When faced with a troublesome child, parents have traditionally turned to a toy or a dummy for help in restoring the peace.
But, in a sign of the times, they are increasingly reaching for a rather more high-tech solution . . . a smartphone.
More than one in four mothers admits to handing over a phone to a crying or bored tot when they need entertaining, research has found.
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.