T.V.? To watch or not to watch that is the question??

Vera - posted on 06/14/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )




Just wondering how many of you let your little ones watch TV on a regular basis? Do you find it helpful or harmful? If you let them watch it what do they watch and for how long?

My daughter is going on 16 months and I don’t let her watch TV. If there is something on in the back ground (like news or discovery channel) she might look up for a second but for the most part I try to keep her from watching things like cartoons etc. and play with her or do something instead. I really hate the idea of TV being a babysitter. I’m pretty strict about TV and find most cartoons these days have bad behavior etc in them anyway but…

I know that there are those “Baby Einstein” videos and they look like they might be interesting; but the problem is that the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend any TV until they are at least 2 or older due to developmental issues, brain activity, etc.

So what are your thoughts on these videos and TV?

For our Feb 2010 aged babies ... anyway.

When do you plan on letting your kids watch TV. I know I am smart enough to make deicisions for my child myself I am just asking for opinions to allow me to make a better decision.



Taylor - posted on 07/14/2011




The TV is always on at our house. Either Nick Jr. or kids shows on Netflix. My 16mo old likes Backyardigans, Yo Gabba Gabba and Ni Hao Kai-Lan. Plus she LOVES Miyazaki films (Totoro, Ponyo, Kiki's Delivery Service). I don't limit her on how long or how much she watches per day, but I don't use it as a babysitter either. She is very independent and will play or have me read to her when she wants and will watch TV when she is bored with that and vice versa. She has hit almost every single one of her milestones early.
The movies aren't necessarily educational at all, but the TV shows have actually helped her LEARN things and helped me teach her things. she will wave hello when you say "Ni Hao" to her (hello in chinese), she will follow along and try to do the dance moves/funny faces/cool tricks on Yo Gabba Gabba. I think TV shows are fun for her and I to watch together. The movies I let her watch because she gets SO excited about them and they make her happy.

Ashley - posted on 07/01/2011




We always have the TV on in the background. I was just always used to that so I don't see a problem with it. My daughter is super smart and has an amazing vocabulary and all that, so I don't worry about it too much. We play disney junior in the morning times just to have it on. She likes Mickey Mouse and won't really sit there and pay attention to it all, which I'm good with, but she likes the music at the end and beginning and then she watches the little 5 min shows in between there since they don't have commercials. She loves the thing called Choo Choo Soul! She starts singing and jumping and dancing all around. It is too cute. She also love Ni Hai Kailan and the Wonder Pets because she loves Turtles and Ducks and love the singing. We ask her "Whats gonna work?" and she says teaaaamwook! So to me, its all up to the parents. So many are against tv and others are all about it. I just say there has to be some boundries and limits and I agree with not using the TV as a babysitter, but my daughter loves her little shows and then its funny, she loves any commercial with Doggies and Kitties that come on. She starts giggling and waving saying HI KITTY HI DOGGIE! So she's not a zombie in front of the tv and interacts with it when she likes something, so I don't have a problem with her watch TV :)

Amanda - posted on 06/19/2011




since my son was old enough to look at a tv it was on....the tv and cartoons in particular are on all day long at my house...no it is not a babysitter i sit and play with my children all day long as well...my learned things really fast so definatly no developmental issues there and the only cartoons that i had on were educational like baby einstien and as he got older and got into cartoons like bob the builder he loved that one and thomas the tank engine but they have educational properties too...like how to be a good friend...he watched cartoons that help u to spell and read and count and he also knows some sign language because of baby einstien..tv is not a bad thing if u know how to use it...i think it depends on the parent and baby...my little girl however has no interest in the tv like my son did even though it is on all day long and its not all the time my son watches it..he and i do other things..now for meals it is turned off and on nice days its turned off because we are outside...ok so that is not all day long but for the most part its on and has benifited wounderfully in my house hold..

Cheri - posted on 06/15/2011




We have been teaching our 16 mo old son sign language. No, he is not deaf, but it helps to distinguish what he is crying about... juice? outside? food? he wants his shoes on, or a toy under the couch, etc thru his signing to us. He has been doing really well. Someone offered the Baby Einstein "My First Signs" and he has learned SO much more from it. He can sign mama, daddy, baby, cup, etc. So, if you are interested in him learning sign language (can you tell the difference when he asks for juice or shoes? they sound so much alike!) then i def recommend this for TV starters. There is a second DVD called Wordsworth that has some signs about "around the home" like Ball, couch, lamp, dog, cat,etc. Good luck!


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Jane - posted on 08/06/2011




Before the kids turned three, we ran Eric Carle videos in the mornings when we were all getting ready to go to work and daycare. They didn't pay much attention to the images but liked the music, which was very calming. At that age they really preferred to be read to in our laps, rather than watch images on a screen.

Once the kids turned three we would watch shows that related to their interests, and we would talk about them. These included Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, Blue's Clues, Aurora's Castle, and specific videos about fire trucks and construction. They never watched TV unattended - it was always a family affair.

We still only have just the one TV downstairs. Sometimes the kids (who are now teens) will watch a video upstairs but we still wacth any broadcast TV with them.

Leslie - posted on 08/06/2011




My daughter started watching it at an early age bec. of the animation. I originally thought I wouldn't want her to but she's now 17 months old and I'm all for it. I monitor it though. She watches only a few shows that I record on the DVR. She love the singing and dancing. Why not! It's entertaining to her and educational and I can breath for a minute. NOW if my daughter would begin to not play as much then I would start to limit itm but it's not an issue. Madison is 17 months old & Loves Sesame Street, Blues Clues, Wonder pets, Backyardagins,& Bubble Guppies. These are the shows I've chosen on Nick Jr. & PBS to let her watch. I see no harm.

Loris - posted on 07/28/2011




I only let my kids watch baby tv, is so educational, my LG loves it she giggles and she watches it, as well helps me to keep her entertaint when I am busy

Jo - posted on 07/20/2011




I have the tv on in the mornings for a couple of hours at the most. My son isn't glued to it. He'll play and catch bits of programmes where there's an animal or something he can name! lol. It gives me time to get things done in the morning too. Then wee man will (hopefully!) have a nap and we get out and do stuff in the afternoon

Ashley - posted on 07/15/2011




My daughter LOVES Ni Hao Kai-Lan too. And she calls her great grandpa Ye' Ye' :)

Bridget - posted on 06/28/2011




My son is 16 months old and has been watching, super why, sid the science kid, leap frog and my baby can read since he was about 6 months old and he know about 20 of the letter in the alphabet.

Sheila - posted on 06/20/2011




Hi Vera, we always have the tv on, but that was how I was brought up and I have it as background noise more than aything - Hannah has a few cartoon favourites, but she actually prefers the adverts!!! But some tv programmes are very educational for her - so I like to include her in making her food for example - which she really enjoys.
I actually bought her Baby Einstein dvds to watch but they dont hold her attention for more than half a minute.

Kristy - posted on 06/19/2011




My daughter is 16 months old and she doesn't watch much TV..I let her watch Elmo because she loves it so she watches it for about 15 minutes at a time and then she gets bored so I turn it off..That's the only TV she watches.

Vera - posted on 06/16/2011




I didn't know they made one for signing I will have to look into that - thanks for the great idea. She is usually pretty vocal about what she wants even pointing etc. When she wants to go outside she grabs she shoes and comes to you and points to the door for outside.

Sarah - posted on 06/16/2011




My little boy wasnt watching any tv for a while, until my mom (who keeps him when I have class) bought him a couple veggie tales movies. I let him watch one of them for a total of fifteen minutes a day. (I usually break up the time, like three five minute periods). They sing songs and teach things I believe in (his favorite is a version of the prodigal son).
If it werent for my mom, I probably wouldn't let him watch any bc I feel like the longer you can hold off on unnecessary things that they're eventually going to want to do all the time, the better! (feel the same about sweets!) that being said, I think a few minutes here and there is okay. I try to watch it with him, engage him about what's going on on the tv, and encourage him to sing and dance during the songs.
I second the use of sign language! We have some books, not videos, but my son loves to sign and they learn it suprisingly fast.

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