When you want your child to acquire more knowledge than the average, educational games can be very beneficial. There are games out there for babies and toddlers alike.
Educational Games For Toddlers:
ABCmouse.com provides a way for kids (ages 2-8) to learn reading, math, science, art, and colors. It does cost money to join, but you are able to receive a free 30-day trial. You will have access to the full curriculum once you have joined. There have been some fantastic reviews for this website, and I have personally heard how wonderful it is through word of mouth. Pricing is around $60 a month.
Another fantastic online learning vehicle is leapfrog.com. This program for kids (3-6) is worth looking up. It is free for the first month and around $8 dollars a month after that. The margin between the two prices is very different, but both have great reviews and offer different things. You are able to do leapfrog offline. Also, it offers math, reading, science, creativity, problem solving, and social-emotional skills. We covered this toy on our homepage reviews.
Educational Games For Babies:
According to this Parenting article, they list several different games to play. Their brains are just opening up to a whole big world. Probably one of the best things you could do is take them on a walk. As you pass things, point them out. Say them over and over to your baby to help them understand. Point out sounds and textures to your baby.
As Lerner. Maria Brown of Washington D.C. says, “You don’t need to buy brain-boosting toys.” She goes on to say that her child would be just fine with some wooden clothespins and an empty tissue box. Your child can learn motor skills without going the fancy route. He/she can put the clothespins in the tissue box and the plastic part keeps them from falling out. If you do buy the toy, show your child how it works and then back off. Let them learn to problem solve and play.
Tunes are wonderful for the brain. Research studies have shown that babies can hear music and rhythms from inside of the womb. They can respond to it. There are even theories out there saying that classical music can make your baby smarter in the future.
Do you enjoy doing Yoga? Maybe you enjoy it, but think that you don’t have the time, especially with kids. I’m here to tell you it’s possible to do it with them, even with babies. Bonding with your baby just went to a whole new level. There are numerous ways to conduct Yoga with your baby. Jenny Studenroth gives you nine poses she does with her daughter. If you click here, you will find them. The poses consist of:
Lap Hangs AKA Easy Pose
Legs Up the Mommy Pose ADA Legs Up the Wall
Kitties & Moo-Moos AKA Cat & Cow
Downward-Facing Doggies (with a Smooch!)
Goddess and Baby Squats
Baby Hand- or Headstands
Baby Over the Bridge
Warrior Mommy and Babe
Naptime AKA Shavasana
Some tips when beginning is to be prepared with your Yoga mat. Lay a receiving blanket or towel down over the mat in case there is spit-up action. Feed your baby right before starting to lessen interruption. Come with the mindset a little bit different than doing Yoga on your own. Your baby may need to eat or be fussy.
Enter Yoga time knowing you may need to pause or stop for a minute. If you keep Yoga as a routine with your baby, he/she will get use to it. Enter Yoga knowing it won’t be completely quiet or calm. However, you will definitely get a workout in. You will tone your whole body, and you baby learns motor skills. As this article says, Yoga for your baby “stimulates the relaxation response in both of you, helping you and your baby all sleep easier and sleep longer. Yoga movements can mimic the soothing rocking motion your baby felt while in the womb.”
Yoga isn’t impossible to do with your baby. There are many fun poses and ways to accommodate your situation. Enjoy taking care of your body and staying fit, mentally, spiritually, and physically!
The recent solar eclipse in North America had the media all abuzz with space related facts and
stories – there’s no better time to start introducing your little one to science and all its wonders.
The best kind of learning is hands on so why not get them involved and have them create their
10 Fun Science Projects for Babies:
There are many scientific crafts and DIY experiments that will have your child
learning and having fun, all while leaving them with a sense of accomplishment at the end. Here
are 10 enjoyable science projects brought to you by First Baby Laptop that you can do with even the littlest hands. Get your baby started on education and technology! White lab coat and goggles optional!
This activity was all the rage during the solar eclipse but pinhole projectors can be used for a
different purpose. Plus, this experiment can be done indoors. Find the instructions and the
science here . With your finished projector, you’ll just aim the pinhole at a light source in a dark
room (a lamp or bright window) and you should see an upside down shadow of the scene.
Requiring few materials and little assembly, this activity is perfect for any age. Younger ones will
enjoy the effects of the projected image and older ones can join in with actually making the
projector and discussing the science behind it.
It’s going to be a little while until we see the next solar eclipse depending where you are in the
world, but this one is worth bookmarking as it’s fun for all ages. To view the eclipse, it can be as
simple as poking a hole into one piece of paper and projecting the image onto another. But you
can even make it a little more fun and get your child’s breakfast involved! This short video
explains how to make an eclipse viewer using a cereal box and a few other household items.
Another visually appealing experiment that you can try with even the youngest of kids is
combining baking soda, vinegar and a splash of color. When baking soda mixes with acidic
vinegar, it creates a fizzing, bubbling reaction. This is enough to amaze your little ones, but
adding a pop of color makes this an exciting art-science project for all ages. Check out this great
idea for mixing fizzy reactions with vibrant colors.
Color changing milk
Another colorful reaction experiment that you can try is color changing milk. You just drop some
food coloring into milk, dip a Q-tip into liquid soap and then dip it into the milk. If you dip it where
the colors are touching and leave it in place for about 10 seconds, you’ll see how the colors
move away from the Q-tip and swirl around into one another. Get the instructions here .
Melting ice with salt
One of the fundamentals of science is the different properties of water and how to change those
properties, i.e through boiling or melting. It’s a great idea to start introducing your children to
these elements from a young age.
Instead of using hot water to melt ice, which can be dangerous, a safer experiment is to melt
salt with ice. With a little food coloring, you can demonstrate how salt melts ice while
encouraging your child to get creative. Get your little scientist experimenting with the way that
salt melts ice while creating pretty patterns. You can find some great inspiration for this project
here and here .
Fishing for ice
The fishing for ice task is a great simulator for little ones as you can show them what happens
before and after adding salt to ice. You just pop some ice cubes into cold water and dangle
string into the water, your little one will notice that the string just floats around the ice. When
they add the salt in, they’ll get a fun surprise as the ice sticks to the string and they can ‘fish’ it
out. Check out the full instructions here .
Float or sink
Perfect for all ages, easy to do and you can use any household items for this. All you need to do
is fill a container with water and grab some different items, it’s recommended to use items that
will dry out easily. Have your little one drop them into the water – this in itself should provide
endless amusement! But you can spark their curiosity even further by pointing out the fact that
some items float at the top and some sink to the bottom. They can even use their own toys
making it personal to them. This article has some recommendations for materials that sort-of
float and sort-of sink to get your little one thinking even more in depth about this experiment.
A great activity for kids who are starting to understand a little more about temperature. You can
have your child help you to make the thermometer and then show them how it reacts to
exposure to different temperatures. As suggested here , you could pop the thermometer into hot
water or ice water to show how the solution moves up and down. Click the link for instructions
on how to make the thermometer with a few simple bits and bobs.
Ocean in a bottle
If you didn’t make it to the beach this summer, introduce your little one to the ocean by bringing
the beach to you! It takes just four components to make an ocean in a bottle; a bottle, water,
cooking oil and food coloring. By following these instructions, you can create an ocean scene
and teach your child all about the properties of oil and why it separates from water. To make the
ocean scene even more authentic, you could pop some seaweed, stones and even plastic fish
inside; a mouthwash bottle or any bottle with a wide rim is best if you want to do this.
Homemade snow globe
A fabulous activity for all ages is creating a snow globe. It’s super simple to make and you can
adapt it to be personal to your little one. They can stick something that they are interested in
inside the globe – dinosaurs, animals, plants, which is a great opportunity to educate them about
the science behind their interests.
You can put the emphasis on the experimental angle by having them investigate why the ‘snow’
falls and try out the best materials for achieving this effect, instructions are here and here . Or
get a little more in depth about mass and density with this post. Even if they aren’t involved in
making the snow globe, you’ll still have a toy that’s very stimulating for babies too!
These set of cups used for stacking, collapsing, and sorting will hold your baby’s attention. These cups are very easy to manage, clean, and pick up. Babies can stack the cups from big to small. Each cup fits into one another. Your baby will gain important cognitive skills while learning to stack and collapse.
THE EVERYTHING BLANKET
This is not your everyday average picnic blanket. This blanket is water resistant, lightweight, washable, and easy to handle. Babies can safely conduct their tummy time on this blanket. As adults, you can have picnics; watch the clouds above with your child or bird watch together.
These 3 colorful fish are numbered and meant for grabbing, scooping, and straining. There are a set of three bright fish, and a net going along with the set. Hand-eye coordination is something children learn in their early stages, and this toy helps them along with it. It is the perfect toy for outside or inside and is easy to clean and manage.
This classic toy is similar to the Stacking Cups in its cognitive skill level. It is colorful, and has a rattle atop the stack. Each ring has its own color. It stacks on a small yellow pole from widest ring to narrowest ring.
SNUG ‘N SECURE 2-N-1 SWING
Babies and toddlers love to swing in the air. The rush felt when swinging creates sweet, lovely giggles. It is easy to hang and is given five stars in safety. This Little Tikes swing has a T-bar that goes between the legs and across the lap for security. It also has straps for extra protection.
EDUSHAPE SENSORY BALL
This vibrant rubber ball is perfect for the outdoors and indoors. It comes in different colors and is very inexpensive. It will keep the attention of babies and toddlers alike. These balls are easy to grip, throw, and catch.
What is it's raining outside?
Well, the good thing about the rain is that it gives you an excuse to give your baby some time indoors with his indoor toys. The learning table for babies is probably the best indoor baby toy as it keeps your baby entertained and educated for hours!
You may think that crafting options for two year old babies are limited as you can’t just hand them
scissors and paint and let them do their own thing. However, there are many crafting options
available for younger children which are safe and fun. Here are four ideas to keep your toddler
occupied and get creative on the next rainy day!
It seem like an obvious choice, but did you know that brands such as Crayola offer non-toxic,
easy clean paints for this very purpose? You’ll have peace of mind that your child is crafting
away safely if you need to look away for a second. With fall just around the corner, get some
reds, yellows and oranges to get your mini artist in the mood by painting crunchy leaves and
(not too) scary jack-o-lanterns.
A fun, and even less messy, variation of finger painting is finger sponge painting. Kits are
available from many major children’s stores. Simply slide the sponge onto the finger, dip it and
paint! The paint is contained to the sponges so clean up will be minimal and the sponge texture
creates different results to using little fingers.
Another activity that can be adapted to be totally safe for young ones is making your own
playdough. All you need is flour, water, salt and food coloring. You can also choose whether you
make cooked or no-bake playdough. This provides a two-in-one activity since you can get your
helper to join in while you make the playdough and then they have the bonus of a creative toy to
play with later.
This diverse idea will keep kids entertained for hours.. You can cut out the images yourself or
use the opportunity to get your two year old practicing their cutting skills. Magazines are a great
resource as the pages are thin and can be cut using safety scissors.
Again, this is a great fall activity because you can make nature collages with falling leaves.
You’ll be teaching your child about nature while collecting bits and bobs for the collage. Petals,
flower buds and pine cones can all be pretty additions to a nature collage. Why not make an
animal or nature scene with your little one?
Making a Kazoo
Introducing children to music is such a positive experience. You might have the next Mozart on
your hands so nurture their musical talent early on! Chances are you will have many of the
materials for this activity at home: a cardboard tube, tissue or wax paper, an elastic band and
something to poke holes in the cardboard. It’s easy enough for your little one to do, they just
cover one end of the cardboard tube with the tissue or wax paper and secure it in place with the
rubber band. You may want to supervise them with poking holes into the kazoo or do it yourself
using a sharp object.
Have your little one hum into the other end and they should be able to make a kazoo sound. It’s
an educational activity too as you can poke more or less holes in different kazoos and cover the
holes to get different sounds. What’s even more fun is decorating the kazoo. It can be painted or
embellished with materials that are safe for younger children.
For any parents, their baby’s first words, are very much special. Usually, before the babies learn to talk, they babble, squirm, and coo, with a playing sound, which is generically called Baby Talk.
Development of talking skills is one of the biggest milestones in your baby’s growth and development, and this happens in the first three years of life when your baby’s brain is rapidly developing. This whole thing about speech development, depends on your baby’s baby talk skills, and well as your baby talk skills.
Hearing your Baby’s First Words…
The baby talk usually happens soon after the birth and will be non-verbal. These non-verbal sounds are what babies make, in order to grab your attention and get their emotional and physical needs met. These non-verbal sounds can be grimaces, squirms, cries, coos, laughter, etc. Good and caring parents will manage to listen and interpret their baby’s different cries.
The time, the first words come out, varies from a baby to baby, and in case, you feel, things are taking a little too long, consider talking to your family doctor, or a pediatrician.
Baby talk at three months
During this period, it is mostly, the non-verbal sounds mentioned above, and other gestures. Your baby will listen to your voice, watch your face, and turn towards the voices, or sounds that are heard from elsewhere. Usually, woman’s voice is more preferred by the babies, over a man’s. Many infants, also prefer voices, and music they heard when they were still in the womb.
Baby Talk at six months
When your baby is six months old, it will start babbling with different sounds. By the end of this phase, your baby will start responding to their own name, recognize their native language, and try to use their tone of voice, to let you know, if they are happy or upset. Some of the sounds they make during this period are ba-ba, da-da, etc. Parents, usually interpret these as their first words, but, the babblings made by the babies at this age, have no real meaning.
Baby Talk at nine months
At this age, your baby will understand a few common words like, “no,” “yes” and “bye-bye.” Your baby will also start to use a wider range of consonant sounds and tones of voice. A great toy to use at this age is a baby laptop, which has sounds and words which can coax your baby to start talking for the first time.
Baby Talk at 12-18 months
By the end of 12th month, most of the babies start with a few simple words like “dadda” and “mama,” and will also be aware of what they are saying. They will even start responding to your one-step instructions such as, “Please put that down”; however, they may or may not obey.
Baby Talk at 18 months
By this age, babies will know several simple words and can point to the objects, body parts, and even people, you name for them. They usually repeat the words or sounds they hear, you say, but often tend to leave off the endings or beginnings, of words, “daw” for “dog,” “noo-noo’s” for “noodles.”, etc.
Baby Talk at two years
By two years, your baby will be able to use a string of words, like “Mommy bye-bye” or “me milk.” This is the phase wherein they learn that words mean more than objects, and will also learn about the abstract ideas.
Baby Talk at three years
This is the age, during which your kid’s vocabulary expands, rapidly, and they will start understanding symbolic and abstract language like “now,” feelings like “sad” and spatial concepts like, “in,” “out,” “there,” etc.
Can babies be taught to talk?
In the initial stages, your babies may not be able to talk or reply, but, will understand, everything you say. They may understand around 25 words or more, but, they tend to use, one or two words, only.
Here are few things that you should do, in order to help them, in their speech development-
Watch – Observe every single gesture that your baby makes. When it tries to convey something, you must be reciprocating it. Smile, make eye contact and respond to any gestures or non-verbal sounds, your baby makes.
Listen- In the beginning, it is already mentioned, how parents’ baby talk is important, just like the baby’s baby talk. Your baby will usually make high-pitched cooing and babbling sounds, in order to be heard. You should give time, for your baby, to talk to you.
Imitate- Your baby loves to hear your voice, all the time, and when you talk to them, it will largely help them, in their speech development. The more you interact them, and correct their pronunciation, the faster, they learn to talk.
Narrate- Rather than simply feeding or changing your baby, you should narrate what you are doing, like “I’m boiling the milk for you,” or “I’m making you wear, your favorite blue dress.” This will help your baby connect to your speech, and to those objects and experiences.
Elaborate- If your baby points at the noodles, and makes noise for more, instead of simply refilling its bowl, just say, ” You want more noodles? Aren’t they more tasty with cheese?. This will trigger an interaction.
Praise- You should smile and applaud for every single attempt that your baby makes while learning to talk.
Attention – Give your baby, loads of attention. Even, if you don’t understand, what your baby is saying, keep trying; try to repeat what your child might have said, and ask him/her if that is correct.
Play- Encourage your child to play, and be a part of this session, which is very much important for your baby.Let your child lead, during these sessions.
Read Aloud- When you read the stories or anything aloud, it not only improves your baby’s verbal skills but also aids the auditory development, too. Your baby feels these sessions to be relaxing and fun.
If the Speech is delayed…
Speech delay is not seen often, but it can happen, for a number of reasons. Here are few things you should so, in the case of delayed speech-
Speech is closely related to the hearing abilities. Hearing loss can lead to delayed speech development. Usually, a hearing test is usually done, right after the birth. Consider, subjecting your baby for a complete hearing exam, when he/she is three months old.
Consult a Speech-Language Pathologist-
A Speech-Language Pathologist will know all possible reasons, for the delayed speech, and he can help you with the right treatment that will improve your baby’s language skills.
Consider Developmental Screening-
Autism spectrum disorder or other mental retardation conditions may also lead to the delayed speech. So, ask your doctor about screening for these developmental disorders and the treatment.
Encourage your baby’s talk, and your baby will surely tell those first words, at the right time, as encouragement is the first step towards the speech development.
Video for ABC Songs for Children, Learn Alphabet for Kids, Sing Letters & Phonics:
Check out this video to watch with your baby to learn the alphabet and other songs:
But, as the days pass, it is important for you to induce right sleep cycle in their daily routine, which will keep them active and healthy.
Using Light strategically
Light is the key factor, and using this strategically will help you induce sleep to your kids routine, effortlessly.
On the other hand, the darkness stimulates the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Let your baby know, when it is day and when it is night, and this will 80% of your job.
Allow plenty of sunlight into his/her room, and take him out during the day time, which will make him/her sense that daytime is meant for being active.
To induce sleepiness in the initial stages, use dimmers in your baby’s room, where you both spend a lot of time. Lower the lights in the evenings, which will let him/her know that the sleep-time is nearing.
In case, your child wakes up during the night, instead to taking him to a bright room or turning on the lights to soothe him, you should soothe him back to sleep in his bedroom, which has the right light setting for his sleep.
You can install room-darkening shades, in the case early morning sunlight prompts your child to wake too early, or he has problems with his short nap in the afternoon.
Wait for your baby to get tired
Babies who drift on their own, find it easy to soothe themselves to sleep, when compared to the babies who don’t. She says, putting your baby to sleep, just before he/she nods off, gives the best sleep to him/her.
Kim suggests on creating a sleepiness scale from 1 to 10, when your baby’s age is 6-8 weeks old, where one stands for the wide awake state, and 10 for out cold. You baby must be put to bed when your baby hits 7 or 8.
Don’t rush to your baby when they wake up
When the babies wake up and start crying, the first thing, parents do, is to rush to their rooms and soothe them. This does seem a good idea, but it isn’t a good one, actually. You need to give your baby a little time, to settle back to sleep on her own, and reach out, only when it has a hard time to go back to sleep.
Know that, you need not run to your baby, for small gurgles, but only when he/she is distressed.
Don’t make eye contact
Eye contact signals playtime according to Claire Lerner, a senior parenting adviser at Zero to Three. Eye contact is a form of interaction that motivates your baby to get up. To avoid this kind of stimulation, you should not make an eye contact with your baby, talk excitedly or sing his/her favorite song. So where to look at, instead? You can keep your gaze on your baby’s belly, and make her sleep with a quiet voice and the gentlest touch.
Don’t rush to change their diaper
You need not change your baby’s diaper, every time he/she is up. Check if it is soiled, and change the diaper, only if there’s poop. Pantley suggests using high-quality, nighttime diaper, which has higher absorption rate and lasts till morning. When you are changing, when he/she is asleep, use the warm wipes that have been warmed in a wipe warmer.
Late night feeding
This is another strategy to make your baby sleep for long hours. If he/she has trouble sleeping, consider waking him/her up for a late-night feeding; this may help him sleep for longer stretches.
Again, during all this, keeping the lights dim, is very important. You should gently lift your baby out of his/her crib, and settle him/her down to nurse, or for a bottle-feeding. He/she may wake up and start feeding on, or there might be no response. When there is no response, gently nudge your baby’s lips with the feeding bottle’s nipple, until he/she latches on. Once, you are done with the feeding, he/she should be put back to bed, without burping.
Time adjustment for baby sleep schedules
All the tips mentioned above can be implemented right from the first month, but your baby takes at least four months to get adjusted to it. By this time, not only sleeping for longer stretches would be easy, but, your baby will be more responsive to your techniques.
In spite of your sleep techniques being good, regressions are common, and you should know them. These are not so major and are commonly seen during the major developmental milestones, changes in the routine, the arrival of a new sibling, traveling and illness. These sleep regressions are commonly observed when your babies become more active, i.e., around four months, and again around nine months, due to the increase in the separation anxiety.
Lullaby your baby to sleep
One way to help your baby drift off into sleep is with a lullaby. If you still have household chores to finish up, then consider searching YouTube for a baby lullaby, such as this one:
Patience with your baby’s sleep
Getting through these sleep regressions is a lot easy, and all you will need is some patience. Strictly keep your baby’s daytime active, and night time for rest, with the dim, calm and soothing environment. Not all sleep training strategies have to work, pick one, and follow it for a week. If it works, you can continue with the same, and if it doesn’t, then try a new technique.
Babies, also known as our bundle of joys are always curious about the things around them. They are not the ones like us, who always think of safety, and it becomes the duty of the parents.
As parents, it is important for you to make their journey of exploration safe and fun. How can we do that?
You need not invest a lot of bucks into it. Know, where the major problems exist, and address them immediately, through cost-effective means. Three major areas that need to be given special attention to, are-
Smart Phones, tablets, and other electronic gadgets
Bright screens are always loved by the kids. It is just not the T.V, today, they are exposed to almost every kind of electronic gadget from a simple phone to a laptop.
Though they want to have it all the time, it is pretty hard for them, to hold these, carefully. And, it is not good for their eyes too. What is the best thing that can be done, in this case?
Few options are, using a screen protector that makes it safe for the baby-usage, put them in a playpen during their play hours, and lastly, buy them kid-gadgets that are available in the market. Baby smartphones are an example. When you are charging your phones or tablets, do not let your babies near them.
Outlets and Power cords
Usually, outlets will be installed high enough out of babies’ reach. But, there are chances that a few outlets, will be down, and these should be covered using baby outlet covers, or even the surge protectors can be used.
Avoid keeping small screwdrivers, at your baby’s reach, and this alone will prevent many problems. Power cords are not fascinating for the parents, however, for the kids, everything that they come across, seems interesting.
Try to avoid using the lower outlets for charging your phones and other electronic gadgets. This should solve all major problems related power cords.
The Blu-Ray/ Modem or Router Shelf
As said, kids are interested, in everything they see, and it is not any different with a Router or modem. Again these can be placed somewhere top, and make it inaccessible to your baby, until certain age.
The radiations that are emitted by these routers aren’t safe either. Thus, placing it at a distant location would be the best idea. In the case of your Blu-ray players, again, it is better to keep it out of your baby’s reach as well, until he is old enough to learn how to pop it out.
Today, we live in a world that is not safe for even an unborn child. Radiation risk has become a common issue today; thanks to the unlimited usage of cellphones and other high-tech gadgets. So, how do you protect your baby from these unseen dangers of various radiations like microwave radiations, X-ray radiations, etc.,?
Why is radiation dangerous?
Before that, we need to know, why are radiations, so dangerous. Radiations, may it be very weak Microwave radiations, or high-energy X-rays, have the ability to the penetrate through the human cells and alter the DNA structure, which in other words is known as mutations. These mutations will lead to various abnormalities in the children, and only very few of them can be treated.
Many know only about the good side of the X-rays that will be used during medical examinations. But, there are slight chances of your baby having congenital disabilities. The toxicologist and epidemiologist Devra Davis says that X-rays when used inappropriately, can result in avoidable cancers. She suggests going for other diagnostic alternatives such as MRI, or ultrasound.
Common Radiation for babies
Davis also suggests about postponing routine mammograms, dental X-rays, and most importantly, avoid CAT scans, which are equivalent to hundreds of chest X-rays. Have you had an X-ray before you knew you were expecting? You need not worry. If the embryo were damaged due to the exposure, then, you would likely have miscarried, before even you knew, you were carrying.
Does full-body scan in the airports make you worry about the radiation risk? You need not worry at all, as the ionizing radiation that you are exposed to is “truly trivial” according to Davis.
To give you an estimation, a single dental X-ray is equivalent to 50 airport X-ray scans; this may give you a picture of how weak the X-ray exposure is, in the airports. However, you need to be careful about this, as poorly calibrated or operated scanners, can always pose dangers.
Cell phone radiation
Radiations from your cellphones and Wifi routers- time to make “distance,” your friend.
The biggest source of radiation around you is your very own and favorite cell phone. The radiation that a cell phone emits is of Microwave type, which can still damage the DNA.
A few researchers in Turkey conducted experiments on the lab animals to find out that the prenatal exposure to these radiations, caused damage to the offsprings’ eyes, brain, liver and lastly, the skin.
Cell phones and babies
It is always better for you to keep cellphones, off your abdomens, and even after your babies birth, do not let them, play with your phones, recommends Davis. “You don’t wait for a car crash before putting your baby in car seat,” says Davis. For more information on raising your baby healthy in a digital world, check out our article on building healthy habits for babies in a digital world.
The same kind of precaution needs to be taken with your cell phones too. Pregnancy is the time to make, Distance your best friend; avoid using all kind of electronic gadgets, or at least use them with a safe distance.
Radiations from your Wifi router is no less. Make it a habit turn off your cell phones and the Wifi routers, during the night time, especially when you are asleep. This is because, it is when you are asleep, your DNA is repaired, in the case of any damage.
Eating greens like broccoli, leafy vegetables, etc., and sleeping in the dark, are few things, that will aid the DNA repair process, through the synthesis of melatonin.
Lastly, it is very important for you to know that you need to worry or “Feel Doomed” about all the time, that you have exposed yourself to the radiations from your cell phones; DNA repair is always there, to save the day.
When it comes to children, all sorts of media like TVs, computers, and smartphones can affect how they behave, think, feel, and even learn. Luckily at the end of the day, as a parent, you are still the biggest influence on your kids.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it’s very important to help your children develop healthy habits for digital media usage early on. Below we have some basic guidelines to get started.
Guidelines for Young Children and Media Use
2 years or younger:
At this stage, media use should be kept to a minimum, and only used when an adult is there to help teach and watch. A perfect example would be doing a video chat with your children and other family members.
Ages 1 to 2 years:
Introduction to digital media is still very optional at this stage.
Choose only high-quality programming and be there with your children.
Avoid leaving your child alone while using media.
Children from 2 to 5 years old:
Limit the time of looking at a screen to only an hour or less a day.
Find alternative activities for your kids that promote healthy bodies and minds.
Stick to media that is interactive and educational while avoiding violence.
How About Apps and Digital Books?
Just because an app is advertised as “educational” doesn’t mean that it’s actually proven to be effective, and most don’t encourage co-viewing or co-playing, which is key when it comes to learning. Another point to remember is that educational apps typically target just basics like ABCs or shapes. While this is great in many cases, it’s still just one small part of getting prepared for school. The real skills that young children need to succeed in school are things like controlling impulses, managing emotions, creativity, open-mindedness, and how to interact socially with other people.
As for digital books, or ebooks, while they may have interesting sounds and visuals, they can also be more distracting than anything else and the whole story can be missed due to this. Even though normal print books can be dull in comparison, they may be better when it comes to learning because of the lack of distractions.
If you are looking for ebooks for your children:
Choose ebooks that have lower amounts of frills and thrills.
Be there to read the ebook with your child. Parent-child interaction is essential when it comes to reading and literacy at a young age.
Why Limit Digital Media Usage?
Studies are still sparse when it comes to the effects of digital media use with young children, but so far there is evidence that the risks include:
Loss of sleep. Extended periods of exposure to digital media or having a TV, computer, or mobile device in the bedroom often leads to less sleep and falling asleep at later times. Babies are even more susceptible to these effects – they can be overstimulated by the bright screens and end up missing out on the precious sleep that they need to grow.
Delayed learning and social skills. It is believed that watching too much TV during infancy and preschool years can cause delays in skills like attention, thinking, language, and social interaction. One reason for this may be that there is less interaction with parents and family, and parents that keep the TV on or pay too much attention to their own digital media miss out on chances to connect with their kid.
Physical health. Heavy media usage in preschool years is considered to be linked weight gain and even a higher risk of childhood obesity. This makes sense because overuse of digital media would also include lowered levels of healthy, physical activities.
Behavioral problems. Content that contains violence can influence kids negatively, and even cause behavioral problems. Some think this has to do with being scared and confused about what they are seeing, or maybe they try to mirror what they see.
Additional Tips for Parents and Caregivers
Don’t feel pressured to introduce technology early on. Luckily for us adults, these media devices are typically easy to learn and use, so getting a head-start on using these devices has no advantages. Baby laptop toys are exceptions as they are simply toys.
Monitor the media your child uses. Whether this is in the form of some sort of parental filter, or you just manually choosing what your child uses, make sure you aren’t just letting them download or watch whatever they please. Try to test apps before they try it out, and try to figure out what kinds of apps your children enjoy for more ideas.
Turn devices off when not in use. Just having these things on in the background can be distracting and take away from important parent-child bonding time.
Have designated times that should be free from media use. Times like being in the bedroom, mealtime, and parent-child playtime should be media-free for increased social interaction.
Avoid the bright screens at least one hour before bedtime. Exposure to these bright lights basically confuses the body and can interrupt sleeping schedules.
Avoid using media devices as a way to calm your children. Even though it may be a convenient way to soothe your child, it also lowers their ability to cope with their emotions.