Baby Md

Ignoring digital devices and screens in this age and time is almost impossible. Deciding the amount of screen time your child gets is a conversation you’ll have to have with your partner. Striking a balance becomes necessary to avoid harm and gain the advantages of screen time. In this blog, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of screen time, age-appropriate viewing, and tips and tricks to manage screen time effectively.

Screen Time Advantages

Let us begin with the positives. When your child learns new skills via videos and games, screen time serves as a practical educational tool. Many apps, games, YouTube channels, and TV shows for toddlers and preschoolers help your child gain literacy, numeracy, and social development skills. Good quality interactive content can help engage your child, making learning easy and enjoyable.

Additionally, well-intended programs that focus on education, cultures, perspectives, and ideas can help widen your child’s perspective about their world. Interactive or animated applications have age-appropriate content that aligns with your little one’s milestones, helping them engagingly understand ideas and concepts.

Screen Time Disadvantages

While there are positives to incorporating screen time within limits in your child’s schedule, you have to be mindful of the drawbacks. Excess of screen time, especially at a young age, can lead to delays in language development, reduced attention span, bad posture, and a disturbed sleep pattern.

Extended exposure can also lead to a sedentary lifestyle with weight gain, mood swings, emotional disorders, and poor body image issues in children. Moreover, excess exposure can reduce the development of fine and gross motor skills due to a lack of physical activity. Some children may also become desensitised and display inappropriate behaviour when exposed to unsuitable content.

Screen Time Exposures

You may only sometimes know what your child is viewing or how much time is going into their screen time. Your child may get exposed to violent or risk-taking content, unsafe stunts or challenges, sexual content, substance use, cyberbullying, misleading information, and hate speech. While screens can teach, entertain, and keep your child occupied, you can’t ignore their harmful effects.

Age-Appropriate Screen Time

Excess screen time may hamper developmental milestones that involve new learnings and skills. You can follow the Indian Academy of Paediatricians’s recommendations to create and navigate the digital needs of your child.

For Children Younger Than 23 Months

  • Avoid screen time involving apps, videos, and games, except for video calling.
  • Only choose high-quality video calling services if introducing screen time.
  • Avoid screen time to facilitate feeding or to calm your child down.
  • Do not leave screens on without supervision or when the child is with another guardian, house help, at a creche or daycare.

For Children Aged 2 to 5 Years

  • Co-view high-quality educational programs that are non-violent, age-appropriate, and interactive.
  • Limit view time to one hour per day, with each session lasting for 25-30 minutes.
  • Avoid media multitasking and use only one screen at a time.
  • Avoid screen time during meals, travelling, and an hour before afternoon naps and night sleep.

Screen Time Rules and Limits

Set clear and consistent rules for your child’s screen time. Use the following as a guide – 

Create a Family Media Plan

Create a detailed plan that includes when, where, and how your family can use screens. Include screen-free time like during meals and before naps. Additionally, mark zones that will be digital-free, like the dining area, bathroom, and bedroom, where no one in the family will use screens.

Prioritise High-Quality Content

Make sure that the content your child is viewing enhances their growth and aligns with their developmental stage. Review all the app, video, and screen content before you show it to your child.

Prioritise Co-viewing

Engage with your child while co-viewing programs. Discuss the information and co-relate it with your child’s daily life experiences to foster active learning.

Set Time Limits

Use timers to set screen time limits and communicate them with your child. Appreciate them when they limit their screen time by themselves.

Tips for Effective Screen Time Management

Prioritize Interactive Play

Use interactive toys and games that involve you and your child actively. Choose activities that help and promote cognitive and physical development.

Model Healthy Screen Habits

Set a positive example for your child by avoiding screen time when your child interacts with you. Take out dedicated time from your schedule to engage in quality activities together.

Establish Consistent Routines

Create and follow a daily schedule with some time for indoor and outdoor activities and screen time. Maintain a good balance of engaging activities and be consistent with them.

Monitor Screen Time Content

Review all the content that your child views beforehand. Ensure that it aligns with your family values and healthy, appropriate lifestyle.

Encourage The Outdoors

Choose your child’s physical health and well-being by taking them outside to play a sport, cycle, swim, and interact with their peers.


Navigating your child’s screen time requires a balanced, carefully considered, and adaptable approach. As you understand the good and bad of screen time, setting age limits and viewing guidelines, you can enable an effective and healthy relationship between your child and their digital devices. Actively involve yourself when they use screens and focus on offering quality content to promote effective learning in the early years of their development.