Have Tablets replaced Binkies?

Specialties Pediatric


Specializes in ER.

What do you all think of this new trend to sooth babies and toddlers with tablets? My kids use them with the grandbabies who are currently toddlers. They are helpful for getting them to bed, car rides, and life in general. Part of me says no, no, no! But, when I'm babysitting they are a life saver, and really no more mind rotting than Barney, Care Bears, and certainly better than sedating them with Laudanum.

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

I find this trend to be quite alarming. I'm bothered by the notion of electronic babysitting in general but especially when I see my coworkers propping up DVD players in front of infants in the middle of the night. Five-month-olds don't need to be watching Doc McStuffins at 2 am. I know my daughter uses tablets to distract our two grandsons and I really hope (as educated as she is) that screen time is very limited!

I find it interesting that the most persnickety of mothers will micromanage care ad infinitum to the point of absurdity yet use the tablet, DVD player, or TV in place of interaction with the child.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

It always amazes me when my 2 year old patient knows how to work various electronic devices better than I can. Just like everything else in life, there has to be moderation. Screen time especially in kids should be so limited, yet that is definitely not that case with most patients I encounter. Working nights, it never fails that at least half of my patients are asleep with an electronic device playing at their side when I creep in at 3am.

These kids can work these devices better than I can! We utilize tablets for pain management for the most part - we even have one in our distraction kits. Have to start an IV? Let's watch Doc McStuffins. :) They are definitely great diversions. However, seeing as at my hospital everything seems to be geared around technology (even the patient TVs are glorified computers!), I see it as more of a trend of the times. I think the AAP recommends limited screen time before the age of 2 - but I am not sure how many people listen to that recommendation these days.

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