How to Monitor and Protect Your Toddler’s Mobile App Usage


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I have a toddler who is a very savvy iPhone and iPad user. Every time he picks up a phone I cringe. I don’t even remember how he learned how to use it but Caleb knows what folder is his, where his apps are and how to use it better than most adults.

Despite what some may think, my husband and I believe it is incredible that at his age he can operate it as well as he does. And, when I mean operate, the boy knows how to find all of the educational apps and videos. He knows his alphabets and knew them out of order well before two years old. He can also count to almost 100 and we take no credit for this.

Educational Games for 2-8 Year Olds

My husbands plays an interesting game with him. He will say 1 and Caleb will say 2 and he will say 3 and Caleb will say 4. They continue with this to about 80 and Caleb does it effortlessly. I thought nothing of it but one day Caleb’s teacher told my husband that it takes a lot of effort for a child to think in that type of back and forth sequence and Caleb does it without a thought or having to concentrate on it.

Although I am pretty happy with the educational videos that my son is watching, I know what goes in his ear and eye gate during this time of his young life could influence him for the rest of his life. One video could open a door of curiosity way before it’s time for Caleb and we must protect him from that happening.

We had one scare about a year ago. Caleb was on YouTube watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse videos and Nate heard something that didn’t sound right. When he grab the phone, it was Mickey and Minnie in the bed and Mickey was about to take off Minnie’s clothes. Yes! Someone created a video like this, targeted our children and posted it to YouTube. What kind of sick mind is that?

Well, Nate removed YouTube immediately from his iPad and now Caleb only has access to YouTube Kids. He knows the difference but doesn’t even ask for YouTube. We still allow him to look at it on our phones but we are monitoring very closely. We haven’t seen anything like this since.

It is very important to have some sort of monitoring so that you may be able to be fully aware of their actions while they are connected to the Internet or mobile apps. However, for toddlers, I’ve found that it is as simple as placing a few apps they like on the iPad, iPhone or Android. Sorry, we are an Apple household and know very, very little about any other devices.

On iPhone and iPads, you can enable restrictions. You can find it in the Setting app.

I commend people who are able to keep television and gadgets away from their children but it’s just not a reality for us. I work in Digital Marketing and my husband is in business and a writer. Caleb is exposed to all of it but we want to ensure that he is protected from the dangers of it. We also want to take advantage of his savviness and continue to educate him on the digital landscape so that he can use this knowledge to hopefully create a lucrative career for himself if he desires.

I want to hear from you! What safeguards have you put in place to protect your toddler while he or she uses mobile phones and apps?

Tags : internetinternet savvy kidsMobile appmonitorsoftwaretoddler phone
Kesha Holloway

The author Kesha Holloway

Kesha Holloway is the founder of Living in Your Sweet Spot. She is passionate about being a wife and mother and desires to align herself with women equally passionate about their families. She believes the woman is the backbone of the family unit and it's her mission to help lift women to achieve their purpose.


  1. Oh my word, did some sick idiot really do that on YouTube, that’s just horrible. It’s so difficult bringing up kids today with all the techno gadgets and gizmo’s out there. You can never be too careful

    1. Yes, someone did and it was horrible! There are some very sick people in this world. I’m so glad my husband saw it before my son did.

  2. this is actually super important! God I get so panicky every time I’m babysitting my nieces and they want to watch youtube… It’s just so hard to keep tabs on whatever content shows up a well!

    1. We live in a world where information travels so fast because we have the Internet and social media. It is hard to keep tabs on everything but as parents we have no other choice. We have to be intentional and make sure we are always actively listening to what our children are listening to.

  3. OMG I can’t believe someone created that. That’s awful! It is quite amazing how much kids know how to do on a phone! As long as it’s educational, I think it’s good for kids to learn technology!

  4. My son is 12 now, nearly 13, and similarly I used to cringe when I saw him up some piece of tech but do you know what, he is so clever at using things to his advantage that I think it’s a huge benefit. He has just started to learn how to code, creates and edits his own videos for YouTube and is so far in fron t IT wise. It can’t be a bad thing right? We are always careful about boundaries, safety and time limits but as with most things it’s all about balance right? x PS: Caleb is super cute too!

    1. I love it! This is exactly what I would like for my son to do. I’m already looking into schools and age requirements.

  5. This is great! I worry that my littles use the iPad too much, so it’s great to see these tips. Trying to balance some quiet time for me and making sure they don’t watch it too much.

  6. I don’t have children but I do know that the internet is a sea of threats, especially for young children and toddlers, who don’t know yet the difference between right and wrong. It’s good that devices have restriction settings and parental control, especially that we live in a digital world and it is inevitable for children to start using them from a very young age.

  7. I think it is great that Caleb is already so tech savvy and that its encouraged his learning experience from such an early age but you are SO right about being clued up on what little ones are watching, while Youtube is mostly PG the automatic next video isn’t always directly related or approriate!

  8. I didn’t know you can add restrictions on your ipad or iphone. But that’s good because yeah kids should not be able to see everything (like this horrendous paul logen video)

  9. On one hand, children learn so quickly from different apps and generally from using even an iPhone, yet it’s always some kind of a danger for them. It’s a good option to add restrictions so the child can only see the children-friendly applications that will make them smarter. I think sometimes it’s good to keep children away from tablets, computers and iPhones but nowadays it’s simply not possible most of the times…

    1. My husband did a lot of research so that we could apply the proper safeguards. It’s so hard to keep our iPhones and iPads out of Caleb’s hands.

  10. This is so amazing post, I could not agree more with you on the restrictions and limitations on gadgets and screen. I had the same experience once on youtube with characters from bubble guppies, so I have been very careful and avoid giving my kids alone time with the screen.

  11. It’s so crazy to think there are predators like that on youtube of all places. I’m glad you can make sure your babys safe easily

  12. I don’t have kids, so I don’t have to worry about this personally, however I cringe with you. I find it appalling that someone would make a dirty video of Minnie and Mickey. Sad.

  13. It”s so important to monitor their usage! Children are getting more and more tech savvy these days and can come across anything!

  14. Even as an adult Youtube can turn into a scary place with one click to something that looks innocent, I can’t even imagine it as a parent trying to protect your child. On the other hand how amazing is it that he is so advanced because of the improvements to technology!!

  15. Oh! That is a cool app! Toddlers are really hard to deal with. So I must download this and try to use it and share this with others who have toddlers. This might be a big help to them

  16. I don’t have kids, but I agree that monitoring kids app usage is important. It’s really good that Apple has tools to help with that. I do believe that apps can be good for kids and that it helps them get used to a tech friendly world at a young age.

  17. Nowadays, children are more likely to use mobile phones or any gadgets than to read books or to study. That’s why we need to monitor or watch our kids on using any gadgets because it also has an adverse effect on their health.

  18. This is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed…I believe that making the kids learn about the importance of controlled screen time can solve a lot of things.

    1. That’s very true but it doesn’t stop those people with sick minds who target kids with videos similar to their favorite characters. It only takes a second for a terrible video to pop up on someone’s screen.

  19. I had a long discussion with my bf on how we want to educate our kids on the mobile and laptop usage in future… I’m gonna show him your article to warn him of the potential risk~

  20. this is such an important topic, especially nowadays. in this generation, many kids use mobile games, watching videos rather than playing games or studying their lessons and it consumes their time using mobiles and gadgets. So we should block them and limit them using mobiles because science says it has a bad effect on their health.

  21. I don’t have children but I bet this is really useful to a lot of people. There is so much on the Internet and it’s so easy to access anything you want so it’s important to monitor and protect children from the bad things. It’s also good to limit how often they use them.

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