8 answers

Allowing Toddler to Watch TV Before Bed Time

I have a 3 year old girl who watches TV as part of her nightime wind down routine. Earlier in the eveneing, we also read books and sometimes also do arts and crafts. She also has lots of activities all day at preschool where they limit TV (if any TV is watched at all). I know it must not be a good practice to let her do this, but am wondering if anyone knows the "real" risks involved with this.

Also, I know she does not rely on the TV to fall asleep because she goes to sleep without a TV at school everyday (generally napping 1.5 - 2 hours).

At night, bath starts around 7pm and then she is in bed to watch a final show before bed by 7:30pm - 8pm. She generally sleep 9 - 10 hours per night.

This TV routine starting around age of 2 because we were trying to keep her up later (with a hope she would be able to sleep longer the following morning). It seems to work (she does sleep longer when she is up late), but I still worry about this. Also, by late, I mean 6:30am - 7am. Before we started doing this, she used to get up between 5am - 6am every day. Much too early for me and my husband.

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My son is two years old and only sleeps 8 to 9 hours. Since I am up late doing things I tend to let him stay up with me so he will sleep until 8 or 9 am. We need to try to get our children to accomodate our schedules sometimes when they don't sleep as much as other children do. I would not feel guilty about letting her watch television at night with you. The main problem with tv is when children do nothing but watch tv. This is what can make them obiese and incapable of thinking properly. If your child is active during the day allowing tv in the evening is fine. I have the television on all day but my kids only watch when there is something stimulating drawing their attention which is when they are usually interacting with the program. I spend a lot of time teaching my son and he has a large vocabulary but some of that is because of the kids programs that draw his attention away from playing when I am doing my business or school work.

My main point is make sure you are spending time teaching your child and making sure she is active and not always in front of the television. As long as she is learing academically and proper behavior from you I believe a little tv at night will do no harm to her. The down side is she may actaully be addicted to falling asleep with the tv at night when she is with you. As young as my son is he knows there are different rules in the different houses and he does become accostomed to them in that particular atmosphere. They are smarter than we give them credit for. Most are pretty amazed at how well my son understands my commands from about one and half years old. I have always talked to him as a young adult explaining as much as I could along the way. Now he can have a conversation with an adult and get his point across very accurately. Television is only bad when it is there only babysitter when mom and dad don't want to deal with them on a regular basis and the become inactive because of it.

Wow seems to me your routine is going good. I really don't see the harm in the tv before bed, She seems to do alot of other stuff. Wish my kids watched less tv.

While I'm not against kids watching TV I have personally found that it is not very effective at winding kids down for bed. Sometimes it stimulates them and other times when they are already tired it just prolongs bedtime. When my kids stay up later, they invariable get up EARLIER (6:30am vs 7:30am). That being said, it has been proven that watching TV in bed (b4 bedtime) is actually a bad idea because of the stimulation in that setting (i.e. hard to wind down, even for adults). Is it really necessary to include TV as part of the bedtime routine? Not sure about the "real" risks other than making it a little harder for her to settle down but if you are concerned maybe try stopping it for awhile and see how she does...good luck!!!

"They" say that a child really shouldn't watch tv for at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime, due to its stimulating effects. That being said, if its part of your bedtime routine, if it aint broke . . .

As long as she doesn't NEED it to fall asleep, I think its ok, but you may not want this to last forever. Perhaps you may want to try to wean it out . . .maybe only tv on the weekends (or non-school nights).

Best of luck with your bedrest too . . .I was on bedrest (from 26-36 weeks) with my 2nd last summer. It sucked, but flew by. I hope yours does too!

We started the same kind of routine when my oldest daughter was up for about an hour longer than my youngest daughter. The video was a quiet thing we could do together. We sit in my bed and watch a video for about 45 min, then read and off to bed. I would not worry!

Beth's advice sounds good. If you see a dependency, listen to your instincts. Wean her slowly if the change is stressful. But don't think you have to do it if you see no ill effects. I also have heard the "not 30 minutes before bed" suggestion, but I think that is for stimulating programs, especially in a situation where you have boys watching slightly agressive things. But the mind does need to unwind. I turn the TV off often for this very reason. I confess I may drive my children nuts changing the routine. But it certainly helps my mind rest and I am convinced it will help theirs whether they realize it yet or not. Let's face it, routines are meant to be constantly adjusted. Best wishes with the new baby and for a healthy recovery! :o)

my 3 year old has tv at night as part of his routine also.. he's been doing it for almost a year now, and i dont think there is any risk to it... it helps him wind down from his busy day... he watches 1 little bear show, and 1 curious george show, then hes ready to hit the sack.. i started doing this so i could finnish the dinner dishes without him getting into trouble.. as long as they dont depend on tv to fall asleep i would think its fine?.. and if it isnt then alot of us are in deep trouble.. lol

My daughter is 6 and she does the same as your child and that has been since she was 3. She doesnt need to have it on, she can fall asleep without it if she had to. I dont think that there are any bad effects from it. It really depends on your own child I think. She falls asleep around 830 or 9 pm and gets up just fine for school around 630 am. I would not worry about it. Good luck on bed rest..

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