Is the iPad just an advanced babysitter?

We had a lovely Saturday this weekend. I took little man swimming in the morning. It was his first one back since Christmas break and after joining the chicken pox club at the start of the New Year.

It did not go well. It wasn’t actually lovely. It started with a toddler tantrum in the changing room because i wouldn’t let him take his bunny in the pool with him. We then had 10 minutes of the class where he was clinging to me like a limpet and then the last 20 minutes spent trying to keep hold of him. Apparently he has no sense of fear at all.

I know this is a good thing but my goodness, it does make it hard work.

We then decided to go out for the afternoon to our nearest designer outlet village. We needed to get little mans feet measured and thought we would enjoy a pizza for tea at Pizza Express whilst we were out.

Now we do not go out for long periods often where little man has to sit down. The reason is that he is too on the go and I dread trying to keep him entertained throughout a meal. Especially since he doesn’t end up eating the food so you end up inhaling your meal so you can leave as quickly as possible.

But it is one of those things that you do have to do. As a parent it is our responsibility to help our children understand social situations. I can’t not ever take him out for coffee/lunch/tea etc.

We have been taking him for coffee at weekends after going out for a walk and a play. We just hadn’t taken him for tea for a while. So why not this weekend?

I went fully prepared with snacks, colouring books, pens and toys. And you know what? It wasn’t as bad as i thought. Yes he tried to eat the crayons, launch raisins across pizza express and try and use the pizza cutter from my plate to saw up the table, but we got there. No real tantrums, no dramas and no one staring at us thinking that our child was unruly and misbehaving.


Now a question I have is when is too early to bring out an iPad to keep him entertained?

A second question I have is should we all be relying on technology to keep our children entertained at all when we are out? Should we not use the opportunity to colour in pictures, make funny faces across the table and play peekaboo?

I really do not know which camp I am in. At the moment if we were to take the iPad out it may start a precedent that he will then expect it to come out all the time. When he is older I want him sat with us talking and interacting, not sitting there playing games and watching films.

How do you get that balance? Is there such thing or is it just black and white?

I would love to get your views on the technology debate and whether we are using it to now babysit our children rather than distract and entertain them….is there a difference when it really comes down to it?

Busy Working Mummy XOXO

Everything Mummy



6 thoughts on “Is the iPad just an advanced babysitter?

  1. Whatever parenting ideals we all had, it all falls apart once you actually have a kid. Sometimes iPad or mobile is the only way to get some peace of mind for a few minutes. But I have heard moms of 3 and 4 year olds lamenting how addicted their kids are to technology. So, can’t really say which one is the right way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been thinking this over a lot as my daughter gets older and it’s a really tricky one! Before I was a parent, I used to see families come in to restaurants and think how sad it was that the kids immediately got out their tablets and played games and watched films. However now I have a small person to deal with I can see the appeal in having something to keep her quiet whilst I enjoy some food.

    I guess when I was growing up we would have done some colouring or something so I suppose iPad games are just an evolution of that. As my daughter gets a bit older, I suspect we’d let her play on a tablet for a bit so we can eat in peace. But I think (famous last words probably) I would avoid having it out for the entire meal. I also feel watching cartoons falls in to a different category to playing a game. My parents never let me read a book over dinner and watching programmes is the same in my mind.

    Of course, now I am a parent I have definitely learnt that it’s each to their own so I no longer pass comment about what another family is doing over their meal!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hmm tough one, I have to say I have never taken and iPad/tablet/phone to a restaurant for the girls I tend to go for sticker books and playdoh then at least we can play together. Mine are quite good at eating out though it’s just something we have always done though I think that’s why.
    Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars x

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  4. I think its difficult because I stay at home with Mia all the time, entertaining her myself so I don’t think the odd time shes on the ipad is a problem. I cant say I ever think negatively when I see children in restaurants, cafes, etc… on an ipad as I appreciate its so tricky to keep a child entertained when sat down. But I guess as with most things, your damned if you do and damned if you don’t! 🙂


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  5. I think everyone is different bur if it calms him down set a timer then you gent best of both worlds. Sometimes however, the best thing is do through anxiety he will slowly learn. I was the same with my boys for social anxiety and they always wanted to come out but I reminded myself I am the boss and can take control. So hard but it does get easier as they mature X #SundayStars

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  6. This is a really thought-provoking post and such a debate in my head too. I think I lean a little more towards the “technology is fine” camp. We still struggle sometimes going out for meals with our 2.5 yo and we try all the usual colouring etc but if all else fails and food is still several minutes away I have no quarms about whipping out my phone and letting him watch Peppa Pig. Likewise, he probably watches too much TV at home too. But I figure as long as that’s not ALL he does its fine. We play, we craft, we go out a lot and he attends lots of baby groups and play dates. So if that means I allow him a couple of films or a couple of hours of CBeebies when we ARE at home, who cares?

    It’s tough I know. And there is a lot of judgement (mainly from ourselves!) but I figure you do whatever you gotta do to get through that meal/bus journey/doctors waiting room etc xxx #sundaystars

    Liked by 1 person

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