If you’re a mom whose 1-year-old is already adept at swiping the screen of an iPad, you’ve got one less thing to feel guilty about these days.
That’s because, as TODAY Moms reported, one of the experts who helped craft the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2011 Guidelines on Media and Children—which discourage any media use by kids under 2 years of age—has revised his position.
In an opinion piece published this week in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis wrote, “I believe that the judicious use of interactive media is acceptable for children younger than the age of 2 years.” Dr. Christakis isn’t talking about TV time, but rather iPads (which didn’t exist when the policy statement was being written) and “other interactive media technologies.”
Can I get an amen?
I don’t own an iPad, but let’s just say that ours is not a no-screen-time house. My now 2-½ year-old loves to play Starfall, both on my laptop (and, literally, my lap) as well as my husband’s smartphone. And yes, he was exposed to that smartphone before the tender age of two. For my husband, an actor and stay-at-home-dad who was frequently navigating the New York City subways with two kids, a stroller, and an overstuffed Diaper Dude bag, the Starfall app was often a lifesaver—keeping an otherwise crabby tot happy and engaged while being read a simple story or discovering the alphabet. (Would a board book have been a better choice? Maybe—but I’m not so sure. And in our literature-loving household, one thing that’s not lacking is story time involving actual printed books.)
So while no one is condoning plopping your babe in front of the boob tube, I, for one, am relieved to hear that at least one expert is rethinking the role that screen time can play in our littlest kids’ lives.
Tell us: Does your baby get any screen time?
Image of baby with iPad courtesy of Shutterstock