Better safe than sorry: 8 reasons not to give your child your smartphone

The baby is crying and crying and you can see the roof coming down over your head. You’ve fed him, you’ve tried to calm him down, but no, he will not stop screaming. So what do you do? You go ahead and put your cell phone in his hands. And he stops crying. You think it’s magic, and the next time, you immediately bring out the cell phone when you see he is about to cry, or he is not eating, or he is not letting you be. But are you sure this is the right thing to do?

Your baby’s motor skills

Your child takes a long time to develop his motor skills. Grabbing something, holding on to it, making it work - these are difficult things for your little baby. How many times have you dropped your mobile phone? And you know how to hold it! Your baby doesn’t. 

That screen!

All screens, any screen, emits an almost imperceptible blue light that is known to disrupt sleep patterns. This is why all advice columns talk about not checking or doing anything on your phone before going to sleep. That mobile screen has the same effect on your baby. So if your baby is not sleeping when he should, blame the screen! 


You know how your mother warned you about rocking the baby in your arms every time you put him to sleep? You didn’t listen to her then and now your baby wouldn’t sleep without being rocked in your arms. It happens with phones too. Your baby knows you give the phone to stop his crying, so he will not stop unless you give it to him. Do you really want to feed this behaviour?

Their visual acuity

So they share at a screen for a few hours every day. And it’s quite close to their eyes too. They don’t look away, or look around. They just stare transfixed at a video or game playing in front of them. Do you realise how this will harm their visual development or even their ability to focus on something that’s a little farther away?

You use it to distract older children

You give your mobile phone to your older child at airports and at home to distract him. You are scared of him getting bored or getting naughty, so you make him sit with your phone. What you don’t realise is, when you do this, you are not giving him any other way to deal with boredom. There’s no conversation, there’s no reading habit, there’s no drawing and colouring, there’s only the cell phone. You are bringing up a child with excessive dependence on a gadget, and without any hobbies. 

Your older children don’t develop a need to interact

Why should they? By sticking your phone in front of their eyes you never taught them to talk with others or be part of a conversation. So they end up being reclusive, finding comfort within themselves and at peace when they have the phone. Imagine how introverted they will grow up to be if they can’t learn to interact with others now. 

Your interaction with them only stays functional

You feed them, bathe them, change them, all yes, but do you have fun with them? Do you make a face with them, do you make funny voices when you read them a story? Do they enjoy listening to your stories? Do you interact with them any more than doing those functional things? Are you bonding enough with them?

You’ll ignore the advice

We know you will. You will probably think of this once and then go ahead and give him your mobile phone the next time he starts crying. We know this because we get that there is little in the world better than the sweet silence of a toddler who has just stopped bringing the roof down. 

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