Anyone else's LO love watching TV? — The Bump
April 2011 Moms

Anyone else's LO love watching TV?

My 3 month old loves the tv (especially spongebob lol). I don't like to let him watch, except on his play mat when I'm in the shower.  One of my friends (who is also a nanny) said that it's good for babies because it helps them focus. But, another friend told me that her pedi said that babies were too young & that the tv could overstimulate them. 

What are your thoughts? What have you heard about young babies and television?    

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Re: Anyone else's LO love watching TV?

  • I have no overwhelming issue with TV in moderation, at a certain age. I do think my daughter is too young to be put in front of it, but we have it on in the background often (news in the morning, sports stuff in general). I also fully admit that there are times during the day where she wants to nap while I'm holding her, so I plant myself on the couch and watch crap daytime TV while she's asleep. It's the only way I get a break and she gets a solid nap in.

    She has shown zero interest in the TV at this point, so it's not an issue yet.

    I think it's a personal call. I do not believe it's going to cause all that much damage, so if it's working and let's you get a shower in, eh. Go for it.

  • I just finished a book called Brain Rules for Babies and it said the latest research shows that for something like every hour a child under 2 years watches TV, the chance of them having attention deficit disorders increases by 10 percent. The book made a great case for not letting children under 2 watch TV at all, and in moderation past that age. We don't plan on letting LO watch it at all before 3 or 4 and we try not to have the TV on much/at all when she is awake (though, like Scout, I also have the TV on while she is napping and I am holding her). 

    Our doctor also told us that just having it on in the background when they are awake can delay language development, as it creates a 'buzzing' sort of sound that prevents them from focusing on interactions with you.  

    All of this said, as Scout says, it is totally a personal call. I definitely won't consider letting LO watch it because I can already tell she would not be able to focus well on anything else when it is on--I already have to keep my laptop screen closed when she is feeding or else she will pull off the breast while feeding and stare for ages at the screen!  

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  • DS is fascinated by it.  I never put him where he can watch it during the day, but I do like to have it on (quietly) for the background noise.

    Our family members who have babysat him have noticed that "he loves it."  He has watched a bit at their houses.  Apparently he loves baseball (or so my BIL tells me).

    I am not entirely opposed to it, but don't want him watching too much of it right now either. 

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  • TV is usually on in the background, and she does like to look at it. I will let her "watch" it for a little while, but if she becomes too focused on it instead of her toys or whatever else we are doing, I either turn it off or go to her room with her to play.

    I am of the "everything in moderation" school of thought.

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  • imagehandsonthewheel:

    I just finished a book called Brain Rules for Babies and it said the latest research shows that for something like every hour a child under 2 years watches TV, the chance of them having attention deficit disorders increases by 10 percent. The book made a great case for not letting children under 2 watch TV at all, and in moderation past that age. We don't plan on letting LO watch it at all before 3 or 4 and we try not to have the TV on much/at all when she is awake (though, like Scout, I also have the TV on while she is napping and I am holding her). 

    Our doctor also told us that just having it on in the background when they are awake can delay language development, as it creates a 'buzzing' sort of sound that prevents them from focusing on interactions with you.  

    All of this said, as Scout says, it is totally a personal call. I definitely won't consider letting LO watch it because I can already tell she would not be able to focus well on anything else when it is on--I already have to keep my laptop screen closed when she is feeding or else she will pull off the breast while feeding and stare for ages at the screen!  

    Thanks for posting this!  I always try to reply to a post like this about how I've read that it increases the chances of having ADD or ADHD because of all of the stimulation, but I never have an actual source.  Ds didn't watch TV until dd was born 25 months, but he loves Curious George now, and it's a real lifesaver for me at times.  Occasionally I'll let dd watch it, during tummy time.  It's so engaging for her, that she'll keep her head up really high-working out those muscles!  

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  • DS will stare at it occasionally, mostly because we don't really keep it on while he's awake anymore, so he's kind of surprised by it. But I think he just likes the flashing lights, like in his aquarium. I'm such a TV addict that I doubt I'll keep him TOTALLY away before 2, but I don't think he's getting anything out of it now, so I don't really see a point.
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  • I'm sure she would love it but we don't have it on when she is awake ever since she started showing interest. Like the pp said, it seems not be so good for them at this age.
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  • Our tv is on a lot in the background, but DS would rather watch us. He'll look at it sometimes, but he isn't overly interested.
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  • Oh woops. I didn't know it was bad for them! He LOVES the tv and will sit there and smile, laugh, and "talk" to it in his swing. It's actually the most animated I ever see him! There's a joke among the family that he's going to be an interior designer, he likes HGTV so much. :) We don't have him right in front of it, but he can see it if he's in our living room. What about Baby Einstein type stuff? Wow, I hate to sound uneducated and lazy, but it sucks to not be able to watch tv with DH if he's in the room! We do have a lot of shows we like. 
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  • We joke around because DS has loved to "watch" TV since the day he was born. His eyes have always just migrated in that direction. And we have it on in the background a lot of the time. But if we notice him being too distracted by it, we will turn it off or move him to another position where he can't see it. I don't see it becoming a big problem.
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  • I didn't know either... DS loves the tv and also smiles and laughs at it while in his bouncer. Sometimes when he's fussy that's the only thing that calms him down! Just today I was thinking about it and googled it and found out about ADD and ADHD. I think that if its every once in a while and we aren't sitting LO down in front of the tv for hours, its ok. Everything in moderation. I'm not a "by the book" parent, my parents weren't either and me and my bro and sis turned out just fine.
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  • The fiancee has  always been on to have the TV on all of the time. I noticed I'm much more guilty of this now that she is here and I'm alone with her all day! Before the TV could be off for the 10 hours he was at work while I was preggo but now I suppose seeing people on TV helps me not feel so disconnected.

     I dont let her 'watch' it but from time to time the 'flashy box' will capture her attention. She usually loses interest quickly. Sometimes I put a kids show on just because she likes to hear the sounds.

     Since we plan on doing sign language with her I've been recording a show called Signing Time on a public access channel. I dont know how much I plan on showing her but I think I might utilize it in a few months, when the timing is better to help teach her to sign.

  • DD is fascinated by the movement on TV and will usually stare at it for a few minutes while she's on her activity mat. I really don't have a big issue with TV for kids as long as it's obviously in moderation. DS has always LOVED tv and I started putting on shows specifically for him when he was about 1 (Seseme Street). He probably watches about 2 hours/day right now b/c quite honestly it's the only thing that will keep him occupied long enough for me to get DD down for naps and bedtime. And I'm totally OK  with that.

    You're going to get a full range of answers here but just like everything else with parenting, as long as you're comfortable with what you do and your kid's taken car of that's all that matters.

     
  • LO loves baby einstein and yo gabba gabba.. she kicks like crazy when they are on? 
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  • My DD will stare at the tv but I know it's not good for her and will turn her away. I never heard about the speech delays with the background noise. I think my mom watches it a lot while she's sleeping (she watches DD while I work) but I really should turn it off more. I'm sure I will as DD gets older and more interactive too. I have heard things about babies and kids need to do activities that make their eyes go back and forth or they can struggle with reading (I come from a family of teachers) and when they watch tv they just stare. Computers aren't good at a super young age for the same reason. I've also read things about baby Einstein causing delays in babies and how it's actually uncomfortable for them to watch jut they're unable to look away. Supposedly it's like if we were staring at a strobe light.
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  • We do not intentionally let her watch tv... but we have found that if it's on she stares at it.  She seems to be fascinated by it!  It doesn't matter what is on (usually news, sports, or music).  I think it has to do with the lights and movement.  She is also very attracted to lights in general.  

    I do not plan on letting her "watch" tv, but I think right now it's just something new for her to look at (kind of like the lights she stares at).   We do not sit her in front of the tv to occupy her time.  I think that's where a lot of the research tends to go with not wanting young children to watch tv... it's the lack of interaction with real people and real words.  

    Don't stress over it!!  :-) 

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  • Uhm, I know this is sad...but when I was on leave if I didn't have the tv on at least some of the day by myself ... I would go a little insane. Especially those first 6 weeks.

    Now that I'm at work - it's a bit different. I'm not a buy the book kind of girl though...and I think it's more of a fascination with the lights & colors. 

  • I think my older girls were 2 or 2 1/2 before we introduced the TV to them.   We watched the public access TV like Sesame Street. and Reading Rainbow.
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  • I wonder if the TV and computer screen are not great for LO's, what about electronic toys that light up? Is that another overstimulation thing? DD loves her light up rainforest machine to fall asleep for naps and her little baby einstein cell phone which also lights up and makes music. Are these developmentally not ideal toys? I can't imagine living without them!

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  • imagemaddiehohn:
    We joke around because DS has loved to "watch" TV since the day he was born. His eyes have always just migrated in that direction. And we have it on in the background a lot of the time. But if we notice him being too distracted by it, we will turn it off or move him to another position where he can't see it. I don't see it becoming a big problem.

    This is me as well...

    I have LO's swing & chairs facing us instead of the TV.  So she doesn't look at the TV constantly, but she does like it.

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  • DD2 loves to watch TV.  I think she really is attracted to the bright colors.  On a positive note.  DD2, age 2, can speak Spanish from watching Dora and loves the Moose cartoon on Nick Jr.  She's learning from watching TV.
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