Times are changing. The parents of today’s babies enjoyed My Little Pony and Power Rangers. Their grandparents played with Mr. Potato Head and Silly Putty. If these babies have older brothers and sisters, they likely got their first taste of the digital age with kids’ computers like the Dora the Explorer model. But today’s infants and toddlers aren’t stuck with $10 kiddie toys. Today’s babies are all about the smartphone apps.
How Do Smartphones Pacify a Baby?
Image via Flickr by Lars Ploughmann
1. Lights and Sound
Children are enthralled with lights and sounds. Many pregnant mothers report babies responding to sounds as early as the fifth month of pregnancy. Apps can calm babies with soothing music or stimulate them with active games. The Baby Soothing Sounds app plays comforting sounds to lull babies to sleep. Shapes is a learning app that keeps babies enthralled for hours.
2. Interactive Play
Tots are excited to learn that what they do affects things around them. Pushing buttons to make things happen on the screen not only delights children, but it also develops their muscle control. Doodle Kids is a free app that lets kids create pictures. Stuck in line at the bank or grocery store? Bring up one of these apps and let your little one learn and create instead of scream and grab items off shelves.
3. Something Old, Something New
Image via Flickr by Henniksent
Much of baby play is repetitive, and this is good. Babies like to play peek-a-boo for hours and listen to Mom read the same story until she turns blue and falls over. One day, the old game or story will get boring and it’s time to torment parents with something else. The great thing about smartphone apps is children can play as much as they like, and when they get ready for a new thing to play with, you can download another from the app store in just seconds.
4. Fits Well in Baby’s Hands
Smartphones are just the right size for little hands that can’t quite manage tiny objects or handle bigger toys and games. A smartphone keyboard can sometimes be too small for Daddy’s big hands to operate, but a baby’s itty bitty fingers do just fine. The BlackBerry Curve 9310 is an ideal size for babies.
5. Always Handy
You might leave the house without the diaper bag, the grocery list or even the baby, but you’re not likely to leave home without your smartphone. When your baby’s favorite toy is something you always have handy, there’s never a fear of getting stuck in traffic or waiting at the car repair shop without something to do.
How Apps Rank Among Other Methods of Soothing Babies
Image via Flickr by WarmSleepy
The old standby pacifier has fallen out of vogue. Only 9 percent of today’s mothers turn to this method of calming babies. Meanwhile 25 percent of moms still stick a bottle of something in that screaming mouth, and only one in five moms hand their baby a soft toy. One in four moms hand crying babies their smartphones for entertainment. More mothers rely on smartphones than they depend on bottles, plush toys or pacifiers. Smartphones are baby toys for the digital generation.