TV and babies

Alexandra - posted on 05/12/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My son is going to be 6 months old in a week, and he loves to watch TV. My boyfriend and I will watch our regular TV while Noah is awake and he will sit in our laps and watch with us sometimes, other times we're playing with him while the TV is on in the background. Every once in a while we will put him in his exersaucer in front of the TV while we do other things around the house, but sometimes we mute the sound and play music- he really loves the lights on the TV.

I've heard that children under 2 shouldn't watch any TV, but when I hear the explanation for this, it sounds like that warning is meant for "older babies", like there should be no TV between one and two...

I've talked to some people who have said we will probably want to stop watching the more "adult-oriented" TV (PG-13 shows, the more scary things like Buffy and Supernatural) when he is around 1, because before then he doesn't really understand.

What I'm wondering is who else lets their infants watch TV, and if I should stop?

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Sarah - posted on 05/12/2010

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my son was the same way i thought it was a guy thing but i had a little girl 4 months ago and she just loves t.v. too

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my son is 3 months old and for about a month or so now he turns towards the tv on his own. Like Rebecca said, he contorts his body so he can see it.

Leanne - posted on 05/12/2010

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hi i let my 8 month old watch tv it's just on in background when he's playing and he doesnt take much notive when it's our programmes but he loves cbeebies for under fives in fact he falls asleep watching in th night garden he will sit smiling and laughs like he really knows wats going on but i think it's the bright colours and different songs they sing on that channel he enjoys so i dont see any harm in it in fact it's educational

Sarah - posted on 05/12/2010

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My son has loved the tv since around a month or so. He has his few shows or persons that he recognizes and drops everything for. His faves are Yo Gabba Gabba, Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Lately), American Idol, and the Progressive Chick. ha. I will continue to let him watch tv past a year old, because we are very active outdoor people, and I know my son will be too. Even now I take him outside for a walk almost everyday!

Nichole - posted on 05/12/2010

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My son is 8 months old and I let him watch cartoons (he watches a few minutes here and there but mostly it's a background noise). He watches shows I watch too, unless it's got scary stuff or too much violence(he gets nightmares). I don't see a problem with tv. Unless it's used as a babysitter or an all day entertainment.

September - posted on 05/12/2010

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It may be tempting to put your infant or toddler in front of the television, especially to watch shows created just for children under age two. But the American Academy of Pediatrics says: Don't do it! These early years are crucial in a child's development. The Academy is concerned about the impact of television programming intended for children younger than age two and how it could affect your child's development. Pediatricians strongly oppose targeted programming, especially when it's used to market toys, games, dolls, unhealthy food and other products to toddlers. Any positive effect of television on infants and toddlers is still open to question, but the benefits of parent-child interactions are proven. Under age two, talking, singing, reading, listening to music or playing are far more important to a child's development than any tv show. Check out the AAP website, they have great information! Our 18 month old son does not watch tv and would prefer to read a book or play any day!

Carmela - posted on 05/12/2010

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I do the same thing, if it keeps her entertained for a little while, while Do other things, then why not... But i am planning to watch the amount of time she watches tv a day, and what she watches.

Ashley - posted on 05/12/2010

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I'd also like to add that my son is very smart, he knows many words for his age, and he loooves books. He'll sit there & flip through books & point & babble at the pictures, & any animal he calls a 'dog', lol. In my opinion, it's okay for them to watch tv, just as long as you don't use the tv as a 'babysitter' all the time! You should still play & interact with them when you can! :o)

Jemma - posted on 05/12/2010

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Of course everyone watches TV while their infants are about BUT all the peds my son has seen strongly advised against it. TV is designed to be attention grabbing and babies and small children become overstimulated easily. They then have less energy for the more important learning they need to do so it can hinder development. My 3 yr old watches a couple of shows a day tho some days he watches none and I keep my 3 month old away from the TV as much as poss- kids learn much more effectively from books and explorative play. At 6 months old lie or sit him on the floor with some different shape/colour/textured household objects (obviously ones that are safe to mouth) and he'll be fascinated. I'm not against TV and it has its uses during the day if you nee to get things done uninterrupted, but children can be just as engrossed in other, more valuable play.

Christina - posted on 05/12/2010

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I think what you are doing is fine. You will know when to cut back on some of the tv viewing. Plus when your baby is a toddler he will probably loose some interest in the tv. When my son was a baby he watched a lot of Baby Einstein. He is now 3 and he watches the Leap Frog videos and Mickey Mouse Club House. I usually try to keep his tv viewing educational. I am a firm believer in reading though. I think its important to read to your child. I get more bonding with my son when we read a book rather than watching tv together.

Mary - posted on 05/12/2010

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My son has been watching TV since he was 3 months old. The first time he did it I was watching TV while b-feeding and he suddenly stopped, turned his head and started watching along with me.That shocked my socks off! After a couple more times of him watching TV I started to read up on babies and the affects of TV. Of course there was nothing good, and I spent a lot of time feeling guilty that I let my son turn his brain to goo from watching TV. I didn't force him it was the lights and music that attracted him. I couldn't stop him from watching TV , he just turned that little head right back towards the screen, so I gave in. I then started to let him watch certain shows on TV at certain times so that I could take a bath, or clean the house, do my home work, study, or just get some much needed rest. That's when I realized which where his favorites and which he didn't like. That was amazing to me. I bought dvds of his very favorites and played them the most. I always tried to stick with pre-k learning so that he can learn something from it as well as be entertained by it. At 4 months old he owned 2 dvds, Yo Gabba Gabba "New Friends" and Baby Einstein "First Signs". He is now 14 months old and his favorite shows are Yo Gabba Gabba (still) and Ni Hao Kai-lan. He has plenty of dvds of both of these and more Nickelodeon pre-k shows like Dora, Blue's Clues, and Thomas the Tank Engine,and he loves them all. I just stick a DVD in every morning in the living room and let it loop for the day. He stops playing with his toys when his favorite parts comes on and then goes back to playing when it moves to a boring part. If I put in one of his first dvds, like Baby Einstein, he gets so excited because he remembers them. This also allows me to get more done during the day because he isn't glued to my side 24/7. He isn't locked up in a play pen all day or out of my site, and he is learning songs, colors, numbers, shapes, and stories. Yo Gabba Gabba also teaches him good hygiene and manners, as well as how to eat right and why, but in such a fun and easy way that he enjoys learning these things. I'm a stay-at-home mom/college student and I don't have time to give every second of my time to entertaining my rambunctious 1 year old so the TV helps out with that, but he still has me in the room to play with him when I can. I was raised watching TV at a young age and I turned out socially and mentally sound. I'm sure that the studies said the same thing about listening to the radio at a young age before the invention of the TV. As long as the watching isn't done 24/7 and it something wholesome and educational and you feel confident that you are doing the right thing for your child and yourself, then nothing anyone else says matters.



I also wanted to add that TV has nothing to do with if you kid will want to read or not. As a young child I watched a lot of TV and of course liked it better than reading. When I hit age 8 though I suddenly out grew it and found a passion for reading. My son cant and never has sat still when I try to read to him , but he sees me reading books all the time. Just the other day he made some progress, he was sitting on the floor by himself looking through his Elmo picture book for the first time, he is usually trying to eat it. I felt very proud. This is the same as with everything else in life, they will do what they want in their own time, we just need to be there to point them in the right direction.

Renee - posted on 05/12/2010

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My TV is always on. Most of the time it is just background noise for me. I have a 2 year old and a 2mos old. When my son is awake I have on Nick Jr and the Disney channel. It is "educational" TV with no commercials. There are a few shows that he likes to watch otherwise he will just glance at it while playing with his toys. By watching some of the shows he has learned a lot of new words and picking up some Spanish words as well. No one in our house speaks Spanish. He is also getting better with his counting, colors, and manners by watching others. He is not in day care at all and home with me all of the time. He doesn't get to play with other little kids very often either because of this.

Jenee - posted on 05/12/2010

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My son has not interest in TV. Plus I don't want him to watch it. I rather have him read a book. I feel like people watch too much TV as it is and don't do enough reading. I usually have it on as background noise during the day and he will glance at it from time to time. He has a few commercials though that he really likes. But after they are over he goes back to doing what ever. He loves books though.I have been trying to encourage that

Katarina - posted on 05/12/2010

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My 1 year old doesn't really watch tv but it is on for him at different time through out the day. Zackary would much rather play with his toys then sit still so I'm not worried. The only time he really ever watches tv is while we eat(yes we eat in front of the tv, and no our family isn't suffering because of it)

Emma - posted on 05/12/2010

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well I have a 1 year old who like to sit and eat her breakfast with the t.v on and i dont see any thing worng as long as the programs are of a stuitabule nature.

Rebecca - posted on 05/12/2010

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I let my 5 month old daughter watch TV. She has LOVED the television since she was about a month old. She will literally contort her whole body in her crib to be able to see the TV. In the mornings when I am getting ready for work it is just easier to put her on my bed with Nick Jr. on. She doesn't really absorb anything, just likes the colors and music. At night she watches whatever TV I am watching. I know people say it is bad to have your child watch too much TV, but a lot of the programs they have on the children's channels now are pretty educational. Once she is more mobile I plan on lessening the amount of TV time a lot.

Ashley - posted on 05/12/2010

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My son is 16 months old and I let him watch tv. He's also very active & would rather run around & play or be outside than watch tv, but when I'm trying to do something I will sit him in the chair with his blankie & sippy & let him watch tv for a little while. When he's tired of it, he'll get up. Whenever he's watching tv, it's always on NickJr. So, yes, I let my 1 year old watch tv, but not in excessive amounts. Hope this helps.

Morgan - posted on 05/12/2010

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I let my daughter watch the shows I watch, I dont really see a problem with it, by the time shes 1 and more mobile I hope she wont be as intrested in it and that we will be to busy doing other things to worry about it :) but even between 1-2 I dont see it as a huge issue as long as your poor child isent sitting in front of the TV all day.... a show here and there is ok with me :)

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