My daughter is 4 weeks old and likes to look at the tv too. She had a doctors appt Monday and her doctor said it was fine, because they like to look at the bright lights and shapes and hear all the noise.
My dd is 14 months and I put on Disney Chan. in the AM...she likes to dance to the music and likes the colors as well. She loves certain commercials, esp. the m+m's commercial. No matter where she is in the apt. she recognizes the sound of the commercial...
Once the are old enough to understand...you can make a lesson out of whatever to topic is of the show..ex- if the topic is imagination...go and pretend/act out/use your imagination together. This way your child/baby will make a connection with what they have just watched.
Just some ideas....
I know this is debatable but I personally - let mine watch TV all the time. She is only 5 months old and loves it. It does not take away from her play time with us or her story time at night and I will never put a TV in her bedroom but during the day even as she gets older I will let her watch tasteful TV. I believe they learn by TV as well as reading and personal mommy and daddy time. My daughter loves the news in the morning when I am getting ready for work - she is 5 months old and I swear she thinks she knows the weather girl. She smiles away at her everyday
I think a small amount of time during the day is ok...but there was just an article saying that it can hurt their development if to much...it specifically mentioned the Baby Einteins videos as not beng good to watch to much.
I let my first son watch those when he was little..now my husband doesnt want our second watching them at all.
I have to say though they can be nice for when you want to wash your hair or take a shower.
None of my kids are or were content with just sitting in a swing or on a play mat.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that "kids under 2 shouldn't watch television." They say that it rewires young kids' brains. (Guess there's been one study that shows there's a connection between TV-watching and attention problems- ADHD; and another suggests there's an autism link.) I get the magazine "Parents" (see the October 2007 edition), and in it they say that TV-watching encourages violent behavior in young kids. "Children as young as 6 months will imitate what they see on screen, even though they don't really get the context of what they're watching. So if your baby watches a cartoon character kick or hit someone, she might try doing that to her older brother. It all comes down to content: You need to be aware of what your child is watching and make sure it promotes the type of positive behavior you want her to emulate."
All this being said, I DO let my 10 month old watch a small amount of tv while I'm nursing him. He will pull off me and doesn't have the attention to just stare at my breast anymore, so the TV provides some stimulus to entertain him while he nurses. I think I small amount of TV is fine, but I just wouldn't overdo it or make it a daily part of her normal day. I found other ways to entertain my son-- putting him in the bouncer seat in front of our fish tank, putting him in our swing in front of a window, letting him play with toys in his pack-n-play, etc. I don't have a negative view of moms who do let their kids watch tv, but I guess I'm just old fashioned in remembering my own relatively tv-free generation when kids played with each other or entertained themselves, played outdoors, and only rarely were in front of the boob-tube. I don't want to start my kids off making tv a habit they get use to. One last point, Lisa Guernsey who wrote the book "Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children from Birth to Age Five" says that having a tv on in the background- even if your child isn't watching- can impede kids' language skills. "Kids pick up new words every day simply by listening to you. If the TV is on when you're talking, they have to filter out that noise to hear and understand what you say... and research shows they have a hard time doing this. It's like trying to have a conversation at a noisy cockatil party. Background TV also affects the way kids play. Even if they're not actively watching, children tend to play in shorter bursts and in a less sophisticated way than when the house is quiet. And studies show parents tend to interact more with their kids when the TV is off".
Anyway, we do have all the "Veggie Tales" and "Baby Einstein" dvds, but like I said, we monitor how much our son gets... and for now it's a very small amount.
Yeah, I'd never heard of the autism link either, but it mentions the research in the article and in the book that I mentioned above. Go figure???
My son loves to look out the windows... I move him around so he's not in the sun, but he likes watching the leaves on the trees blow, the cars go by, the cows across the street and the horses in our back pasture. Kinda like a tv, but without the commercials and flickering pixels that they say gives kids' brains issues!
I have a 2nd cousin that is autistic, so I was surprised by this news too. I looked it up on yahoo, and I guess the magazine and book I mentioned above might be talking about the one I found online-- it's a study done by Cornell University. I know medhelp doesn't like us posting links, but you could find it easily too if you're interested. Here's a quote from it: "Today, Cornell University researchers are reporting what appears to be a statistically significant relationship between autism rates and television watching by children under the age of 3. The Cornell study represents a potential bombshell in the autism debate. "We are not saying we have found the cause of autism, we're saying we have found a critical piece of evidence." My 2nd cousin was diagnosed far before he was old enough to really "watch" tv, so I know that tv isn't the definitive "cause", but it sure is an interesting finding. I'll have to ask my cousin if Hunter was exposed to tv even as in infant though.
Yeah.. it's still nice and green/lush here in Missouri NOW... but give it another month or two and I'll be jealous of you in warm AZ while I'm out there preggo and shoveling a way to the barn in -10F weather!! Hahaha. (Not to mention I'll really look like Santa with a big ol' winter coat over my expanding belly!)
Seeingspots-does your cousing have allergies, problems with eating, bowel movements issues? Ask your cousin that.
how does TV exposure cause those problems...would be my question to Cornell University?
Thanks for bringing up some interesting points and certainly worthy of discussion. I would agree that monitoring the quality of programing is important at every age. I would never let my baby or even my preschooler watch anything remotely violent. We never play and watch TV at the same time. If he's watching a show, he watches a show. And if he's playing, he's playing. No back ground TV. Recently my 3 year old has gotten into Barney. I tivo it so he can watch a 25 min epi it in the morning during breakfast and a 25 min epi after he gets up from his nap. I gotta say, his language skills and social behavior has REALLY changed .... for the better! The things he says and the ways he interacts with peers is quite remarkable since watching this program. Its very educational and excellent messages. We talk about the lessons that are "taught" as well. I'm pro-TV in this case. And I have heard a link b/t TV watching and ADD, but not autism. I don't think I agree with the autism link, but maybe the ADD. Either way, I try not to expose my baby to more then 5 mintues of TV at a clip. Hopefully that's long enough for her to enjoy the lights and movement, and not screw her up! Everything in moderation I guess ....
Sounds like you're doing everything right to me!! They just say not for under 2yrs old, and since your son is 3, he's fine with watching it in moderation. My sister's 3 kids love Barney too. I'll have to look in to getting some of those on DVD for my son too eventually (we don't have cable out here in the country). I did buy "Veggie Tales" which I thought would be non-violent since they're suppose to be Christian videos, and they DO teach good messages... but there is some incidents which could be considered "violent", in that kids could copy it--- there's the great "Pie War" (where they throw pies in each other's face... kids could copy that and throw other objects), pushing Larry in to a pit, bullies sitting on little Jr.Asparagus, sumo wrestling, etc. I stopped letting my 10mo. old watch these videos until he's old enough to understand the real lesson behind them, and not just to emulate the characters actions. When they say "non-violent", they aren't just talking about adult shows, but rather also any cartoons that have hitting, pushing, teasing, or fighting. My sister even had to stop her 2 yr. old from watching Winnie the Pooh because he was repeatedly trying to copy "Tigger" and was "bouncing" on his sisters! :o) Anyway, from the Barney I've seen, it seems like that's a great show for us to get too... although I can already see my husband's face when our son starts singing "I love you, you love me..."
As for the autism link, I don't have any more info on it... I briefly looked up the Cornell study, but didn't have time to really read it. I was simply reporting what I'd read, and have no scientific knowledge either way. There's a link to it off of the universities search page. I did see one thing in there though, they reported that they also looked in the Amish society, and that autism is almost non-existant within their population (they said this was supportive and parallel to their new findings regarding tv, since the Amish do not have televisions.) But, I really have no opinion on the issue, so can't debate Cornell's findings. From the few paragraphs I saw, I think they are saying that tv may "trigger" autism, but it may be in predisposed individuals, and not the "cause". All I know is that I will just stick with the moderation... better safe than sorry.
Your baby should be fine with the 5 minutes or so at a clip. Like I previously said, I too let mine watch while I'm nursing. I figure that the risks of him getting 5-10min of tv time are far less than the benefit he gets of continuing to breastfeed... and if that's what it takes to get him to nurse, so be it!!
Anyway, my thoughts on the issue are do whatever you feel is best for your situation! I think every parent has to struggle over different decisions in their childrens' upbringing, but ultimately it's up to you to do what you feel is right. (For example, just last week I had a HUGE fight with my sister because she thought I was being an immoral/pagan parent for buying my son a Halloween costume to go out trick-or-treating this year. My husband and I felt comfortable with our decision, yet she was insistant that we were doing wrong. We finally had to tell her that WE were our son's parents, and that it was our right to do as we felt was right. That it was okay to "agree to disagree" and to just let it go. I think that once you hear both sides of a debate, it's up to you to then go the path you chose, and that others should just respect it... unless it's something seriously dangerous to the kids, of course.)
My dd age 2 1/2 watches tv constantly! She knows how to run the vcr and dvd player both! Honostly i really regret letting it get to this point, becuase hse is not even intersted in playing with toys. I will say she is very intellegent tho and has a great imagination! ( she was just telling me last night about the ELephant and giraffe out by the garage, with her hands going a million miles a sec. She also told grandma there was a dinasour in her playhouse) i just wish she would play more with her toys and dolls rather than watching dvd's and videos.
The debate of quality of television is completely different than the other "research on television and effects". I have never heard of Baby Einstein actually... and I can see how the younger kids can (and do) imitate what they see on TV (personally I have rarely monitored what my older kids watched, just talked to them about it). In today's world, especially here in the USA, the television has become a substitute babysitter for many families which is worrisome because the lack of interaction.
Personally I was raised in a house where the TV was never turned off. It was constant background noise, and the language thing is funny because I have hearing problems, but I became so accustomed to the noise in the background that I can't stand not having the noise now... kinda worried of continuing that trend. Especially as I watch my 10 yr old who loses her TV privileges and harasses everyone else because she's "bored" and can't find something else to amuse herself...
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