Finding Balance: Reducing Screen Time for Better Baby Bonding

Published on: 21/05/2024

In the overwhelm of early parenthood, especially during breastfeeding, it’s easy to get lost in the glow of our mobile screens as a way of escape. While these devices offer essential support (and escapism), striking the right balance between necessary use and ensuring quality bonding time with your baby is key. Here’s how to navigate this journey with grace and mindfulness. Mobile health (mHealth) interventions, such as apps and text messaging, have revolutionised breastfeeding support. These tools provide educational content, motivational boosts, and real-time advice, making a significant difference during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Studies have shown that mothers who receive mobile phone consultations have higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding, thanks to timely support and increased confidence (Lewkowitz & Cahill, 2021).

However, using your phone during breastfeeding can have mixed effects. On one hand, it doesn’t significantly change your posture, but it might delay your response to your baby’s cues, which is crucial for bonding (Nakagawa et al., 2019) The good news? Habitual phone use doesn’t necessarily harm your emotional connection with your baby. Many mothers report they can still engage and interact while using their phones (Inoue et al., 2021).


Smart Strategies to Reduce Screen Time


  1. Set Screen Time Limits:

Create daily screen time boundaries. This simple step can help you manage your phone use and ensure it doesn’t encroach on precious moments with your baby.


  1. Use Do Not Disturb Mode:

Activate Do Not Disturb during feeding sessions or dedicated bonding times. This minimises distractions, allowing you to focus on your baby without the constant ping of notifications (Smith et al., 2021).


  1. Designate Phone-Free Zones:

Establish phone-free areas in your home, such as the nursery or dining table. This helps create a serene environment, perfect for uninterrupted bonding and meaningful interaction.


    1. Engage in Alternative Activities:

Swap screen time for other enriching activities like reading, playing with your baby, or enjoying some light exercise. These activities not only reduce phone dependency but also promote a healthier lifestyle for both you and your baby (Wang et al., 2021).


      1. Turn Off Non-Essential Notifications

Disable notifications from non-essential apps to reduce the urge to check your phone constantly. Fewer interruptions mean more focused and meaningful time with your little one.


While our phones can be invaluable tools, especially with mHealth interventions, it’s essential to manage screen time carefully to foster a strong bond with your baby. By setting limits, using Do Not Disturb, creating phone-free zones, engaging in alternative activities, and turning off unnecessary notifications, you can reduce phone usage effectively. This balanced approach ensures that you can enjoy every precious moment during the early stages of your child’s life.