18 answers

Watching Movies Before Bed???

when I put my daughter to bed I give her a sippy and let her watch a movie and she is usually asleep before the end of it? Is this a bad idea?

What can I do next?

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I have a 7yr old daughter that would only go to sleep with a movie or TV on. She still does. I have seen no harmful effects to her. We have always been careful not to use "high energy" programs. : )

Does the sippy have a sugar drink or milk or just water. If she falls to sleep with the sippy and has sugar drink and milk the dentist or the doctor will probably tell you not to do it since she falls to sleep with it and can develop caveties later on if she gets used to having a sippy right before bed.

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well considering my two year old is watching the goodnight show on sprout, with a *gasps* sippy cup, maybe i shouldn't comment, ha ha. she's my youngest (i have three, the older two fall asleep to music) and this seems to be a routine that works with her. she doesn't have any developmental delays, she gets plenty of sleep, is in awesome health and has no plans to go on a killing spree due to watching sagwa solve mysteries or whatever the hell it is that sagwa does *snorts*. do what's best for you and your family. if it works and there are no ill effects, don't worry too much about it. now if she's still going to bed with a movie and a sippy cup when she's 17, then we might need to have a talk *giggle*.

i'm a little disappointed in all the negative comments you've received. being a mother is hard enough as it is, without having the "perfect mommy militia" come in and try to make you feel like you're a bad parent. the american academy of pediatrics lists those as guidelines, they're not set in stone. i'm sure V. spends quality time with her child during the day. mom's need breaks at the end of the day too. i know i use this time to catch up on emails and visiting this site and a few others.

I am 16, and my mom let me watch movies before bed when I was little. That being said I don't have sleeping problems, I can go to sleep with or without it on. I know a lot of my friends don't sleep with T.V. on, and they are fine when they stay at my house and I have the T.V. while I sleep and vis visa.

I think you might get some criticism on this simply because it involves TV but in my opinion there is nothing wrong with it. Unless she starts developing sleep problems, and as long as you are ok with this being her pattern I say go for it. I have two children and another on the way, lots of sisters and a brother, and baby-sat alot when I was younger. One thing I have come to realize in all that time, is that every family has a different way of doing things. Some are obviously counter-productive and unhealthy, but I wouldn't consider your baby girls bedtime one of those situations. I have put kids to bed that required many different things, and the one thing that it always came back to was that if they had a pattern, and stability in their sleep habits, then they were always much easier to put down. The more difficult cases were the kids who had no bedttime routine, and no specific bed time. I would say that if you don't have a set bed time for her that would be the one adjustment I would make. That just comes from experience with my two little ones. I am sure you are doing a wonderful job V..

I don't think that is a bad idea. My girls both watch a movie before bed. And, until recently, went to bed with a drink. We now make sure they brush their teeth before bed and after they drink their milk. I put them to bed a little early that way they have time to calm down before having to go to sleep. I usually allow 30 minutes of tv time before bed. It doesn't hurt mine at all.

Okay as a mom of four girls: 18, 14, 13, and 10....

I put every one of them to bed with a movie and a sippy cup. None have any dental issues or developmental issues. I only allowed one movie and they knew at the end of the movie they would have the TV turned off. I am an advocate of routines and this definately was a less stress on everyone bedtime routine.

My son is 3 and loves to watch movies and programs such as Noggin and some Nick Jr. shows. I never did let him watch TV before bed because of what everyone else says but here recently we have let him watch a few shows before bed a few nights a week and the nights we don't let him, he goes to bed just fine. The nights we do let him, he doesn't want to turn them off but I tell him it's story time and that usually works for me. As mothers we know what is best for our children, don't let others make you feel bad about your decisions. I am sure you are a wonderful mother and do the best for your daughter. Afterall, being a stay at home mom is one of the hardest jobs there is. Best of luck.

Well I did that w/ one of mine and let me tell you it was the hardest habit to break. He is going into the first grade now and feels like he still needs to watch a movie before bed.I have 5 an he is the only one that does that. I would reccomend reading a story instead. tv is too stimulating. Also, the sippy cup at bed is very bad for thier teeth.
hope that helps

For the people saying it's a bad idea..blah blah blah. heehee just kidding. We all would like to think we're perfect parents, but news flash....we're not!

My daughter that is 5 falls asleep w/ her TV on. Guess what so do we. Most of the time she just turns it off when she's had enough and falls asleep. We have NO BEDTIME STRUGGLE, SHE SLEEPS GREAT AND WAKES UP LIKE A CHARM. So it's really not a "habit" that has to be "broken". My husband grew up with a TV in his room and he's a smart well adjusted man that didn't sustain any damage from it. She is a great sleeper unlike some kids, really doesn't watch TV at all accept for bedtime (she's usually to busy playing) and is leaps and bounds ahead of most kids her age developmentally.

So if you don't think it's a good idea..that's fine, but it's not going to damage your child! Find something educational..they might actually learn something.

Girl, don't let people ridicule your parenting techniques. Every mother does the best possible thing for their children. My daughter watches a movie before bedtime, has since she was tiny and now she's nearly 5. Granted, it's probably not ideal in some situations and some children BUT it hasn't hurt my child developmentally, not even one tiny iota. My child has her problems, let me tell ya!, but not due to TV, this little girl has been speaking in sentences since 15 months. Her abilities are probably due largely to my having read to her every night since she was a baby but I also attribute many of the things to great educational programs. She is leaps and bounds ahead of most of the children in her class. As long as the TV program is educational, like Noggin, without a billion ads for sugar coated cereal, etc, it's a great opportunity for learning. Not to mention, they say it's a habit that can't be broken, but it can. If we stay at a family member's home, or camp out over holidays or weekends, my child has no problems falling asleep without it. I like to watch TV at night before falling asleep, it's relaxing. A way to unwind. Why should a child be any different?

Does the sippy have a sugar drink or milk or just water. If she falls to sleep with the sippy and has sugar drink and milk the dentist or the doctor will probably tell you not to do it since she falls to sleep with it and can develop caveties later on if she gets used to having a sippy right before bed.

This is a very hard habit to break. Think about your growing years and ask your husband if he did the same thing. Were you able to function the next morning? If either of you says yes the I would let her continue to do it even through her school years. Otherwise it could be time to get her to give it up.

You should also make sure that you're reading to her everyday for at least 20 minutes. If you start her bath 30 minutes before bedtime then you should be able to do squeeze in the books right before bed and fuel her imagination that way.

"Is this a bad idea?" The American Academy of Pediatrics has long advised no television for children under the age of 2 because of much research that has been done on the effects of television. TV before bed is particularly problematic, but at her age she shouldn't be watching tv at all. Also giving a sippy in bed can be problematic because it can interfere with nighttime dryness, and cause dental problems. Let her have a drink of water earlier in the evening, not in bed. Some better options: Read books to her in bed or sing to her instead of letting her watch tv. Your child will also benefit from the nurturing and bonding time with you.

My 3 year old goes to bed everynight watching a tv show or her favoirt show SPONGEBOB and he gets a sippy cup with WATER in it. i take her to the potty before she falls asleep so she don't pee in the bed.

I would suggest though that you NOT give her juice or milk in her cup. I know for a fact about this one because i gave my little girl (when she was 1) a sippy cup of juice at night and she ended up with 7 decayed teeth and had to have surgery this past year for have them all drilled and capped (with white and silver crowns). It was a horrible ordeal for me but my own fault for giving her juice. i have learned my lesson the hard way please don't go thru what i went thru. It is the hardest thing to see your baby (well 3) going into the surgery room without mommy and them giving her something to make her groggy and she did not know who i was she was soo out of it. and she thought she seen frogs on the ceiling of the hospital room dancing and talking to her. her daddy was even crying about that one.

My husband used the TV to get our son out of our bed... worked like a charm. But, then we found out he was waking up at night watching his favorite shows. lol So, we compromised. It took a week or 2 of battling, but now we have him in a routine that he is comfortable with. After dinner, bath, and all the nightly stuff, he has a book we are reading through. After we read to him, he can turn his TV on, but only on the music stations like sirrus. Guess a radio would work, but he would not throw a fit when the music was on the tv, but he did with the radio. I think that it is a partial night light, and some form of movement in the room that he is more comfortable with as much as watching a show.

Another idea is to put a video on. Something that she likes to watch over an over, and tell her its the bedtime video. Routine seems to be the common ingredient. Their body becomes accustomed to doing something a certain way, so each time they do it, sleep comes faster and faster.

As for the sippy, what is in it? Water should be the only thing. I have seen too many kids with cradle mouth. If they have trouble going to bed with just water in it, start with diluting the normal stuff a little. Each night, dilute it a little more until it is just water. My kids went to bed with a sippy because they would get up in the middle of the night and want a drink. So, if the sippy was there, they took a swig and went back to sleep. If not, it was a trip out of bed for me to get them a drink. Another alternative, is to keep the sippy in reach if they want it, just let them know where it has to stay.

I personally would say it has the potential to develop several bad habits and they are hard ones to break. If this continues there is a good possibility that your daughter will either refuse to go to bed without TV or a snack. Even worse, she may not be able to fall asleep without these exact bedtime conditions. When our daughter was really young we used the TV to create background noise and extra light. We realized that by doing this she may not be able to fall asleep without it. Same with a bottle in bed. We switched to a music box and a night light to replace the noise and light the TV created. There are some really cool things you can buy for kids that play melodies, nature sounds, etc. Also when we were giving her a bottle in bed we started to only give her water because formula and juice could rot her baby teeth. We didnt let her have the water bottle unless she was teething to ease the pain. The first few nights without the bottle were rough and we had to just let her cry for a while but she got used to it and does fine now. Good luck, hope this helps!

I think its fine to let her watch a little movie it calms her down and she falls asleep. I would just make sure you get the sippy from her so she doesnt keep it in her mouth. My kids are 4 and 5 and they love to watch movies before they go to bed. They always fall asleep. I have had no development problems with them. They are very active and bright children. What ever makes mommy happy makes baby happy!

Sorry, but yes, it is a bad idea. Besides the fact that children her age don't need to be watching TV at all, she is going to become conditioned to only going to sleep with the TV. As a former teacher and a mom, I can see lots of problems with that habit.
A short bedtime ritual that you practice every night will quickly become a habit, so choose one that you (and she) can live with for a long, long time. It may be hard to change for the first few nights, but you will be glad in the long run.

I have a 7yr old daughter that would only go to sleep with a movie or TV on. She still does. I have seen no harmful effects to her. We have always been careful not to use "high energy" programs. : )

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