Seeking Advice Re Letting a Baby Watch TV

Updated on November 09, 2006
C.M. asks from Chicago, IL
6 answers

My very active and very engaging 6 month old daughter Olivia absolutely loves watching Baby Einstein DVDs. Her favorites are the two art ones--Baby Monet and Baby Van Gogh. She laughs and squeals at the screen and really focuses in. However, I am a little concerned because I have read conflicting advice about children under 2 watching television--and I know the AAP says no screen time before 2. I try to limit her time watching to no more than one video in any given day, and no more that 5 videos per week. However, my husband will often start a DVD when he is watching her, which throws off my plans to have a no-TV day. Olivia will also take in the occasional Sesame Street or other PBS kids program when she is with her older (2 & 4 yo) cousins. My husband and my father both say that it is okay for her to watch once a day, but that seems too much to me.

So, I guess I was wondering what youall think of Baby Einstein. Do you let your children watch? And if so, how much? And how young are your children? I am trying for moderation in this (as in all things), so I would appreciate others' experience/advice with TV and/or Baby Einstein.

Thank you!

PS--we do also listen to music. Enya seems to be her favorite.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

My daughter is 18 months old, and she has been watching TV in moderation since she was 8 months. She wakes up every morning and asks for cartoons, and loves the Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. When Mickey asks a question, she will hum back to him like she is answering - which is oh so cute. I think she is learning a great deal from these programs. She loves the Backyardigans, Mickey, Elmo, Little Einsteins. I see no harm in this as long as it is a little at a time -- which with her attention span it usually is no more than 20 mins show. She has the baby einstein DVD's, but doesn't seem too interested in them. Sometimes TV can be a life saver, especially when she is sick or screaming in a fit --- or when us mothers need to get a little thing done during the day.



answers from Chicago on

I'm going to echo some of the moms. TV is not evil in itself. If you plop your baby down in front and never provide any other kind of activity, then yes, tv is harmful.

My son is 7 1/2 now. He watched all kinds of tv when he was a baby, including Sesame Street, Cartoon Network sometimes, Teletubbies, etc and he's reading a full grade ahead and he's not overweight or lethargic.

I say go ahead and let your baby watch some tv in moderation. Whatever YOU are comfortable with.



answers from Chicago on

My daughter is 14 months old and she loves her cartoons. I heard all that stuff about no TV till 2, and if I need a break I dont feel there is anything wrong with a short program. She started with a Baby Einstein DVD at 6-8months now she loves Blues Clues. I put it on and she dances and tries to answer to "Steve or Joe", I can also join in with her and we both interact with it. Comcast cable has some great On Demand baby programs, ones with other lil kids and babies singing nursery rhymes!! I get such a kick watching her try to copy the lil kids dance and "if your happy clap your hands!" So I guess a lil bit everyday isnt going to cause any harm, especially with winter right around the corner, we moms need all the help we can get, even if its just 15 minutes to shower!!


answers from Chicago on

Now that you brought this up...we should probably figure out our TV plans. Our twins are 4months 1 week old. Occassionally I'll put in a Baby Einstein DVD (to try and take a shower) or my husband will sit them in front of the TV to try and quiet them a down for a smidge. Or they'll want to catch a sneak peak to whatever mom and dad are watching. Or they'll watch a little bit when I have them sitting up facing the TV (just how room is set up).

Does anyone know of a good article/reference to read up more about this? They say NO TV for under 2 but I think that's super hard and no more than 15 minutes at a time.



answers from Chicago on

I have very strong opinions about TV. LET THEM WATCH! For goodness sake, I watched Sesame Street with my daughter and kept a library of Thomas the Tank Engine episodes on hand for my personal time (bathroom, shower, etc.) There is nothing wrong with some TV. You hit it on the head with the term "moderation". I would let my daughter watch TV when she was about a 12-18 months for about one hour at most per day (usually in the winter time--less in the summer). That was broken up into 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there--you get the point--it wasn't one hour solid. I think parents have this image of a child watching too much TV and eating cheetoes all day long. A little TV isn't going to create that monster if you don't let it!!

The link between ADHD and TV viewing under 2 is hogwash in my humble opinion. Every couple of years doctors try to blame something new on ADD/ADHD--TV was it's target of late. However, the study never took into account the types of programs or the level of interaction the parents had with their children while watching TV.

I've learned that watching a little TV with my daughter has been great. We can talk about what is happening which encourages speech and thought process.

We've gotten way too "freakish" about these subjects. I find it unfortunate that fear and worry often dominate our parenting!

That said, I also would encourage other entertainment sources as well (for variety). We also listen to a lot of music. My daughter, now age 3, loves all types of music. She will even sometimes choose that we listen to music over TV. Now that she's three, she likes to make the choice herself.

One last thing, I think the Baby Einstein videos are great--we watched them too.

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

For my first child, Baby Mozart saved us all. Screaming baby or TV. hmmmm.
My second child has not seen it, because he is happy without it. We play lots of music, including classical, Raffi and Kindermusik. I would not let her watch an entire video just to watch it, if something more active can keep her happy and engaged. Also, Noggin is very nice on extended cable. As long as you don't use TV as a babysitter and if it is the only thing that works, I say to use it. Keep her away from the news, though.

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