Babies Watching T.V.

Updated on May 29, 2011
M.F. asks from Youngstown, OH
22 answers

How do you feel about babies watching T.V.? My freinds daughter has been watching the Disney channel since she was 6 months old(she is 14 months now) and they tivo shows for her. I find it odd that they even put the T.V. on a kid channel when she was this young and would put her in her bouncey chair in front of it or lay her on the floor so she could see it. My oldest boy didn't even pay attention to T.V. until he was about 2 and then I started putting shows on for him my middle one never watched it until he was close to 2 alos even though kid shows were on for his brother. My 13 month old will glance at it every once in a while but no actually watch it. I can say sometimes it would be nice to be able to put the pac n play in front of the tv and go take a shower instead of waiting for naptime or getting up super early but I also don't really want my baby watching T.V. so little. I feel like there is time enough for them to watch T.V. and some days that's all my older ones want to do and I have to make them go play with what are your thoughts? I am not saying that anyone who puts TV on for their baby is a bad mom or anything my friend is a good mom and she plays with her baby so she is not stuck in front of the TV all day or anything(that I know of) so no angry comments just opinions please

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answers from Chicago on

I put my kiddo in his bouncy(door frame one) or his jumper etc and put music on -- gave him some toys that clipped to it if it did not come with some already -- and cleaned house or made dinner etc. I would talk to him every time he walked by and put something in his reach that was "different" sometimes it was a dog toy to toss (loved that) sometimes a toy, sometimes a snack item (age appropriate). Tv, that did not start to happen until he was closer to two I think aside from the occasional "Little Einsteins Video"

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

No, I think 6 months is too young. If I needed a break I would put my son in his bouncy seat or on his playmat, that was entertainment enough along with good exercise, why try distracting them from playing with a TV show?

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

This is another one of those "it's only a problem if it's taking away from other healthy activities" thing.
As long as a baby (or child) is getting plenty of stimulation, playtime and attention then I don't see anything wrong with the TV. In my house it was mostly PBS (Sesame St, Dragon Tales, Thomas the Tank etc.) because I personally HATE commercials and the loud noises they bring. Plus the PBS kids shows just have a nicer "quieter" feel to them, they're not so fast and in your face.
I have to say I had a friend who kept her kids in front of the TV almost all day, sippy cups in hand from morning til night. I try not to judge other's parenting styles too much but THAT drove me crazy! Her boys were ALWAYS fighting and whining. I'd say it's less about age and more about content and frequency.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Our baby starting watching "the box" at 3 months. At about 4 we put in a Baby Einstein DVD every once in awhile for him if he was super cranky (calmed him down immediately) He is now almost 6 months old and really watches. I do feel guilty sometimes because there is such a stigma about kids/babies and TV. But I'm not gonna lie, it's nice to have him entertained for 20 minutes here and there and yes, we DVR Handy Manny and Franklin for him because he smiles when these shows come on. I'm an educated mom, and I grew up watching only Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. My mom read to us a lot and we read to our son a lot. I think in moderation it's fine. It's a source of entertainment, no it's not interactive and can't replace real human interaction but I also do not think it's the axis of evil many make it out to be. It's a box that provides color, shape, motion, sound... etc. Things that babies are drawn to naturally. It's part of our modern-day environment and I think if you are just smart about it and don't use it as baby's only source of entertainment/interaction it's not a big deal. In fact I just read an interesting article about this that basically said that there is no evidence that babies watching TV does any harm or any good. That the findings showing it decreases their vocabulary basically coincide with lower income families and suggests that these children have lower vocabularies due to the environment they're raised in... and that they are lacking in other things... so there's much more to it than just "how much TV" they watch. gotta look at the bigger picture.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't see anything wrong with it. Neither of my daughters watched TV before age 2 or so, they just were never interested, but if your kid likes it, why not? I think any stimulation is a good thing for babies, and TV is definitely a good source of stimulation as long as it is used responsibly. If the TV will hold your little one's attention for five or ten minutes while you shower quickly, I don't see anything wrong with that.

You could also use it as a teaching tool- pointing at shapes, saying "look, a square!" "Look, a triangle!" or "Look, the color red!"

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I do not mean to offend anyone, but to put a 6 month old child in front of a TV is such a poor choice in my opinion. A 6 month old needs to be mentally and physically stimulated- see new shapes and colors, start to roll and crawl around on the floor, see the outside... There have been studies that show children that watch a lot of TV before the age of 2 are more likely to have ADHD or ADD because they are so used to being highly stimulated by the bright lights and fast movements. I don't know if I agree with it, but I surely would not sit my 6 month old down in front of the TV and DEFINITELY would not record shows to later watch!! Yes, it would be nice to be able to do that and I might do it once my kid is a couple years old, but definitely not with a baby. I am not saying your friend is a bad mom, I just think that is a poor choice. There are plenty of other things one can do with that young of a child.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

My youngest will be 5 months old tomorrow, and he's been "watching tv" for a while now. But really, we have 1 television, it's in our main living area, and the rest of my kids are at 3 different stages when it comes to tv programming, so the tv seems to be on for a long time by the time they all get a turn to watch something. And I'm really not interested in putting horse blinders on my baby, lol.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

My daughter only started watching Sesame Street when she turned two. We have the tv on almost all the time in our house, but it is just for background noise, she never actually sat down and watched tv (she hardly ever glanced at it when she was younger) until we put on Sesame Street. Everyone should do what they think is right for their situation, this is just what was right for us :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

I keep baby shows on in the background during the day, like Baby Einstein or Blues Clues. My son MIGHT stop 3 or 4 times to dance to a certain song, but he really doesn't pay attention to it at all. I just need a little background noise. My older kids rarely watch tv; they're always playing outside or being creative in their room. TV is not my babysitter, and I severely limit serious TV time... but I do keep it on during the day for background noise.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My 2 yr old daughter started showing interest in TV around 18 mo. Some of the shows she enjoys are Sesame Street, Yo Gabba Gabba, Olivia, and some Disney--not all in one day ;-) She absolutely LOVES the Toystory movies and can watch the entire thing from beginning to end, which we don't allow regularly. I just had #2 a week ago, so there's been more TV on than normal, but we are adjusting over here...The thing is, technology has such a different role in our world today than it did when I was a kid, and can actually be very useful and educational--my daughter is learning so many letters, numbers and songs on the iPad. She also loves reading books, which we do every day, and is a big outdoors girl, and loves running around, playing in mud, going to the beach, etc. As long as there's a balance of activity TV wont damage anyone.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

After fighting my 10 year old daily because he seriously has the potential to be a video game addict, I swore my newborn (now 5 months) wouldn't get a minute of screen time before age 5. LMBO Well that was 5 months ago and I type this as he watches Barney for 15 minutes because it is the ONLY way I can put him down during the day. He is a very high needs baby. and isn't content in his bouncy seat, swing, other different type of swing, on the floor, under his gym, in his bumbo seat, in his activity jumper or in his walker (after 4 other kids we have a lot of options) I carry him or wear him basically for 10 hours a day unless he is napping and then pass him off to DH when he gets off work. So yes for my sanity and the sake of my sore arms and sore back he watches tv, in about 15 minute spurts, while I get a break, cook a meal ect. On a rough day he may watch 2 whole episodes of Barney (so 1 hour) throughout the course of the day and on a good day he doesn't watch any of it. And yes we only watch barney, he doesn't like anything else?! Now my big kids get 2 hours of game time and an hour of tv, but they are also homeschooled so they have a lot more time to fill than if they were in school all day. Next fall they want to go to "real" school (as they keep telling me) and the video game thing will only happen on weekends.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

My husband stayed home with our oldest daughter from the time she was a newborn until she was 6 months old. He would TiVo rugby games and they would watch them together. (Well, mostly he would watch them and she would cuddle up against his chest!) It was cute. But no, he didn't put kids' channels on for her. At that age, their eyesight isn't really that great anyhow. I'm not even sure babies can really see the TV unless they're very close to it.

I did put on Baby Einstein DVDs for both kids when they were 3 months - 2 years if I had to take a shower or otherwise get something done and needed them not to scream the entire time. (Yeah, I used the "video sitter" and I'm not ashamed to admit it! LOL) My kids are now almost 6, and 8.5, and it doesn't seem to have scarred them for life or anything...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

There is sooo much info out there on children/babies watching TV. I know everyone has their opinion, but the AAP recommends no television watching for any child under 2 years of age and very limited for toddlers.

BTW, too-early tv watching is now linked w/ ADHD:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

No, my babies definitely don't watch TV! I try to keep them disinterested as long as I can. They will naturally become interested as they get older. Then I allow it, but definitely not babies;-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

I agree that it isn't the best choice. lots of other options that would give mom a little break and be better for baby.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I do think it's a little strange...simply because I don't understand the reason for it. however, I was blessed with a child who was very content on her own, or watching me fold laundry, etc. It's not like a 6 month old baby can run away or get into much trouble...they can sit in a crib or something, but maybe her baby really put up a fuss when she needed to get something done...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Daytona Beach on

when my kids were little they watched some tv. i only had them watch PBS kids. (not that it makes a difference :)). Anyways, they would watch Barney, and anything that sings. They really loved Baby Einstein videos because of the music. my kids love music. as they got older they watch less of it. they do still watch it, mostly in the mornings before school as they eat breakfast, and i usually have the tv on for background noise, they do like your kids and glance, but unless they are tired, they don't typically sit and watch.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Oh, it makes me so sad to see all of the people out there who think there is nothing wrong with setting their babies in front of the TV.

Babies do not NEED to be entertained all the time. They need to have downtime, when no one is stimulating them. Babies/children need to learn how to entertain themselves. This often comes from boredom.

Children need a strong rhythm in their life. They need a routine. They need to know what is coming next. They need calm in their lives, not the constant bombardment of lights and sound from a television.

Study after study shows us that watching television is NOT good for children. Yet the majority of parents ignore it. The majority of parents listen to their pediatrician about what is good for their baby/child, and do as the doc suggests. So WHY won't parents listen to the Academy of Pediatricians when they say do NOT let your child watch TV under the age of two??? It is so frustrating to me.

Watching television is not healthy for children's brains. But rather than go on for another ten paragraphs about why and how it isn't, I will just suggest that parents who truly want the best for their children go to You Tube and put Spring Garden Media in the search box, then watch the "Spring Garden Presentation on Media". Yes, it is long, but if you really want to know what effects the TV is having on your sweet child, you'll listen to what this man has to say.

Another good resource to help parents understand the benefits of daily rhythms and the detriments of media is the book "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne.

I have researched this subject thoroughly, as I wrote a college term paper for it, and I could go on and on about it. But sadly, I don't think it would make an iota of difference to the parents out there who "have the TV on all the time for background noise". Children do not need flippin' background noise!!! And it is not good for them!

And for those who say that "I watched TV and I turned out fine"...... I wonder how much "finer" you would have turned out if you hadn't watched the TV?

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. And say yet another prayer that people will become more educated.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I don't agree with putting kids in front of the TV's all the time. It is very obvious these days kids don't know what to do when they have free time. Kids need to learn how to just in peace and quiet and that it is okay to be bored. If they were at peace with their quiet time then boredom would be an after thought. There are too many kids out there who expect to be entertained and I am tired of entertaining them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

He does because my older two do. However, it is limited. Disney, Fresh Beat Band, Veggie Tales. We have some neat Christian music videoes. Not more than an hour a day. It is usually during the time I am preparing dinner and cleaning up...Then TV is off and we are playing games, puzzles, reading or going outside to ride bikes or walk, and most recently my husband is trying to get the kids interested in soccer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I listen to the pediatricians and experts. I take their advise about formula, and bottles and how to deal with coughs and fevers and constipation Why should I ignore them about this? 15 yrs ago most people didnt put their babies in front of a TV so I'm not sure we know the long term effects ....
And marketing DVDs for Babies! Those people marketing DVD's for babies and toddlers should be prosecuted! its harmful so how can you get away with advertising for it? give them beer in their bottle and they'll sleep better too!


answers from Minneapolis on

Mine is 6mo. He loves the TV. If I have him sitting in my lap, and he sees the TV, he will just stare in awe. Lol

I play with him a lot during the day, but every now and then when I just need a short 5 or 10 minute break... Or when daddy and I need to some adult time... Ya, I will put him in front of the TV for a bit. His favorite movie is Finding Nemo. He would sit there and talk to those fish all day long if I would let him! Lol.

So anyways, if it's for a short amount of time, I think that it's perfectly fine. Sitting in front of the TV all day long at a really young age? Probably not the best thing.

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