Search icon


25th Jan 2020

A hospital sign urging parents to stop looking at their phones has sparked some controversy

Trine Jensen-Burke

urging parents to stop looking at their phones

You can see how it can touch a nerve.

Personally, I think we are, unfortunately, living in a world where so many of us need a constant reminder to be more present.

Even in moments so precious as those just after the birth of a baby.

Recently, new parent Ash Cottrell, posted a picture on Twitter from a UK hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit saying:

The poster, which is aimed at new parents during feeds, reads:

‘Mummy and Daddy ….

‘Please look at ME when I am feeding, I am much more interesting than your phone!!

‘Thankyou xxxx’

Other social media users were quick to pick up the image, and it was soon doing the rounds on both Twitter and Facebook, with many new parents obviously feeling it hit home.

Comments including calling it an ‘awful poster’ and ‘all manner of sanctimony’.

Some parents were quick to point out that while they enjoy feeding their baby, early parenthood can be a lonely and isolating at times and their mobile gives them valuable contact with the outside world – especially when they can be cut off from the outside world in hospital.

Replying to the tweet, one Twitter user said:

‘Gosh, that I so wrong of them to suggest it’s ‘bad parenting.’ Phones are a lifeline to well wishes, normality and so much more when you have a newborn / are in hospital. Wishing you well.’

‘Yea babies are much more interesting than our phones but we also need advice or support or connect with other people when feeling very lonely in hospital,’ replied another mum.

“Babies are super cute but not great conversationalists and the middle of the night can feel very overwhelming x'”

Others were more understanding of why the hospital felt the need to even hang this poster up.

“All they are saying is not to be on the phone “while feeding baby” not to stay off the phone full stop,” one person tweeted.

Another one pointed out:

“Studies do show they recognize your face & voice. They do better when touched, talked to & looked at when they are alert. They need you right then. The rest of the 22+ hrs you can catch up w/ family & friends. I get that we all need distraction.”

Where do YOU stand, parents? Do you think this sign is an important reminder?