short window of time that my youngest is in school, I can conveniently get my grocery shopping done without the constant distractions of children in tow.  Talk about amazing!

Just yesterday, as I was cruising the aisles of my local grocery store, I saw at least a dozen mamas with their kids sitting securely in the shopping cart.  And these kids were HAPPY!  They weren’t wiggling around or screaming to get out of their seat like mine did.  They weren’t whining that they wanted this or that every time they passed something that looked inviting.  Their mothers could turn around to assess apples without worrying that their toddler would fall with a clump to the hard grocery store floor. No, these kids were completely content. 

Of course, they were playing iPods, smartphones or even iPads.  (Thank goodness for shatter proof cases, huh?)

It was amazing.  When I got my first minivan almost a decade ago, we busted the bank to have a DVD player installed.  How cool I thought that would be, to actually drive while my twin toddlers were in a trance watching Teletubbies, or their favorite movie. 

Today, parents have handheld, portable technology to keep their little ones busy no matter where they go.  Instead of seeing children holding rattles and toys, books and stuffed animals, kids are grasping on to technological devices and filling their brains with lots of knowledge.  Even more interesting is just how long these technological devices can hold a child's attention.

Of course, there are many people that worry that too much technology will have a negative effect on young children in the long run.  With four kids in my home who are digitally connected, I do keep tabs on their usage and we have a “TURN OFF” time every night, where all technology gets powered down and placed in a basket.

But today there are so many applications and games geared specifically for very young children.  And while many of the toddler apps and games are just plain fun or entertaining, most also incorporate some form of learning in a way that is very engaging for children.  (At least engaging enough to get through a grocery shopping trip!)

This makes my ancient in-car DVD player, (which btw, the kids broke within the first 6 months) seem archaic in comparison.  The things I could have done had I had smartphones a decade ago.  I admit that even now, I am constantly handing my iPhone to my 5 year old to keep her busy and occupied in the car. 

Suffice it to say, technology does make some aspects of parenting easier.  And whereas I sometimes resorted to a lollipop to instantly distract a toddler tantrum, today all it takes is a little technology.

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So chime in.  What do you think?  Is all this technology for babies a good thing or a bad thing?  Do you allow your little one to play with your technological device? 

What do you think?

Technology Babies

Stef Daniel is the 40ish year old, experienced (meaning crazy already) mother of count ‘em…4 daughters (yes, she takes prayers) who have taught her nearly E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G she needs to know about raising kids and staying sane. She hails from a small town in Georgia where she lives with her family in a red tin roofed house (with just ONE bathroom mind you) on a farm - with tons of animals of course. One day, due to her sheer aversion to shoes and her immense lov ... More

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4 comments

  1. Zaiynab says:

    I think it stifles creativity and inhibits imagination. They also sit on their butts all day with those games, so it’s also bad for their health.

  2. sayhola says:

    Sparingly and as a "last resort," I will offer my phone to my just-turned-2 year old. I definitely use it for the "harder" situations, like plane trips or doctor’s offices when sitting still for a long time can be hard, but the store is a time I usually try to engage him in helping me shop. I will admit to handing it to him at Walmart when he’s overly tired and we aren’t QUITE done yet… 😉 However, now that I have a new, expensive phone, it’s totally off-limits at the moment!

  3. Janice says:

    It is a new area in child development, compared to the years of my children growing up, back when computers were the big deal. Now the kids want handheld everything and most children have something of the new world of child entertainment. It reminds me of the advancement in music, and ways of having it in your personal collection of gadgets that stored your favorites. I came into the music area when 45’s, and albums, where the norm, reel to reels,and 8 tracks followed, then the cassettes were all the rave. When my children came into the music scene it was the CDs that were all the talk. It was also the time of the portable headsets for personal use every where you go, These days, the i pods and all those games children want to play with in all its many gadget ways. In this Era it is the phone now that also has a camera, clocks, and internet access, among the things they are capable of. Video players that are held by my grand children on their way to school. It has honestly been an evolution technologies that are capable of use by children that is a major breakthrough for target audience and wish list every where.

  4. I’m torn on the subject. One hand is we live in a world where technology rules life and knowledge of how to operate can and often is highly appreciated in the work world. But on the other hand technology has changed how people communicate, for the worst mostly (in my opinion).

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