Why Do Babies Love Phones - Choosing A Toy Phone
Babies Desire For Phones Should Be Curbed
Any parent today can testify that their baby is obsessed with their smartphone. This phenomenon has probably been true ever since cell phones were smaller than the size of bricks. Leave your phone in a baby-accessible place for at least three minutes and, poof! your phone is now in the hands of your little one.
This can be bothersome for a handful of reasons:
- You need to use your phone!
- You're afraid your phone will get lost.
- You'd like to prevent your baby from sending any gibberish text message or making awkward phone calls.
- You are uninterested in deleting the 37 photos that your little artist captured of the couch cushions.
But, perhaps most concerning of all:
- A baby staring at a phone, especially if they're younger than 18 months, is likely overloading their senses. All of the lights, colors, noises and images are things that a baby will never experience under a natural setting, so their interface can get overwhelmed. Experts agree, sensory lights, sounds, tastes, touch, and smells should be experienced gradually.
Why Are Babies Obsessed With Phones?
We should note that babies, for many reasons insist on playing with all of their parents' stuff. But this occurrence is extra common when it comes to their phones. Here's why.
- Sensory - The sensory explosion that comes with smart phone usage, especially for babies and toddlers, is exciting. If you had the opportunity to see a 4th of July firework display while riding a roller coaster and eating food from a Michelin star restaurant, would you take it?
- Adventure - Venturing to grab a new and unknown item is adventurous. This is especially true if there is a feeling of rule-breaking. In most homes there are rules limiting babies and toddlers from phones, so the adventure is even more present.
- Power - The fact that movement occurs at the touch of their finger, even if it's not purposeful (unless you've got a baby Einstein), makes one feel powerful. How technology works may not be understood by the little one, but being able to manipulate things by your actions is unmistakeable.
- Sizing - Depending on the model of the phone at hand, a smartphone will often fit snuggly in that chubby baby palm. This can't be said for many things around the house.
- Imitation - A likely cause and a troubling one is that they are imitating their parents. Phone attachment and addiction has been on the rise, so plenty of babies and toddlers watch as their parents sit glued to their phones and wish to emulate them. This is sad and poor child-rearing but also explains why they'd place it as such a sought after device.
- Watch - Most obvious of all is the child's desire to be entertained by the phone. This is not unlike why us adults are on our phones as well. Whether it's watching a kids show or scrolling through emojis, these devices sure know how to entertain.
Would A Toy Phone Work As A Decoy?
We sell toy phones. It's no secret and it's why we wrote this article! The dream would be that they actually can distract a toddler away from a real phone because a toy phone doesn't carry the aforementioned concerns and flaws a baby with a real phone has. But will it work?
We can attest that in our household, our babies very much enjoy playing with the pretend toy phone. Mommy has a phone, daddy has a phone and now the littles "have" one too!
This makes plenty of sense if you look at the previous reasons we gave for why they like phones in the first place.
- Sensory - Although a toy won't completely rock their world like a real phone, the sound and light elements have a stimulating effect. The limited effects, compared to a real phone, will likely protect from sensory overload.
- Adventure - Like any new toy, it's always fun to explore a new realm. Additionally, this phone includes many sound effects just waiting to be discovered.
- Power - The toy phone will never be as capable as a real phone. But, the toy phone does give a toddler the sense of power and control. This stems from their imagination and the ability to push buttons to satisfying affect.
- Sizing - If a regular phone fits well in the hand of a little, the slightly slimmer dimensions and light weight of this phone will fit like a glove.
- Imitation - Our toy phone was redesigned by us to look as realistic as possible. If your babies want to "call grandma" like mommy and daddy, this toy is a lookalike.
- Watch - The ability to watch is where a toy phone and a real phone diverge. This will be a letdown for most kids. But, on the bright-side, the cutting down of screen-time is the goal of many parents. Just because a child will be disappointed they can't watch, doesn't mean the toy can't be played with.
Which Toy Phone To Choose? How to Choose?
There are many toy phones on the market. Obviously, we'd be thrilled if you considered Buying DontPlayWithThat's MyPhone, but there are many aspects to consider:
- Realistic - Toy phones vary in how realistic they look. We designed ours to seem the most realistic, but others can be extra cutesy (think big, cartoon eyes) or requiring added imagination.
- Electric - Some toy phones are electric and can shine lights and make sounds of ringing or words. Ours is this variety. Others are more vintage, so the child will need to do all the sound making on their own.
- Material - Certain toy phones are made of plastic and others, more of the Montessori variety, are wooden.
- Phone Type - Landlines are almost prehistoric at this point in time, but occasionally you can find a landline toy phone, as opposed to the more common mobile toy phone.