Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tips and Tricks Tuesdays from Moms

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

This week in support group someone mentioned letting their baby watch tv. I piped up with the question, "Why do they say not to let your baby watch tv?". Well the moderator of the group said, "Google it. But some of the reasons are that it is linked to ADHD and affects their eye development." I gotta say I was totally freaked out! I thought they just told you that so you wouldn't be a lazy parent!

So I googled it. The AAP recommends children don't watch tv until age 2. 20 percent of children under the age of 2 have tvs in their rooms. I know an almost 1 year old that has a tv in his room.

The discovery health article, "Is it ok for babies to watch tv?" says there was a study done on baby enstein type videos. "The study, which was published in the Journal of Pediatrics, looked at 1,000 families, examining children who were 8 months to 16 months old. Thirty-two percent of children surveyed watched the videos, 17 percent of them for at least an hour a day. To determine how programs like "Baby Einstein" affected development, they focused on vocabulary. On average, for every hour a day a child watched these programs he or she knew six to eight fewer words compared to children of the same age."

The argument is that tv wastes babies' alert time. Since babies sleep 12 hours a day when they are awake we should be talking with them, playing games, and reading to them. If they need to be doing independent play the article says blocks are a great choice.

The same article says, "Experts associate excessive TV watching with a variety of problems in children, among them childhood obesity, ADHD and aggression. Some advocacy groups also express concern about the images children see on "non-educational" TV shows. The AAP estimates that if a child watches between three and four hours of TV a day, he will see 8,000 murders before he starts middle school." That's scary. They associate is with childhood obseity because they are seeing fast food commercials and not going outside to exercise and play.

I found no articles online that discussed eye development.

Now that I have done the research, I'm not making freaking out if Chase glances at the tv. How much and at what age your child watches tv is a family decision. At 12 weeks old I talk to and play with Chase when he is awake. He has some independent play time on his playmat. If no one is around to entertain him, his hands seem to keep him pretty occupied. I have no reason to plop him in front of a tv. I don't think we will wait until age 2 to let him watch tv though. Right now the tv is on sometimes when I am feeding Chase or when I'm holding him while he is napping. When my husband gets home I usually turn it off because its just extra noise.

What are your tv rules in your house? Do you have any other mommy advice? Write a post and link up!


  1. Ahhh, Remember when I asked this question about TV a month or so ago?? My twin nephews are 9 months old and their ped said NO TV before the age of 2 and their parents are very strict about it. Their parents (my inlaws) made me paranoid about it. The main reason they stated was ADD/adhd. I was paranoid about it for a while...but I have let Anika watch baby Einstein while in her jumperoo about 4 times- a half hour each time, and she focuses so much on the tv and jumps and laughs at the videos and plays around. I cant get over how much she focuses on the little animals and numbers on the baby Einstein dvd...but as I said- I have only let her watch it 4 times, so I feel ok with that. I don’t watch tv until after she goes to bed now, because the content on my shows are not good. I also know she can see very well from across the room because of when people walk in and smile at her, she smiles back . And, at her doctor apt. yesterday the doctor said she could see quite far, so I am really going to be careful about tv now.

  2. I don't make a habit of letting Kate sit in front of the screen. But sometimes we watch So You Think You Can Dance, because she LOVES to dance with the contestants! Or she and her daddy will snuggle up and watch a cartoon. She's not going to end up with a learning disorder or become a serial killer because of it :)

    She doesn't eat junk food, she is disciplined, and we read, talk and interact all day, every day. I think the danger is when the TV is on all day and kids just sit and stare...which is just irresponsible parenting.

  3. How scary! I guess I can see that though.. linking it to ADHD. I can't believe that many kids under 2 have a TV in their room though!

  4. McK doesn't even have a tv in her room! I don't have a time limit for when she watches tv, but I try not too let her watch too much! I'd much rather her read or play!

  5. My kids will never have a TV in their room! My boys weren't interested in TV until they were over 2 anyways. I try to limit their time, but somedays, it's a babysitter ;)

  6. My kids never just sit in front of the tv for long periods of time. But it's on a lot as a back ground noise. They usually stop when they hear music on the tv. But once the music stops, off they go!