How to Make your iPhone Baby Friendly

As Moms, we can pack our toddler’s favorite toys in the diaper bag…taking extra care to make sure the toys are interesting and will keep their attention for (hopefully) more than 5 minutes. I have been grocery shopping by myself with Jonah when signs of a meltdown start to appear. I pull out one of his toys, while crossing all of my crossables that it will keep him occupied for just FIVE MORE MINUTES while I race to the checkout 🙂 You know, so he can chuck it into the person standing in line behind us.

I have been in this situation many times, not just at the grocery store…sometimes even at home! As a last resort, I find myself handing him my iPhone to play with. He loves the colors and let’s face it…Mommy plays with it a lot, so why WOULDN’T it be awesome? 🙂 He always wants to do what Mommy and Daddy do!

I have a few fun Apps for babies that I always start up for him, and then hand him the phone. He doesn’t particularly enjoy me constantly interfering with what his little fingers are pushing in an effort on my part to keep him from deleting apps, deleting photos, locking me out of my phone, buying the 27 latest country albums, calling China, etc. 🙂 So, I did some digging online and discovered a feature on the iPhone that I had never heard about before. It’s called GUIDED ACCESS and it is going to be your new best friend…especially if you have an iPhone-loving baby or toddler!

Guided Access is an accessibility feature that came out with iOS6. In short, it prevents use of the home button (Jonah’s FAVORITE thing to push) and allows you to pick and choose areas of the screen that touch will no longer activate. Sounds great, doesn’t it? I’ve put together a quick tutorial to show you how to enable this awesome feature! I hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me 🙂

To use Guided Access, you first have to enable it through you iPhone’s settings. First, tap your ‘Settings’ button and then ‘General’:

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After you’ve done that, find ‘Accessibility’:

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Finally, scroll down until you see the words ‘Guided Access’:

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Once you tap ‘Guided Access’, you’ll want to turn the feature on by ensuring the little slider button is green. A few other options will appear once it is enabled, the first one being the option to set a passcode. I have a passcode enabled, which means the only way to disable Guided Access is to imput the passcode 🙂 I like having a passcode because it prevents Jonah from leaving the App I have open for him.

Perfect! Now you are ready to try it out. I apologize in advance for not having many photos to accompany my explanations from here on out, but the screen shot feature doesn’t work while Guided Access is enabled.

First, open the App you’d like your baby or toddler to explore. One of Jonah’s favorites right now is called Baby’s Playground and it looks like this:

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Each little button makes a noise and brings and animation across the screen. Some of them are interactive. If you push the bubbles or balloons, you can use your finger to pop them 🙂 It’s definitely a simple concept, but he loves it!

Once the App is open, triple click the home button. If you have Guided Access enabled in your settings, it automatically turns on. To test this, now try clicking the home button. A little message will appear across the top of your screen that says “Guided Access is enabled. Triple click the home button to exit.”

If you do NOT have a passcode set, triple clicking the home button will bring up a screen that prompts you to end or resume Guided Access. You can either push ‘end’ or simply click the home button again and it will disable. If you DO have a passcode set, when you triple click the home button to exit, a screen will come up asking you for your 4 digit passcode. Once that is entered, you will also see the screen prompting you to either end or resume. Again, you can either push ‘end’ or click he home button again and it will disable.

Another nice feature of Guided Access is that you can disable parts of the screen! To do this, go into your App like normal, triple click the home button, and then triple click the home button again. The screen will come up again prompting you to end or resume, but instead of pushing anything, use your finger to draw a circle around the area of the screen you would like to disable. It will turn a gray color. When you are finished, hit resume, and now you are able to see which area of the screen has been disabled.

Phew! I know that was a lot of talking, but I hope it was easy to understand. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have! Do you use Guided Access? I honestly hadn’t heard of it, and am so glad that I came across it online. There are some days I swear I live under a rock…so this might just be old news to me! Hah! If I help even one person though, than it was worth it to write up this blog post 🙂

Happy Saturday, friends! I hope to be back later today with another post…enjoy your weekends!

8 thoughts on “How to Make your iPhone Baby Friendly

  1. This is my favorite thing on my phone and iPad–I have folders for my little one and can let her go to town without worrying! I have to use the passcode as well–because my LO likes to push the home button over and over and sometimes she gets 3 clicks in a row, no problem! Thank goodness she can't memorize the code!

    1. It truly is a wonderful feature! 🙂 We are in the same boat! Sometimes Jonah will quickly click the home button three times in a row…which is why we have the passcode too! 🙂 Haha! Pretty soon our little ones will be able to use the passcodes, too! I'm so glad you stopped by! Thank you 🙂

  2. Wow!! Thanks for sharing…I knew there was a way to do this, but haven't taken the time to find it. I will DEFINITELY be using this with Cam! He loves to hear Siri talk, which always ends whatever he's doing!! Haha

    1. Yay! I am so glad that this will be helpful for you! I knew that it would definitely help Moms with busy toddlers! 🙂 Jonah also loves Siri! It's so funny to see him talk to it 🙂

    1. I get so excited when I see that I have helped someone! I had to pass this little gem along – it's a great feature that I had no idea even existed! 🙂 Thank you for the Tweet! <3

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