I bought one of those fisher price ipod docks and downloaded the fisher price apps and regularly use it to keep DS entertained while we are out if he becomes bored.
I don't see the difference in him playing with that or with a toy, or a book.
Years ago, back in the good old days Mum's often had their own Mum, sister, aunt, neighbour etc to help look after their children while they did errands. Communities ran as little tribes and everyone helped one another. These days women are expected to do it all on their own and then get criticised and judged when they try and make things a little easier on themselves.
What is better? A child bored, running around and getting into everything while Mum stresses out and becomes run down and angry...or even a smack? I prefer the ipod or ipad approach!
My DS has loved TV and computer screens since he was little. I don't let him zone out in front of it by himself all day, but he LOVES it when he does watch it. Playschool, Giggle and Hoot, Thomas....and sometimes we sit down together and watch youtube music videos. He loves Xavier Rudd and Ash Grunwald . He even loves the nat geo channel. And I don't care what others think.
For the most part of the day he is very active, plays outside, reads books, has heaps of educational toys and knows a huge amount of words for his age.
How do you know, your child might be the next Bill Gates or big TV presenter? You'd never find that out unless they were aloud to watch a screen
Everything in moderation I say....and what ever makes your job easier as a Mum.