Browse all articles

My baby has a tantrum if I don't let her use my iPhone or iPad

If your baby has a tantrum when you take the phone or tablet away, just use your normal consequences. It shouldn't be any different with devices. A lot of parents worry that a tantrum means baby has developed an unhealthy attachment to the phone or tablet, but that's very unlikely. If handing over the phone has become a habit, it'll take some time to curb her outbursts. Babies also don't typically understand the "five-minute countdown" (i.e., that they have only five more minutes with the device before they have to give it up.) Babies are very much in the moment -- they want what they want when they want it. Here are some ways that may cut down on tantrums over devices.

  • Transition into using the phone or tablet together -- such as showing her photos of herself or watching short videos together -- so she'll get used to it being a shared experience.
  • Begin to show her how you use the phone as a tool, such as to make calls -- not a treat that she gets from being "good."
  • As with everything else she wants and can't have, she'll develop the ability to self-soothe with your help.

What's your strategy for avoiding tantrums when you take the phone away from baby?

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media offers the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based ratings and reviews. Our timely parenting advice supports families as they navigate the challenges and possibilities of raising kids in the digital age.