From the very start, a baby’s brain development is closely tied to interaction with a loving family.

Early childhood experts encourage parents to talk with, read to, and play with their babies and toddlers.

Encouraging baby to mimic words creates a natural back-and-forth that’s the beginning stage of conversation. A baby’s brain learns that voice inflection, facial expressions and actions add meaning to the sounds of words. All these activities require interactions with a live person.

In 2019, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital concluded from their research on infant brain development that parents should avoid use of screen media for children younger than 18 months. They recommend limiting two and three-year-olds to short video-chatting with someone the child recognizes as a loved one. Thereafter, parents should be choosy about the quality of screen programming, and should watch with young children to help them understand what they’re seeing.

Experts seem to agree that brain development is delayed with use of screen time in early childhood. Be present in the moment for your child. The time you invest will be worth so much more than whatever task you got done while your toddler sat alone staring at a screen.