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Study: Moms increasingly reliant on smartphones

A mother uses a smartphone.
CBS

It's been nearly a decade since the BlackBerry was introduced as the first smartphone. But the device that quickly became associated with corporate titans is currently used by a quarter of consumers. Now, many moms are making the smartphone a must-have parenting tool.

For many moms, tending to kids with one hand and wielding a smartphone in the other is commonplace. So it's no surprise experts now say many mothers have become dependent on their phones. According to a recent study by BabyCenter.com, smartphone use among moms is up 64 percent from two years ago. And 51 percent of moms who have smartphones -- wouldn't give them up.

Special section: Eye on Parenting

Susan Leher, a smartphone user and mom said, "A friend said every CEO needs a smart phone, and we're CEO's of our family, so we need them, too."

Unlike traditional and nearly defunct cell phones of the past decade, smartphones rely on a greater variety of applications. CBS News correspondent Betty Nguyen notes that users not only talk and text, but listen to music, access the internet, and download a number of applications designed to make life seem more manageable.

Another mom, Suzanne Cohen, said, "The greatest app that was ever invented is the Starbucks app. I can find out where the closest Starbucks is to me within seconds."

There are applications making moms better shoppers, too. Instead of clipping coupons, stores now send them right to your phone.

"At the checkout, you can hold your phone up and they can zap your phone right there," Cohen said of the tech.

And when moms are looking to buy a little time, they're sharing the smartphone with their kids.

"Actually it's great for me because it keeps him so occupied and I can do what I need to do," Cohen said.

For more on the rise of moms using smartphones, "The Early Show" turned to Liz Gumbinner, editor in chief of CoolMomPicks.com and contributor for BabyCenter.com, and Dr. Susan Bartell, psychologist and author of "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask." Check out their discussion on when smartphone use becomes an addiction and when smartphones are beneficial for kids.