Mothers now prefer handing over smartphones rather than dummies to comfort crying babiesTen per cent of these allow toddlers to play on phones for up to two hoursScottish mothers most likely to entertain babies with smartphonesOnly nine per cent of babies are given dummies by their parents
15:47 GMT, 19 June 2012
Forget dummies, cuddly toys, baby bouncers and even bottles of milk.
These days, smart mothers are using smartphones to keep their babies quiet as a digital alternative to more traditional pacifiers, new research has found.
More than one in four mothers hand over their mobiles to a crying or bored tot when they need a distraction or entertaining, said the study by supermarket giant Asda.
Smarty-pants: smart mums give restless babies smartphone apps to play with
And it is more common than shoving a dummy in their mouth or giving them a soft toy or even a bottle in these high tech times.
A range of apps for youngsters, including games, puzzles and educational programmes, means smartphones are now a parent’s best friend, said Asda.
The study found 27 per cent of mothers give their phones to their children to keep them entertained.
And although 40 per cent of these restrict playtime to no longer than ten minutes, 10 per cent admitted leaving their children to play with their mobile for anything up to two hours.
High-tech tots: Babies are shunning more traditional toys in favour of smartphone apps
The poll of 1,650 mums found 25 per cent stick to a bottle of milk or other drink as the main way of keeping their child entertained.
App-tastic: Babies are more entertained by smartphone apps than cuddly toys and dummies
One in five (21 per cent) resort to a favourite soft toy and only nine per cent use a dummy as a pacifier.
Mother of two Louise Pearson of Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, said: 'My phone is the boys’ favourite toy, sometimes the only way to keep them quiet is to hand it over.
'I have a range of apps on it for them to play with from puzzles and games to educational programmes.'
Mothers in Scotland are most likely to use their smartphone as a child’s pacifier – 40 per cent of mums north of the border do it, said Asda.
David Fletcher, Asda’s mobile phone expert said: 'No longer are mobile phones just a device for keeping in touch.
'To see them also used as an “electronic pacifier” is no surprise with the large variety of games and entertainment now available to download for children.'