How to block specific apps on a child’s phone during bedtime?

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is crucial for children’s physical and mental well-being. A regular sleep schedule promotes healthy sleep patterns, improves cognitive function, and supports emotional regulation. However, technology can significantly interfere with sleep, particularly if used before bed. The blue light emitted from screens can suppress melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep.

Setting clear boundaries around screen time, especially during bedtime, is essential. This helps children develop healthy sleep habits and prepares them for a restful night. Blocking specific apps on a child’s phone can be a valuable tool for enforcing these boundaries, ensuring they prioritize sleep over screen time.

App Blocking Features on Different Devices

You can block specific apps on your child’s phone during bedtime by using built-in parental controls, third-party apps, or device-specific settings. Here’s how to do it on different operating systems:

iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Using Screen Time

  1. Open the Settings app on your child’s iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Screen Time.
  3. Tap on App Limits.
  4. Tap on Add Limit.
  5. Select the category of apps you want to block (e.g., Games, Social Networking).
  6. Set a time limit for the category. You can set it to 0 minutes to completely block the apps.
  7. Tap Add.

Using Downtime

  1. Open the Settings app on your child’s iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Screen Time.
  3. Tap on Downtime.
  4. Turn Downtime on.
  5. Set the start and end times for Downtime (e.g., 9:00 PM to 7:00 AM).
  6. Under Always Allowed, add the apps you want to allow during Downtime.


Using Google Family Link

  1. Download and install the Google Family Link app on your phone and your child’s phone.
  2. Create an account or sign in to your existing Google account.
  3. Follow the prompts to link your child’s device to your account.
  4. Open the Google Family Link app on your phone.
  5. Select your child’s profile.
  6. Tap on App Blocking.
  7. Select the apps you want to block and tap Block.

Using Device-Specific Settings

Some Android phones have built-in parental control features. Check your device’s settings for options like:

Third-Party Apps

If the built-in options aren’t sufficient, you can use a third-party app to block apps on your child’s phone. Some popular options include:

Note: Third-party apps may require you to root your child’s Android device for full functionality. Rooting can void your device’s warranty and may expose your device to security risks. Use third-party apps with caution.

Alternative Techniques for Managing Screen Time

While blocking specific apps during bedtime can be effective, there are other strategies to manage your child’s screen time without resorting to app-specific restrictions.

Consider these alternative techniques:

Remember that establishing healthy screen habits is an ongoing process. By combining various techniques and fostering open communication with your child, you can create a positive and balanced digital environment.

Remember, app blocking is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to fostering a healthy relationship with technology for your child. It’s important to set a good example by limiting your own screen time, engaging in other activities together, and promoting healthy sleep habits. Experiment with different methods and find what works best for your family.