Your baby is hungry…again. Especially in the early days, when it feels like you’re feeding her pretty much constantly, turning on the TV or your phone can be a sanity saver. And phone apps can be helpful in tracking your baby’s schedule.
But did you know that too much screen time can actually interfere with your little one’s eating and sleeping? We’re not suggesting you give up your screen time, but you can definitely strike a balance that’s better for baby and still works for you.
Babies naturally use feeding time to bond with you, making eye contact, then learning to smile and laugh as you interact. So while screen time isn’t all bad, it can keep you from enjoying these special moments. But take heart; as your baby grows, he’ll eat less often and finish faster, so you’ll have (a little) more time.
Also, your phone’s light is known to disrupt sleep…not something any new parent wants!
Screen time can affect you too. Reading every parenting post with an alarming headline can leave you stressed and overwhelmed. Stick to reputable sources, use what works for you and have faith in your parenting instincts.
Bottom line: Get to know your baby, trust your instincts and take a little break from your screen.
Need motivation to dial down your screen time? Consider these benefits:
- You and baby will sleep better.
- You’ll be more focused on baby’s feeding cues.
- You’ll get to know your baby better as you interact. If you’re pulled into a long article or social media feed, you might miss some sweet bonding time.
- You’ll be more comfortable with both hands free to adjust baby, drink a glass of water or eat a healthy snack.
This doesn’t mean you have to power off completely when you’re with your baby, but it’s good to limit phone use to sending a short text (especially if you’re responding to an offer for help!), checking the weather for a walk with baby or tracking her feeding times.
The noise from the TV and the light from the cell phone tell baby’s body it’s time to wake up. So you definitely want to keep screens out of the room where he sleeps. Feed him in a dark, quiet space before bed and during the night, which will help your baby learn to drift back off to sleep.