To let baby watch tv?!

(135 Posts)
Wishfulmakeupping Fri 28-Jun-13 10:37:19

My dd is 5 months.
We do stuff everyday babygroups/meeting friends/family/shopping trips in morning and go for a walk in afternoons as well as playing on play mat for couple hours.
But I do let her watch baby tv for about an hour-1.5 in morning while I'm getting ready sorting out bag etc and and another 30min to an hour at teatime.
Is this so wrong? People have said its too much tv and she shouldn't be watching any.

Donnadoon Fri 28-Jun-13 10:40:14

Nope YANBU my dd is nearly 9 months and loves peppa sound like a great Mum ..enjoy!

Cheeseatmidnight Fri 28-Jun-13 10:40:15

It's definitely a touchy subject, and I didn't do it as dd just wasn't interested, but I think I would have done if she was.

There is research which suggests it is not good under 1, but in reality I think lots of people do it

Wishfulmakeupping Fri 28-Jun-13 10:40:41

Meant to add that 1 hour to 1.5 hours in morning is not all in one go we are up at 5am and don't leave house until 10 so that would be 20 mins here and there adding together Iyswim

Parietal Fri 28-Jun-13 10:42:59

I wouldn't but up to you.

LifeIsSoBad Fri 28-Jun-13 10:43:31

My DD is 8m and sometimes I pop the telly on if I need to get stuff done and she doesn't want to play by herself on her mat and she's happy to watch TV for a little while and I can get e wry thing done quicker because I'm not trying to play with her I between getting ready

OctopusPete8 Fri 28-Jun-13 10:46:14

I have 2 dc and in times of need Baby TV is a life saver If I have to deal with DC1 pressingly or I have to get dressed/visit loo.

AnythingNotEverything Fri 28-Jun-13 10:54:31

I used to put DS in front of the washing machine or a window by a tree that created patterns of shade and light.

Same thing really!

Hemlet Fri 28-Jun-13 10:56:46

I pop my 15 week old on his mat by the tv sometimes, usually some kind of trash on that I'm watching. Keeps him happy and i can get on with what needs doing. What's the problem, I say.

stopgap Fri 28-Jun-13 10:57:51

I don't, but I'm not much of a TV person. Plus they tend to waffle on about the detrimental effects of it quite a bit over here:

catsdogsandbabies Fri 28-Jun-13 11:03:46

My DS1 has watched some TV from that age and has excellent and far ahead speech and understanding, I actually think they get something out of it if it is discussed with them and used as a learning thing and talked about. Tractor ted is on a lot here now and he is rare amongst his age group knowing all about farming and where food comes from - at that age a bit of waybaloo is just nice colours and movement. if it is 12 hours a day then fine no good but what you are doing is fine in my opinion.

catsdogsandbabies Fri 28-Jun-13 11:04:08

there are enough things to feel guilty about without adding this to it I think!

Oldraver Fri 28-Jun-13 11:06:59

I dont personally know why you would want to, I don't have the tv on myself during the day so would seem odd to put it on for a baby but that is me I realise some people have the tv on all the time so it wouldn't be odd for them.

OctopusPete8 Fri 28-Jun-13 11:10:39

I think too much tv is bad, and games I am guilty of too much when I am feeling off etc.
However things like Disney Junior and Dora are pretty good and interactive and my DC will answer the questions.

Cheeseatmidnight Fri 28-Jun-13 11:11:56

Catsdogsandbabies - tractor ted is so good, not too dumbed down, really educational!

primallass Fri 28-Jun-13 11:19:54

I did for DS as he got bored very easily. I laughed my head off one day when someone on a forum said that looking out of the window at the trees should be enough at that age envy

My DD wasn't interested.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 28-Jun-13 11:20:35

When DD was under 1, I had the tv on a lot in the day (for company for me!) and was just stuff I was watching - she never took any notice, apart from a few advert jingles she would turn and smile at.

DS often has a backdrop of DD's disney films while he's on his mat but doesn't seem to notice, more interested in watching her, or his toys.

YANBU by the way imo, just impressed that your 5 month old is entertained by it!

heidihole Fri 28-Jun-13 11:23:22

Personally I wouldn't as the WHO guidelines are so clear that it is/can be damaging in babies this young. At 5 months she should be just as happy on a playmat or listening to music, or sitting up in a bouncer with a rattle.

However if you choose to do it it doesn't make you a terrible mother, it is YOUR choice and your choice only, noone elses business (except maybe baby's dad)

primallass Fri 28-Jun-13 11:23:24

Plus my DS went to school reading and is great at spelling. It attribute it to SuperWhy grin

primallass Fri 28-Jun-13 11:23:33

I attribute

heidihole Fri 28-Jun-13 11:26:18

DD2 is 11 weeks, DD1 is 3, DS is 5.
DD2 has been 'watching' cbeebies and nick jr since birth because I need it to entertain the other two while I am cooking tea, making breakfast, hanging out the washing etc etc.
Once you have more than one DC I don't think it can be avoided. The bigger two often need entertaining after school/preschool while DD2 is having a feeding marathon.

Even if I don't put he TV on both DD1 and DS can put on he TV and fid he channels they want to watch, although at he moment we are fighting about watching Wimbledon rather than Ben & Holly and Peppa Pigsmile

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 28-Jun-13 11:30:24

I wouldn't get anything done if it wasn't for doses of cbeebies.

If I cook DS gets in between my legs and tries to push me out the kitchen. Even if I'm drinking a cup of tea he tries to help, so there are times I put it on to distract him so I can get on with something or have five minutes peace.

I quite like the background noise of the tv, when he was a baby I'd watch bbc breakfast. I don't think you're doing anything wrong.

MoominsYonisAreScary Fri 28-Jun-13 11:36:30

All mine have, they are 18,10 2 and 5 months. The older ones are fine and don't seem to have suffered any ill effects from my lax parenting

Fakebook Fri 28-Jun-13 11:38:51

What's wrong with letting children watch tv? Dd used to watch it and so does DS. Dd is fine at 5 years old. Haven't noticed any square eyes or antennas sticking out of her head as of yet.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 28-Jun-13 12:10:22

Surely it's about a balance? There's enough to feel guilty about as a parent FFS!

Yes I let my DS watch cbeebies, he particularly loves the 'groovy moves' on Show Me Show Me and the song in Mr Bloom. We have a dance together, it's great fun!

But I also get books shoved in my face regularly (there is no saying no). At 16 months he loves books and wants a story.

I fail to see any of this as an issue.

FridaKarlov Fri 28-Jun-13 12:44:28

My daughter is 5 months and I watch a bit of Cbeebies with her at lunchtime. It usually holds her attention long enough for me to Hoover up a sarnie and a cuppa. Don't feel guilty about it.

KingRollo Fri 28-Jun-13 12:48:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pasflo Fri 28-Jun-13 12:49:43

Disney junior saved my sanity. It keeps my little one interested while I have a cup of tea and eat lunch.

PastelMacaroons Fri 28-Jun-13 12:49:53

When you have other DC who watch TV how can you avoid it?

Its on when DH and I are in, baby is there, her eyes....looking?!

ksrwr Fri 28-Jun-13 12:51:25

from 5 months old my dd has had a dose of kids tv in the morning - its the only way we can all get ready for work/nursery and get out of the house by 07.30. i'm increasingly finding she's learning lots of words directly from peppa pig or ben+holly... and its not like she's sat in front of it ALL DAY.
so in summary, no, i dont think its a problem - in my opinion.

SonShines Fri 28-Jun-13 12:54:31

5mths is very young, and that's a lot of TV.... more than I could bare to watch in a day and I'm a fully grown adult.

Trouble is with the 'babysitting' excuse, I think, is that it becomes relied upon, particularly if it's a habit that begins when the
dc are very young. Far too many children these days have no idea how to entertain themselves.

SonShines Fri 28-Jun-13 12:57:44

ksrwr.... I'm sure she would learn just as many, and a whole lot more, if you were to talk to her whilst getting ready. Babies only need a little interaction to keep them entertained.

I used to stick mine in the high chair with some (safe) utensils whilst cooking, and I would talk throughout, pretending I was on a cookery show this meant I could get dinner cooked, LO was entertained, and he probably learnt something.

Satnightdropout Fri 28-Jun-13 13:06:41

My son loves the tv, and gives me 5 mins here and there to do bits that need doing. Which I will appreciate more when number 2 comes next month!! It definitely hasn't affected his development and if he had a choice between tv or going out he'd choose going out everytime.

ukatlast Fri 28-Jun-13 13:20:38

YANBU It is a great vocab builder so long as they also get input from real human beings as well.

Pigsmummy Fri 28-Jun-13 13:24:00

DD watches Mickey Mouse clubhouse, sometimes a bit of jungle junction a bit before or after. She is 8 months old. We have it recorded for when she is a bit bored/distressed.

ouryve Fri 28-Jun-13 13:31:20

It was often the only way I could put DS1 down and get him off for a nap without being held. I'd put him in his swing in front of ready steady cook and lay down on the sofa beside him and we'd both have a wee nap. He couldn't stand calm and quiet at all, even when he was tiny.

We liked watching cookery programs - I watched a lot of them while I was nursing him. When he was getting closer to a year old, he'd mimic Nigella's Mmmm Mmmm noises as he ate!

PastelMacaroons Fri 28-Jun-13 13:42:22

In my experience most of the friends I have who have been extremely precious about watching TV, like literally stopping dead coming into a room with one on, making a huge fuss and turning the baby away, have had lots of family help, work, nursery and are with their DC for a fraction of the time SHAMS are, or those with no help at all.

Its not an excuse as such but it is easy to be precious about these things when you are not in a daily morning till noon slog with no one to hand the baby too, to watch the baby or to help you.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 28-Jun-13 13:45:01

Wow SonShines, patronising much?

My DS used to scream regardless of how much talking, singing and dancing I did when he was little and I was trying to get ready.

working9while5 Fri 28-Jun-13 13:53:17

I am a speech therapist, one of the very professionals who spends an awful lot of time talking about the supposed detrimental effects of a bit of television, but I really do think that at a young age, it's just lights on a screen.

Once, people spoke about how print would destroy the human mind. It didn't. It changed aspects of how it was used, probably (as is true with most things) for better and for worse.

I didn't let my ds1 watch any television before the age of 1 and then only sparsely. I didn't even feel particularly strongly about it, I just couldn't stand the noise because I was significantly depressed. Yet I found the silence hard too.

My ds2 (1) has seen a bit of teletubbies some days. He also sees some television when ds1 (now 3 and a half) watches it. There are many weeks we don't watch it at all. There are also many weeks where we watch a fair amount. Certainly when I was pregnant and throwing up, it was on a good bit. Lo and behold, my children can both speak, play independently, attend, interact - even the one year old who has moderate hearing loss in both ears has a few words, bang on target for his chronological age.

AIBU makes me laugh with the faux confusion about why anyone would ever put the television on. OP, you should check out the Sanctimommies facebook page. I can see some contenders on this thread already.

working9while5 Fri 28-Jun-13 13:53:52

And yy to PastelMacaroons.

SonShines Fri 28-Jun-13 14:48:21

PastelMacaroons... I'm precious about TV's. We have one, but it doesn't have an aerial, we use it for the occasional DVD. At one point I had 3 DC under 5 (one a newborn) and no help or support, my husband was working 12 hour days and we have no family nearby. Still precious about TV's though. I'm proud that my DC can spend a day in and not be bored, they have their own imagination...not an imagination constructed of Disney characters. We had some friends children round the other day and they come from a house that has the TV on constant. They were bored and whinging within minutes of being out in the garden...

mrsjay Fri 28-Jun-13 14:54:51

yanbu the colours stimulates babies the music is great too, baby TV is a bit trippy though I can remember watching with dd2 with confused look about me but she loved it

Lottapianos Fri 28-Jun-13 14:58:26

I'm also a speech and language therapist and the official advice is certainly no TV for young children. Regular, sustained exposure to TV in under 2s has been linked to greater risk of delayed language development.

However, living in the real world, especially if you have more than one child and have things to get on with it, I can see how it can be a safe way to keep the children entertained and quiet for short periods. Just please don't be under any illusions that it will be doing wonders for their language development - they will always gain much more from time with a real person than from a screen.

I don't see what's patronising about SonShines's comment - it sounds like a great idea!

CailinDana Fri 28-Jun-13 15:03:49

If an hour or two of tv a day could genuinely affect brain development it would be a fantastic breakthrough especially for children with special needs. Think of how much treatment and therapy could be delivered by this fantastical mind-altering machine. In actual fact it is the child's entire environment that affects their development. If a child is watching tv because everyone ignores her and it's her only source of input then naturally she will suffer, due to neglect. For a loved child with plenty going on tv is just a bright interesting noisy object that they happen to look at now and again. Despite what some people think the tv will not shoot brain-rotting lasers through the child's eyes.

Lottapianos Fri 28-Jun-13 15:07:15

CailinDana! Haven't seen you on here for ages smile

Very good point about taking the entire environment into account. Having the TV on does affect the environment though - it's not so much what the baby is watching on TV that's the problem, just having it on in the background means that everyone in the environment tend to interact less with each other and use less spoken language.

CailinDana Fri 28-Jun-13 15:14:04

Not been well lotta - pnd after dd was born. On the up now thanks in no small part to some fantastic mners.

Agree about tv affecting the environment although i do remember reading a study that showed children growing up in noisy environments (due to tv/many other children) cope better at the beginning of school due to being able to process sounds from multiple sources simultaneously. Admittedlyhas little effect

CailinDana Fri 28-Jun-13 15:14:27

Later on.

Lottapianos Fri 28-Jun-13 15:19:44

I'm really sorry to hear that CailinDana sad MN is like a nest of vipers sometimes but there are some fantastic people around. I'm glad you're feeling better and hope that DD is doing well smile

CailinDana Fri 28-Jun-13 15:23:39

Dd is a stroppy little cutie, doing fab thanks lotta. Doesn't bother with silly things like sleeping or taking a bottle but other than that is just gorgeous, and ds is so kind to her, it's really sweet.

Ruby1080 Fri 28-Jun-13 22:15:01

SonShines - if only you were as precious about apostrophes as you are about "TV's".

justabigdisco Fri 28-Jun-13 22:21:06

heidihole can we have a link to these WHO guidelines that you mention?


Why on earth so much tv? She is 5 months - she cannot cause havoc in that time.

<dons flame proof suit>

I will also add, I have two DCs and my youngest (18 months) doesn't watch tv while my eldest (3) does. I won't let dd until she's a bit older. It's easy to do.

Tv for babies is so lazy. It's beyond belief quite frankly.

<stands firm>

primallass Fri 28-Jun-13 22:37:07

Stand as firm as you like. Until you have experience every child how do you know what is easy to do?

Not stick them in front of the tv for a start. It's te duration that gets me. Up to 90 mins at a time? We're not talking a few mins at a time here. That is shocking.

mrstigs Fri 28-Jun-13 22:41:21

Can I start by saying I have no deep feelings on tv watching by other people's children. I don't think it makes you either an especially good parent or a particularly bad one.
I used the tv loads with ds and dd1, had it on almost constantly at one point, even if noone was watching it.
Then we went on holiday and went cold turkey. grin And once the dependence was broken I realised that we didn't need it, and the background chatter wasn't really necessary. The kids can entertain themselves just fine without it after all. That was nearly three years ago and other than the odd kids film my kids don't watch tv at all (they are 7,5 and 1), it's not forbidden as such, just not thought about.
Obviously the amount of tv the OP watches is nothing like the amount I had on. I was just thinking that I would have also thought the idea of keeping several kids amused and controlled without the tv inthinkable several years ago, but now I don't even think about it. Reckon it's an addiction or dependence of some sort?

Signet2012 Fri 28-Jun-13 22:49:00

Dd is 10 months old and has the tv on from after tea (5) until bath time (6). It's usually baby tv or cbeebies depending what's on. I don't think it's an issue. I'm not leaving her stuck in front of it. I talk to her as we are watching it and repeat things or sing along to the songs. It's good for killing the half hour between her finishing her tea and her going into her bed routine without her getting cranky.

I put it on at other times if I see something I think she will like. There is one in particular that has children looking at animals and again I talk to her about it. She probably doesn't understand but its communication.

more concerned that she gets visibly excited and dances to neighbours theme tune

happyfrogger Fri 28-Jun-13 23:02:21

working9while5 how lucky for your HI DS to have a speech therapist mummy! My 14 mo DD also has a moderate bilateral loss, how fantastic he has your expert knowledge on tap daily! (We love our speech therapist)

We don't do much TV in our house but we do put on a lot of songs etc via the iPad. 9 times out of 10 we sing along and do actions together so its more interactive than giving me time to do something without a limpet - but sometimes I wonder if she may be hooked... It also comes in very handy as a distraction when dinner is not going down well or I need to nip and run her bath...

pigletmania Fri 28-Jun-13 23:16:50

All this too much tv is fuss over nothing IMO. Dd 6 has asd and is a visual learner, and learned all her colours, shapes and phonics from Micky Mouse clubhouse and mr men, despite me trying to teach her myself, she responded better to this medium. In the early days it used to be te only thing that would calm her mealtdwns down. Now aged 6 she hardly watches it, prefers to play outside and make things. Ds 17 months is not really into it really. As a youngster I watched copious mounts of tv alongside playing and activities (you can't entertain a child 24/7), I cannot think what damage it has done to me, I have good graduate and postgrad degrees,and I think that my brain is not completely dead. You pick your battles.

pigletmania Fri 28-Jun-13 23:20:24

I am not saying put them in front of the tv all day, but some tv in the day is not a bad thing at all. I used to take dd shopping, baby groups, park, read etc, but you cannot entertain them every waking minute of the day

I agree to some extent piglet. My 3 year old watches tv every day. But a 5 month old baby watching for over an hour seems wrong to me.

pigletmania Fri 28-Jun-13 23:24:28

Creature my dd would cry from 9-9 everyday, sometimes it was the only thing to calm her, ds does not have asd and is just not fussed about tv

pigletmania Fri 28-Jun-13 23:24:54

Ds is 17 monts old

pigletmania Fri 28-Jun-13 23:25:40

Dd dies not care for tv now much, only if sets really tired a bit before bed

quesadilla Fri 28-Jun-13 23:28:03

I think there is a lot of quite silly hysteria about this. The guidelines are there as a sensible preventative attempt to warn people not to bombard their kids with it but there is no convincing evidence yet of significant damage done to kids by moderate exposure to TV.

It's just common sense really isn't it? If you dump your baby in front of it for hours on end its not great: is not fostering an interest in other activities etc. But millions of babies/toddlers are exposed to it without real harm.

An hour/two hours of supervised watching a day in the context of a life packed with other stimuli isn't going to harm a kid IMHO. Fretting about it endlessly will probably be worse.

yakisoba Fri 28-Jun-13 23:39:09

I generally feel there is no harm in small amounts of TV for babies/toddlers. My baby DS seems enthralled by anything on the TV, so maybe what they watch is as important as how much. As illustrated by this fascinating clip:

Yes I had two crying clingy babies. Low point was when dd woke every twenty mins at night - I had a toddler to look after as well. I used tv for toddler but not the baby. 2.5 hours a day for a five month is loads. I won't be budged on that.

Wishfulmakeupping Sat 29-Jun-13 07:27:09

That's me told then god feel like shit now thanks Creature
Guess I'll be taking my dd out all day every day then. I am trying my best

Wishfulmakeupping Sat 29-Jun-13 07:28:50

Sorry meant to say generally thanks for the advice people

pigletmania Sat 29-Jun-13 07:42:00

Well creature you do what you have to do at te time. Yes it's lots but looking at dd now I can't or the life of me see how it's affected her! Yes she's Autistic, but has been since a newborn. I really don't know, you can't tell.

ABitLesMis Sat 29-Jun-13 08:07:00

The OP does say that it's not that amount of time in one block, just here and there for around 20 minutes.
I did exactly the same and my son and at 20 months now, he is way ahead of most children we meet of the same age with speech and communication.
I believe this is down to creating a good balance of activities throughout our day. Interacting with me, other adults, other children and a little bit of Peppa Pig! He also knows his way round my iPad and has learnt all his shapes and colours from one of the apps.

I have to take him to the supermarket which he hates sometimes...does that make me a bad mother too?

OP, you are doing a great job. Don't let some people on here make you feel that you are somehow failing your baby. You will put enough pressure on yourself without these comments from 'perfect' parents.

theodorakisses Sat 29-Jun-13 09:18:43

You should her some of the things that get picked up from Radio 4! I don't get it, why people think that absolutely everything should be educational, some of the dullest children I know have parents who only do educational food, games, clothes, etc.

IShallCallYouSquishy Sat 29-Jun-13 09:25:43

Our night time routine includes baby tv.

Cup of milk with 30 mins baby tv before bath. She loves watching the bright colours and jiggles to the music. I am worried one of her babbles is sounding more and more like "Peppa Pig" though!

Actually OP says up to 1.5 hours at a time. That's what I think is ridiculous. And people have commented to her in RL.

As for everything has to be educational - its not either/or. You can have no TV without trying to teach your kids at every turn. That's silly.

And anyway I'm not anti-TV - just think it's excessive having a baby watch tv for 1.5 hours at a time.

ABitLesMis Sat 29-Jun-13 11:47:53

Creature - She actually says in an additional post that the 1-1.5 hours is between 5am-10am and not all at once. This is NOT excessive.

GobbySadcase Sat 29-Jun-13 11:56:13

Blimey some people need to unclench...

mrsjay Sat 29-Jun-13 11:59:17

It wasnt all it once the telly time was going to be split

Indith Sat 29-Jun-13 12:05:16

At 5 months that's quite a lot. I've tended to keep my babies with me when getting ready. Bouncy chair on the bathroom floor while I shower, that sort of thing.

I confess my 15 month old does a little dance of joy when he hears the Octonauts theme tune grin. His older siblings are a little obsessed! These days he gets narked if I try to have a shower with him in the bathroom so he gets strapped in the pushchair in front of octonauts with his siblings instead blush. But that is just the length of one Octonauts and not an hour and a half! I wouldn't let my older ones watch that much TV either unless we were having a special treat of popcorn and a film.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sat 29-Jun-13 12:41:48

My TV is on pretty much all the time when someone is in the house. I have noticed though that the kids never seem that interested in it when its on, when its off however they want it on, but then it goes on, and they bugger off and do something else. Go figure confused

flatpackhamster Sat 29-Jun-13 12:49:54

Our one (8 months) watches Top Gear on Dave most days. Presumably that'll make some heads pop in disgust. grin

theodorakisses Sat 29-Jun-13 13:07:44

Flat pack, I love it! I love clarkson, I met him in Doha and he told me he liked my car! As I said, some of the stuff older ones pick up from radio 4 is far worse than a bit of peppa. Same in my house, tags on everywhere, even have a garden one but nobody actually seems to pay a great deal of attention

WafflyVersatile Sat 29-Jun-13 13:26:00

on a link to a study upthread it said that when tested toddlers that watched a lot of tv had 7 or 8 fewer words that ones that didn't.

Oh noes.

It's not possible to have the ideal childhood and that would look different to different parents anyway. You have to weigh up tv time with how much less stressed the mum feels if she manages to get some housework done in peace, for instance. Stressed mum also has a measurable effect on baby's well-being. And also many other variables.

theodorakisses Sat 29-Jun-13 13:34:33

What happened to those toddlers? Are they adults yet? Do they still have 7 or 8 less words? I haven't noticed any missing words in our house although please and sorry are few and far between after the age of 13

notanyanymore Sat 29-Jun-13 13:41:49

Oh OP what your doing sounds perfectly lovely. My youngest is 4.5 months and loves a bit of in the night garden while I put the older 2 to bed. Thinking about it we seem to have cbeebies on all day and the older 2 also love looking up mickey mouse cartoons on you tube and sometimes show them to ds3 too! However, they also spend loads of time on the trampoline, drawing, painting, in imaginative play, baking, reading stories etc as well as swimming, ballet and trips to the park weekly. So personally I don't feel guilty and couldn't give a toss what people think. And if its effected their development at all they must have been born fricking geniuses as they're both right at the top of where they should be developmentally. (Infact I'm pretty sure some of the number/letter knowledge they've got is from numtums and squigglet, cbeebies is perhaps better at explaining these things then I am!)

WafflyVersatile Sat 29-Jun-13 13:43:00

theodora they were all thrown off a cliff for failing the vocab test. sad

mrsjay Sat 29-Jun-13 13:47:45

Our one (8 months) watches Top Gear on Dave most days. Presumably that'll make some heads pop in disgus

YABU and a terrible parent to expose your poor baby to jeremy clarkson grin

charlottehere Sat 29-Jun-13 13:49:26

In my book it's fine. DS watches tv while I get on with essential bits and bobs. He is 7 months.

mrsjay Sat 29-Jun-13 13:51:01

I am not sure there is any difference in the colours and sounds on TV than the colours and sounds on an electronic toy , to a baby it is just the same

WafflyVersatile Sat 29-Jun-13 14:10:25

Not entirely. Toys are interactive and the baby learns about her effect on the world around her. That doesn't happen with tv, well not until they are old enough to operate the remote.

Sorry OP. I know we all try our best. But you did ask.

I missed the post where it said not all one one go, but I would cut down if it were me. It is an easy habit to get into - I certainly did with my oldest when his sister arrives.

somewherewest Sat 29-Jun-13 14:14:06

2hrs for a five month does seem quite a lot. Although I watched hours and hours from birth and now have a PhD (and the ability to recite the A-Team/Knightrider intros word for word grin), so I obviously survived...

PS 18mo DS had his first exposure to TV recently when he was sick and in need of distracting. He LOVED Top Gear

ShadowStorm Sat 29-Jun-13 15:45:26

It does sound like quite a lot of TV for a 5 month old. I think as a general rule, it's much better for babies and young children to be playing with toys or other people instead.

Although I don't think that small amounts of TV are harmful. I know I tend to put the TV on as a distraction for toddler DS when I'm doing things like cooking in the kitchen or wanting him to stay still for a nappy change.

pigletmania Sat 29-Jun-13 15:51:28

Shadow they can't play without r adults every waking miniute of the day! There are times when chores need to be done, or a baby cannot be soothed by anything else

Stripedmum Sat 29-Jun-13 16:22:04

I wouldn't

monicalewinski Sat 29-Jun-13 16:44:25

OP, I would carry on doing what you think works for you and your child. There is so much you should be feeling guilty for already and there's so much more guilt to look forward to throughout your child's life.
There is NOTHING you can do that will please everybody and there will always be a study somewhere that says you are damaging your child in some way.
OP, stop overthinking things and beating yourself up over nothing.

TreeLuLa Sat 29-Jun-13 16:47:58

Each to their own.

We don't have a TV and ours had no screen time until they were nearly 3.

I definitely wouldn't park a baby in front of the TV.

Thumbwitch Sat 29-Jun-13 17:12:47

You know, I was going to say YANBU and you're doing plenty of other stuff with your baby - and then I watched the TED lecture. And I've kind of changed my mind a bit. I still think the length of time you're doing it for isn't going to be that bad, as you're offsetting it with all the other stuff you do with your baby; but it's certainly made me think more about what I do with my 8mo.

MrsHoarder Sat 29-Jun-13 17:42:10

I save TV for illness/blood tests. Means my jobs take longer due to ds being underfoot, but that's life with a baby. At 5 months he sat and watched me happily from his bouncy chair or high chair.

TreeLuLa Sat 29-Jun-13 17:44:28

Thumbwitch which lecture? I would like to have a look!


sarahtigh Sat 29-Jun-13 17:57:30

I think the main problem with babies toddlers watching constant TV are possibly also watching inappropriate TV if the TV is on from 6am -11pm it is highly unlikely to be cbeebies all the time, also I think some TV is good for toddlers

I used to watch TV when breast feeding etc, personally I think subjecting a child to radio nursery rhymes all day is not particularly good either

OP my advice is do what suits you and ignore most opinions as part of being a mother is everyone thinking you are either doing it wrong or you could do it better

yakisoba Sat 29-Jun-13 19:07:30

TreeLuLa I don't want to answer for Thumbwitch but suspect she meant the link I referred to halfway down page 3. Apologies if that's incorrect! It's an interesting watch.....

Thumbwitch Sun 30-Jun-13 03:00:42

I certainly did mean that one, yakisoba. smile relinking for ease.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Sun 30-Jun-13 06:44:02

Cant she sit in a chair/swing and watch you? Plenty of time for watching tv when she's older

TreeLuLa Sun 30-Jun-13 07:48:36

Thanks both. I've watched it and agree, it is very interesting.

No evidence (yet) but I also wonder whether too much TV when young can be linked to ASD type issues.

I won't be surprised if screen time and ASD in some children is shown to be linked at some point soon.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 30-Jun-13 07:49:31

That seems really early to me and quite a long time. I don't think it encourages good habits.

Recommended advice is no TV until the age of 2.

SonShines Sun 30-Jun-13 08:09:59

The TED talk is excellent.

Babies just don't need TV. They do not need to be entertained 24hrs a day confused. There is such a thing as too much stimulation. If you need to get stuff done, do it whilst they sleep. If they don't sleep (or not for long enough) wear them in a sling, if they're grouchy lie them in the cot with some soothing music, if you have older siblings to keep busy as well, encourage them to 'read' to baby. Why is the default solution to all these problems put the Tv on?! It's a quick fix that will ultimately course more problems later...

Judyandherdreamofhorses Sun 30-Jun-13 08:12:55

My NSB, who is 1 next week, has just come to find me and signed 'More Baby' (Jake). Nothing else has motivated him to make a two word sentence yet. PFB didn't even see any TV until I was pregnant with this one and desperate for respite (she was almost 3). Now she watches quite a lot (iplayer, mostly octonauts), probably half an hour in total or a bit more. So DS watches too.

Will watch the TED lecture though and make myself feel bad!

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 30-Jun-13 08:28:22

Watched the ted video and do feel bad hadn't realised the impact of the type of TV watched. I think I feel like I constantly need to entertain my dd like I've said she's mainly out or we're doing something playing on mat/singing/reading so any time I needed to do something I was putting her in front of baby tv for a few mins I will try just putting her in chair without TV

Lottapianos Sun 30-Jun-13 08:33:42

That TED talk is great, he explains it brilliantly, especially the difference in the content of TV between the 70s and now.

pigletmania Sun 30-Jun-13 09:02:37

Sonshines you pick your battles, if your baby is crying 9-9 you are sleep deprived, and baby cannot be soothed a little tv will not hurt fgs! Ido those things for my ds who is not fussed about tv but for dd (asd) it did not wrk, the soothing strainers of Mick Mouse used to calm her. Now at 6 she hardly watches any tv, preferring to make stuff or play in the garden.

pigletmania Sun 30-Jun-13 09:17:49

I was reading a story about a 9-10 month with cancer and downs syndrome. She could only be soothed by watching Micky Mouse,, and it used to make her smile, so watched a lot of it when she was really ill. Would you judge!

working9while5 Sun 30-Jun-13 10:30:20

I think the more crucial thing here is that children do not need you to be perfect and make near perfect decisions and offer near perfect input all the time.

Most people put on the television for their children because they need a break. I totally agree that no baby needs that much stimulation but to be honest, I think we underestimate typical children's ability to self-select what's best for them to attend to in the environment.

A 5 month old isn't going to have the attention span to attend to 90 minutes of television, whether broken up or not. So while "watching television", they will also be looking at the lights, tracking you moving across the room, playing with their fingers, looking at the carpet etc. They are not going to be glued to the television. I've seen family members who have those Baby Einstein things etc and their babies don't sit transfixed. They tune in and tune out of that stimulus as they do with everything else.

I think to be honest it's a bigger issue when they're older and it can become addictive. When I was unwell with depression my 3 year old son got a lot more television than I would have chosen in my right state of mind and I could see the hook it had on him, even though he was doing other things: having time with me colouring/baking/going out/playing duplo/going out on his bikes. Yet I'm not going to beat myself up about having been where I was - I didn't choose it and when I was well we took steps to change it.

Everything in life is about balance. You're going to do certain things as a parent out of a need for your own space and that's not a sin or a travesty because actually self-care is a crucial factor in mental well-being and allowing you to be present and fully attuned the rest of the day. Kids used to be allowed wail in a playpen for hours, we don't do that now. At one point in history babies were put up on pegs! Every generation will have its "not great but not abusive" type of non-human "babysitter".

One of the hardest things about being a mother these days is the endless and relentless critical analysis of every single decision. This isn't mentally healthy and is its own suffering and detraction from being the mother you want to be. I wonder do people hear themselves when they start the Monty Python Yorkshiremen sketch: "well I had 7 under 5 and no husband and no money and severe depression and cancer and a disability and I managed to be a better mother than you by never putting on half an hour of television". Bully for you, lovies. Yours is the harder path, I see.. but my life is happening to me as Larkin said.
We're not mothers in Auschwitz or in the dumps of Brazil, it's true.. but that doesn't mean that we have to be self-flagellating every time we make a decision that wouldn't be made by The Perfect Mother. It's only a bit of television in a warm and loving stimulating environment with plenty of cuddles, kisses, naps and good food and an interested and loving mother. Honestly. It isn't heroin in the baby bottle.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 30-Jun-13 11:00:05

Well said.

Mycatistoosexy Sun 30-Jun-13 11:10:07

Well done working good points well made

Thumbwitch Sun 30-Jun-13 11:34:53

<<applauds working>>

GobbySadcase Sun 30-Jun-13 11:53:28

My kids had ASD from birth. No amount of TV or not would have made a difference and I find it offensive that people seek to blame parenting. Genetic causes are frequent, as in our case.

lola88 Sun 30-Jun-13 11:53:39

letting them watch Jeremy Kyle is bad letting them watch some cartoons is fine, I watched lots of tv and it didn't do me any harm

ASD linked to watching tv dear God I've heard it all now.

GobbySadcase Sun 30-Jun-13 12:03:28

I know. "My kid's perfect because I'm a perfect parent. Those kids have ASD therefore the parents did something wrong".

Lovely, that.

frissonpink Sun 30-Jun-13 12:14:13

Hmm. I think my 8 month old watches about the same, feeling guilty now!

Just a question though..

She will happily sit and play on her playmat though, and play with her toys.

Is is so wrong for the TV to me on for me to watch? Or are those anti TV people saying the tV should never go on in the house at all whilst a baby is awake?

Because if the TV isn't on at all, I'm sorry, I don't have the money to be out of the house all day! We go out for a walk in the pram most days. Tesco food shop one day a week. One baby class a week (that's honestly all we can afford)

People seem to forget that it costs money to go out!

Anyway. I grew up watching TV and have zillions of qualifications, so can't say it did me any harm ;) I do talk to my DD all day. I think that's the most important part.

Surely the anti tv officials mean, don't just leave your baby in front of the TV with nothing else going on?

Thumbwitch Sun 30-Jun-13 12:19:24

I think it's a bit of a jump to go from too much TV at a young age possibly contributing to A*D*D, to it possibly being linked to A*S*D. The first is, I think, quite possible - the latter, not so.
(and I wish that would format properly but it won't so you'll just have to pretend the middle letter is bold in each)

pigletmania Sun 30-Jun-13 13:24:55

Yes gobby my dd presented with Asd from birth how do you explain that! Judgy people much

pigletmania Sun 30-Jun-13 13:26:03

Sorry gobby I wasn't aiming at you but in agreement with you. Asd has nothing to do with blooming screen time and all to do with generic physical factors

Harryhairypig Sun 30-Jun-13 13:52:14

Once again thankful mine were babies before this 'they must not watch any tv for years' research came out so happily plonked mine in front of baby Einstein to get a break with no guilt when necessary for my sanity. And no long term harm. Workings post is wonderful. Just fib if anyone brings it up OP so you can't be judged.

5madthings Sun 30-Jun-13 14:02:55

If you read the thread she says that 1hr and a half is made up of 20mins here and there as she is doing stuff. Is 20mins whilst she has a shower and gets herself sorted, maybe ten mins whilst she is tidying etc then another bit whilst getting stuff ready to go out..

We didn't have a TV whilst ds1 was little, in fact both he and ds2 hardly watched TV at all, but ds4 certainly watched some as a baby and do did dd (no5). I can't remember with ds3 but no doubt he watched a bit with his siblings.

Its a balance and as long as she talks to and interacts with thge baby etc its fine. If you never talk to them/rarely interact with them then problems can follow.

As Cailin says its the environment as a whole not just one bit of it.

TreeLuLa Sun 30-Jun-13 16:46:26

I was very careful to put " in some cases"

Of course I know that most cases are genetic / other.

Apologies if I have caused offence.

monicalewinski Sun 30-Jun-13 17:31:51

working your post could have easily fitted into any number of threads I have read. There is so much pressure to be perfect, and to be constantly criticised by other mums on top, becomes all too much to live up to. Everything you said I wholeheartedly agree with.

Parker231 Sun 30-Jun-13 18:03:43

When DT's were tiny I had the news on the tv all the time for company. I didn't do baby groups (couldn't stand talking about whose baby could do what !) so the tv kept me sane with adult conversation ! The DT's went to nursery full time from 6 months old and tv ended up only being on for them at weekends. They're almost 16 now and watch what they want - my only rule is no tv at mealtimes.

CailinDana Sun 30-Jun-13 20:06:37

Tv causes asd? Seriously?? Treelula do you even know what asd is?

formicadinosaur Sun 30-Jun-13 20:07:44

Why don't you google the studies/research done. There is quite a bit and it will help make up your mind. We have never really bothered with baby TV. Never had the time or interest. My toddler watches about two hours a week. More if he is ill.

GobbySadcase Sun 30-Jun-13 20:34:34

That's right, because the tv picture reaches into your baby's brain and re-wires it.

Of course! Crikey why didn't I suss that before?

NB Autism is an organic structural disability of the brain. The brain is actually different from 'neurotypical' people and that is observable on scans.

Beatrixpotty Sun 30-Jun-13 21:01:34

I wouldn't put it on just for the baby(bit younger than yours) but he's growing up with cbeebies;it's on for a couple of hours a day for the older 2.
My eldest started watching TV at 19m when I had another one.Before that he wasn't that interested.
Sounds like you're doing plenty of other things anyway,I wouldn't worry about a bit of TV.

ukatlast Sat 06-Jul-13 05:53:55

Creatureretorts:'And anyway I'm not anti-TV - just think it's excessive having a baby watch tv for 1.5 hours at a time.'

The baby is free to 'check out' and choose to fall asleep or ignore lol.

I think tv is the lesser concern when you think how young toddlers are now given IPADS which were not around when mine were young.

CBeebies (alongside going out to Groups) was an absolute boon for toddler when I was morning sick with my second.

Also agree that it is fine for SAHMs to use Cbeebies etc more since they have much longer periods alone with baby/child.

issimma Sat 06-Jul-13 06:26:14

DD didn't watch any TV really until I was pregnant and rough as a dog with DC2. Then she watched LOADS. It's been cut right back now, and we try to not have it on after 9am. On rainy days and sleepless night days this goes out of the window.
DC2 is 7mo and I tend not to put it on just for him, but he watches if around while DD's watching. He gets plonked in the jumperoo, not sure if that's much better...

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