July 2013 Moms
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Babies & tv

Do you ever let your baby stare at the tv? I know it's bad for them but once in a while I will let him sit on my lap and look at the tv (sometimes it makes him stop crying if he's really fussy).

My friend came over the other day and my tv was on for some background noise. Her baby looked at it and she jerked him around and was horrified. I was like, wow, am I the worst mom ever? I've read about how it's really not good for babies under 2... But should I feel guilty if he looks at the tv for a couple minutes?

I figure it's better than letting him scream his head off, right? Sometimes my dh and I watch tv and eat so it's really only if I'm eating and need to be sitting. What does everyone else do?

Re: Babies & tv

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    We let LO look at the tv sometimes. And it's usually on for background noise. She loves the colors, especially when football is on. I don't know if I buy that it's not good for them. Sure, if someone stares at a tv ALL day then it is probably not good. But here and there if it makes them happy, I don't see the harm.
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    I let M stare sometimes. Just like you, sometimes it's the only way to get her to stop fussing. She is amazed by our tv. I've also been wondering about the guilt but I agree that I think staring for a few minutes is better than screaming their heads off and getting all worked up.

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    Not sure if its the same thing, but I always have my computer by me when I'm feeding LO and she loves to stare at the screen. Especially when the screen saver comes on and she sees all the pictures of herself.
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    Today I turned the baby away from the tv and he was stairing out the window for 5 mins before I realized he was watching the reflection. Lol, I used to be super careful about never letting him see it but I don't think it's a big deal, I just wont deliberately sit him in front of it.
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    I remember reading somewhere that its only bad if you are using tv as a replacement for playtime and human interaction .. Made me feel better since my dd also will stare at the tv
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    Dh always watching football with Gavin. Gavin seems to enjoy it and dh has always wanted a son to do that with.
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    DD is always looking at the tv. It's not like they understand it. So I guess I'm a terrible mom too
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    I was just asking MH about this. DS loves to stare at the TV. I'm fine with it.
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    We occasionally let dd watch, mostly animal planet. She LOVES animals and its probably only for a TOTAL of twenty minutes a day, five minutes here and there. Also we use it as another opportunity to interact, taking to her about what she's seeing and laughing with her when it's funny. Obviously as a teacher I see far too many kids who watch way too much tv, but I also believe that when it's used correctly it can be a great teaching tool and an opportunity to build language. Just my two cents.
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    A bit but not one of our top shows.
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    Throw me in with the horrible moms! Jae watches the Cowboys games with me and I also let him watch it throughout the day when he starts Having a meltdown..the other day I caught dh watching doc mcstuffins with him. One day i put him in the swing and turned on baby Einstein so I could get some housework done.


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    fabk said:

    The only time Alex really stares at the tv is when duck dynasty is on. I don't know why but he is fascinated only by that show

    This cracks me up, jack! I think at this age they can't really see that far off anyways. Now I wouldn't stand in front of it, but from the couch, you're good IMO!
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    It's not about harming their eyes it's about lack of activity and interaction. Research has shown TV watching in kids under two has been linked to speech delays, obesity, depression, and anxiety. That said, IMO, a little exposure won't harm them for life. My general opinion is do your research and then do what works for your family. This morning DH will be watching LO while I go for a 30 min run and football will be on.
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    I figure when babies are this young they can't see far enough to make out anything on the TV anyway--it's just the light and sound that they like, I am sure. He's just as entertained by watching the sunlight stream in the window. We kept DS1 away from TV for awhile but now we let him watch 1-2 shows a day (he has two that he watches--sesame street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). We try to also interact with him and talk about what he is watching so he's not just sitting there without any interaction. I think Sesame Street especially has contributed to his vocabulary, which seems pretty big to me, for 26 months--he can sing his ABCs as well as many other songs and can basically carry on full conversations with us. He also loves playing outside (anything with a ball--basketball, golf, soccer) so I think as long as there is balance/moderation in keeping them active, too, then it's all good.
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    DD would look at the TV and watch football with her daddy.  She is 3 and turned out just fine.  DS goes nuts when Curious George or Caillou is on (DD's favorite shows)  He waves his arms and legs and talks.  I'm guessing he loves the bright colors.

    We did have good friends who never let their DD watch TV or look at it when she was a baby.  They would go crazy at our house trying to block her view.  That little girl is 3 1/2 now and doesn't seem like she is any more awesome than my DD.

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