22% of one-year-olds use computers

Laptops, apps and gaming devices are now as common toys for toddlers and babies as teddies, trains and tea sets

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Babies and toddlers are becoming tech savvy almost before they can string a sentence together. In our recent MadeForMums survey, run in association with LeapFrog, we talked to more than 1700 mums and dads and found that:

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  • 58% of 3 year olds have used a computer or laptop – 22% before they’re 2
  • 45% of 3 year olds have used a children’s educational gaming console or tablet – 14% before they’re 2
  • 32% of 3 year olds have used an iPad or other tablet – 13% before they’re 2

So what are our one year olds doing?

Apps are a big favourite amongst babies – 18% have used an app before they’re 2, while 12% of under-2s have used the internet.

More than a quarter of you have 6 or more child or baby apps, including phonics, drawing and maths, with Peppa Pig and Angry Birds mentioned the most.

The screen time debate

With all this young usage, you may expect parents to be worried about access to screens in the early years. Although 8% of parents do worry about their young children using a screen and 4% are concerned they’re not interacting with their child when they’re on screens, a resounding 85% of you said you felt your child spent about the right amount of time playing with technology and only 12% thought too long was spent playing with technology. In fact, 60% of parents said they were pleased their children were learning while having fun.

TV, it seems, is more of a bad guy, with 35% of parents feeling their children spent too much time watching the telly and DVDs.

Techy days out

Technology is definitely popular when travelling or going out for the day, with 60% of us bringing some kind of gadget along for children to play with. You told us:

  • 46% bring technology games or gadgets on holiday
  • 28% on days out
  • 21% when eating out
  • 16% when meeting up with friends

Not surprisingly, their main use was to reduce our stress! We found 60% of you felt that technology and gadgets make days out and trips away from home less stressful.

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While technology is a popular way of making long car journeys more palatable (36% take technology devices and 30% use a DVD player), told classic family games such as I Spy are also widely used (57%), with 82% of us keeping our children entertained by simply talking to them!

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