tv watching okay for baby?

Amy - posted on 01/27/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I'm wondering if it is alright for my baby (almost 4 months now) to watch tv? Not for extended periods, but I've found that he enjoys his morning children's educational shows and throughout the day a bit. Is this going to encourage this behavior when he's a few months older? I don't ever want him to be a child that sits in front of the tv and gets fat, so, I would assume as long as I don't just plop him down in front of the tv because I feel like getting something done I/he should be okay??

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Sophia Marie - posted on 01/27/2014

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Im in the same boat . Home monday to friday with my son . If you look it up they say no tv under 2 years . But as parents its our choice to do what we think is right . My son loves the tv . I only let him watch about 15 to 20 minutes a day juat to keep it to a minimum. But I don't see anything wrong with it . My son is very bright he is 7 months . He is crawling and just learned to pull him self up to standing . He's done almost everything up to this point earlier then usual . He loves to play with his toys and loves people . But a little tv each day won't kill them ! Some times we need a short break too . So don't worry what everyone els has to say .

Amy - posted on 01/27/2014

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Okay, thank you! Do you think he could ever get lonely playing by himself? I mean, as long as he's 'talking' to himself and enjoying his alone time should I just leave him be and only check on him once in awhile? Any special activities you do with your little one that he/she really enjoys that I could possibly add to our daily activities/play time? I'm always open to having more activities for him and different/fun ways for him to learn!

Chet - posted on 01/27/2014

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Don't worry about being stuck in the apartment, not in terms of his development at least. It's hard for you, but it's fine for him at this age. The best things for infant development are exposure to lots of language and lots of physical interaction with loving caregivers.

Chet - posted on 01/27/2014

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It's better to keep the TV off during the day if you can. You can play music instead. The problem is that if he's looking at the TV he's not looking at real things. If the TV is always changing and giving him something to watch he's not learning to look and search for things that are interesting on his own. The mobile, the playmat, the toys, you singing and reciting rhymes, sitting so he can see out the window and watch cars drive by... those are all better than TV.

Amy - posted on 01/27/2014

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Also, baby and I are always stuck in the house as it is too cold to go outside now. I don't want to risk him getting a cold or something. I hate that we are always in our apartment--i'd love to get outside and take him with! Can't wait for summer/warmer weather! I'm so worried that he's already almost 4 months and doesn't get out of the house until it's to go to gramma's house or to run a few errands or go to an appointment and that might cause him to develop slower than a baby who gets to experience lots of people, places and things! :/

Amy - posted on 01/27/2014

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It's so hard to not have the TV on or to put your child in his bouncy chair while the TV is on for a few minutes! I am home with our son everyday (Monday-Friday it's he and I from 430am-630pm as his father is gone that long due to work), and I've always got the TV on whether it's to actually watch or if it's just background noise. I definitely don't want to slow his development in any way, but sometimes it does work well to give me a break for just a few minutes. I play and interact with him, we do tummy time on his mat, he enjoys looking at his crib mobile, he plays with his toys---all as much as possible and TV is always a last resort. Sometimes, I really wish that all babies were the same---there's too many variations for everything which makes it all so difficult because you just don't know which 'method' or which 'way' or which 'thing' is right for your baby. I wish all babies would have the same sleep patterns, sleeping length, feeding schedule etc and that there was one book for every parent to follow and everything in that book worked for every baby!!

Chet - posted on 01/27/2014

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No one can say for certain if TV will harm a particular baby. Some babies do watch TV and are fine. However, the best thing is no TV under the age of two years, and limited, age appropriate shows after the age of two. This include TV in the background that nobody is really watching.

It's very, very important that babies and toddlers interact with the real world as much as possible. That's how they learn and develop best. Research does suggest that TV before the age of two is associated with poorer language, reading, short term memory and attention span in older children.

The best thing you can do is put your baby in a bouncer chair, jolly jumper or swing where they can see what you're doing and talk or sing to them while you do it. Or, if they like to be carried, you can wear them in a baby carrier while you get things done around the house. They are better on a playmat with real toys to look at than watching the TV.

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