My family lives on the West Coast and Papa Wolf, Wolf Cub and I are in Montréal. I always knew that the hardest thing about being a Mom would be doing it far away from my Mom. But she’s been here since day one: sure, she’s come to visit and so have my Dad, my brother and my soon-to-be sister-in-law. But it’s the hours and hours spent via FaceTime that have made it feel like we aren’t really on opposite sides of the country.
It is incredible to me that my family can interact with Wolf Cub thanks to my iPhone and iPad. They really are a part of our lives: we have meals together (for us it’s lunch, over in BC it’s breakfast), they’ve entertained the Cub while I’m in the shower (seriously- the iPad in the crib or the playpen really kept him amused!) and they get to watch him grow day by day.
Now that Cub is almost 18 months, he loves to interact with my parents via FaceTime: he gives them high fives, kisses and even makes them soup in his play kitchen and spoons it to them. By the time he was almost a year, he started to want to reach out and touch the faces on the other side of the screen…. and unfortunately that meant muting them and hanging up on them. I kept thinking, “If only there was a way to lock the screen so his chubby little paws wouldn’t end the calls!”
Guess what? There is! And it’s really simple…. Now I’m not wrestling the device out of Cub’s grip: he is free to pick up his Uncle and his Grandparents, bang them around, turn them upside down, poke them in the nose and cover them in hummus. (Note: both my iPad and iPhone are in OtterBox Defender cases.)
Here’s how you do it:
1) Go to Settings –> General —> Accessibility
2) In Accessibility, select “Learning” –> Guided Access
3) Turn Guided Access on and set a pass code.
4) So now, once you’re in Face Time and you’ve placed your call, you activate Guided Access by pressing the Home button THREE TIMES in a row.
A frame will pop up surrounding the Face Time window where you can turn Touch off (meaning Baby can poke at the screen all he wants and nobody will be muted or hung up on). At the top right, you then press the “Start” button.
5) When it’s time to hang up, press the Home button again three times and enter your pass code to turn off the Guided Access.
Note: This function will also work when your child is playing games or watching a video on your device and you don’t want him to exit the app. When setting up guided access within a game, you can actually circle the areas of the screen that you wish to deactivate.
Originally posted August 23, 2013. Updated on March 1, 2014.