Is Your 1-year-old Too Young To Be Playing With Apps And An iPad?

Charlie Waters
·6-min read

Electronics such as iPads and tabs haven’t been around for all that long. Though they have their roots with the Dynabook in the ‘60s the GRiDPAD in the late 1980s, they didn’t become as widely used until the first iPad was released in 2010.

But ever since that, they have become a massive part of our lives. There is at least one tablet in almost every household and the limits of their usage are endless. People use them for work, to watch movies, we can use them for things like Zoom and other video chatting apps.

And of course, there are a number of games and other entertainment-based apps that you can get on an iPad too. It’s great for occupying time if you’re travelling by bus or train or if you’re flying.

Parents Are Using Apps For Babies’ Development And More

apps for babies development
apps for babies development

Image source: iStock

Basically anywhere you might be stuck waiting with nothing to do, if you’ve got a tablet then you’ve got something to do. Naturally, this can be exceptionally useful if you’ve got young children.

Children get bored very easily and keeping them occupied is not quite as simple as keeping a teenager or an adult occupied. Especially if we are talking about very young children, like those under the age of three.

It’s not quite as simple as to just put on a movie or an episode of television when the child doesn’t yet have the ability to understand what’s happening. And most app games are probably not going to resonate with them either.

But at the same time, tablet computers are instruments of advanced technology and have become very adaptable machines. With the Internet, you have access to a lot of different kinds of apps and games.

So that leads us to an important question: How young is too young for a child to be given access to a tablet that they can use apps and play games on? Should a one-year-old be allowed to use one?

Is It A Good Idea To Hand Over Electronics To A 1-year-old?

Image source: iStock

In order to answer that, we need to consider where exactly a one-year-old child is in terms of their development. By the time a baby is a year old, they should have developed to a degree of motor skills that will allow them to reach for and hold objects.

So they will be able to hold a tablet if you hand it to them. They are also able to follow an object with their eyes and should be able to understand how to release an object they’re holding when asked.

They will have developed some level of language skill, to the point where they can start to recognise your voice and start to understand the meaning behind a few basic words, as well as to speak a little bit themselves.

So with all of that in mind, there is enough visual and auditory ability already developed for a one-year-old to be able to use a tablet in theory. They can hold it, they can interact with it the same way they can interact with a toy, and they can recognise some of the images and sounds.

You should probably wait until a child is about 18 months old

Does the fact that they can use an iPad mean that they should? Not necessarily. And at the one year mark, it might actually be inadvisable. You should probably wait until a child is about 18 months old.

Just enough time for them to be able to understand, on some level, the concept of moderation. If a child gets too accustomed to screen time too early, they might think that they should be allowed to have it all the time, and too much screen time has disadvantages.

It can lead to inhibited social behaviour, bad sleep, bad performance in school and it will expose them to media violence and false information. This won’t happen if they get screen time in moderation, but it can be harder to enforce that if they are exposed to screens too early.

With that in mind, if you wait until eighteen months you are probably okay, but you do need to be selective about what you let your infant actually use the iPad for. And the first thing you need to remember is that you should avoid leaving them alone with it.

Apps For Babies Development Should Be Used Just For That

apps for babies development
apps for babies development

Image source: iStock

If left unsupervised, they could accidentally click onto something you don’t want them to see so at the earliest stages you should always stay with them. The best kind of apps for them to use are the ones that are both fun and educational.

There are so many different apps that serve both functions and are specifically designed for toddlers. A lot of things that you would under normal circumstances use toys or books to teach your kids with, you can get on a tablet now.

This doesn’t mean that toys and books should become a thing of the past, it’s always good to have a variety and to not have your child staring at a screen all the time, but it is nice to be able to store all of this learning material on a single device.

You have loads of great apps such as ones that can teach about the alphabet and reading, there are counting games, there are games that involve matching sounds to objects or matching animals to the noises they make.

Apps that they can use to draw, or learn educational songs, or games that will help them settle down when it’s time for bed. There are games for basically every kind of development your child will go through at this stage.

You can try the following:

  • Baby Zoo Piano: It has music for infants and toddlers

  • Baby Sleep Instant: This one has lullabies and music for infants to fall back into sleep

  • Nursery Rhymes: As the name suggests, it has nursery rhymes for your little one

  • Baby Phone: This app has child nursery rhymes and lullabies

  • Baby Night Light: This particular app your smartphone into a night lamp that makes your child feel safe

One year isn’t too young to be playing with apps

So the answer to the question posed by the title, no. One year isn’t too young to be playing with apps. Although you should wait until your child is about one-and-a-half, there are ways you can use it to aid their development.

But remember that an iPad really only offers visual and audio stimulation. They can touch the screen but it doesn’t really feel like anything and they won’t get anything in terms of smell. Plus, the sights and sounds are all automated.

You can absolutely put a tablet and apps for babies development to great use. But don’t let it be the only way your child learns and has fun. Get them accustomed to the real world too. Moderation and variety are the keys to a healthy development.

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