Did screen time affect your baby’s development? B

(23 Posts)
ToHellinahandbasket Fri 08-Jan-21 13:23:24

I’m struggling at the moment. Have a one year old and a seven year old and I’m trying to home school the eldest while working and also entertaining the youngest.
Nursery closed, no one to childcare bubble with.
DH working full time.

As a result one year old is getting a lot of screen time sad he used to get 15 minutes if that but at the moment he’s really clingy (not long had his injections) and the only way to stop him standing at the side of the playpen and screeching at me is to put something on the tv.

Usually I would entertain him but I’m trying to get other DS to focus and also do work myself as well.

I was on a video call to my sister last night and she was really judging about how much screen time he’s having (probably about two hours a day) as he’s not yet pointing, talking or walking and she said it’s likely because he watches so much tv.

He can cruise and babble and crawl like a speed demon and walks speedily with his Walker so he’s not really behind. His communication isn’t there yet but he understands commands and some questions, responds to his name etc.

I just feel really down. It’s like in order to make sure one of them is learning I’m sacrificing the development of the other.

I was trying to do the schooling when DS Naps but since his jabs his naps are all over the place.

Did you let your baby watch tv? Did it end up okay development wise?

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LaPoesieEstDansLaRue Fri 08-Jan-21 13:58:35

Ignore judgy sister. We're not living in normal times and you, along with everyone else, are doing your best. Yes, my DD watched TV as a baby (honestly can't remember how much, probably varied quite a bit) and is now a perfectly well balanced, intelligent, normal 13 yo!

blackcat86 Fri 08-Jan-21 14:03:33

Absolute crap. Unless its hour upon hour then he'll be fine. I ended up using far too much tv for then 18 month old DD in the march lockdown as were both working from home and she actually started learning to count and do shapes way ahead of time thanks to hey duggee. Do what you have to. Remember that babies are raised across the world in far worse conditions than a little too much screen time. If he is loved and interacted with he will be just fine. Tell your sister to fuck off to. You don't need the extra judgment.

ToHellinahandbasket Fri 08-Jan-21 14:20:20

Thank you so much I have been feeling AWFUL about it all day. He’s at the later end of when he should be doing things if that makes sense but always seems to get there in his own time so I wasn’t worried about his development at all.
Whereas older DS I’m worried about as he’s really gone into himself after the first lockdown.

I always make sure he’s watching baby appropriate things for his age. He loves nursery rhymes especially (I loathe little baby bum but it does the job) and I try to space it out with moving him around different rooms, playing time, going for walks, going in his Walker in the kitchen etc but there’s only so much you can do.

He’s also incredibly grumpy and clingy since his jabs which is making life so much harder! Especially since if he’s in his playpen if I’m around he has no interest in them and wants to be held by me instead

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LaPoesieEstDansLaRue Fri 08-Jan-21 14:21:21

I've just remembered one of DD's earliest words was a version of "Upsy Daisy" so think she must have watched quite a lot of TV as a baby 😉 And as I said in previous post, she's fine!

CouchPommeFrite Fri 08-Jan-21 14:22:46

Ds2 used to wake up at 5.30am and I would pop him in our bed and put on Baby TV, he wasn't older than 18 months. That was so he didn't wake his brother who was in school and I didn't want him to be overtired.

He is now almost 15 years old and academically very smart and in the top 5 children in each class. I also have a disability which meant I was stuck on the sofa for periods at a time, both my sons watched Tv.

Stop telling your judgey sister anything, your child not doing stuff is not because he watched a couple of hours of tv a day. Your child sounds perfectly normal. Ds1 walked on his first birthday, decided it was too hard and resorted to crawling again. If I didn't have it on video people would have said I was lying. Ds2 never crawled, more lurched forward one lurch at a time. Luckily I had supportive friends and family who had older children than me and told me some children are raised in crack dens. Not ideal but certainly worse than a bit of tv.

IfTheSockFits Fri 08-Jan-21 14:25:16

My dd watched a lot of Teletubbies and I'm convinced that those little films in the middle helped her learn her colours and shapes far earlier than she would have done otherwise.


ToHellinahandbasket Fri 08-Jan-21 14:26:09

Thank you, I hope I’m not coming across as judgey as I’m really not.
I don’t think it helps that my niece is 18 months and has never watched tv. They don’t have it on if she’s in the room and are very strict on it.

But god it’s hard at the moment is it. I’m just worn down by everything and all normal rules no longer apply in our house!

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Goatscheesewithhoney Fri 08-Jan-21 14:48:59

My toddlers (three very close in age) spent a lot of time watching tv, especially Peppa pig - far far more than would be recommended. There were reasons for this at the time.

They were all early talkers and people used to comment on how well and clearly they spoke. Peppa played a part in this I think!

They have developed well and are exceeding expectations in all areas at school (not that stuff like that actually matters, but just to illustrate that their academic progress wasn’t affected). They are also happy and sociable and seem quite undamaged by the early overdose of CBeebies.

Primary age now and for the last three days they have parented themselves with tablets while I am working.

Last time I checked in on them, even they’d become bored of Roblox and were learning Chinese on an app they’d downloaded themselves. So it all works out in the end grin

ToHellinahandbasket Fri 08-Jan-21 14:52:26

Thank you @Goatscheesewithhoney your post and the others on here have made me feel so much better

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ALightFromTheShadows Fri 08-Jan-21 14:52:29

He's 1...but is that 1 and 1 mo, or 1 and 11mo?

Valkadin Fri 08-Jan-21 15:02:42

Your sister sounds like a miserable cow. If she is going to be a wooden toy, no screens, organic cotton clothes woven by hand with an ancient loom , shoes made by a Guatemalan collective from recycled tyres type then let her, I say each to their own but unless it’s genuinely harmful like your getting your child to sleep by giving them bottles of vodka tell her to fuck off.

As a word of warning DH cousins were raised in a household like this as soon as they were released from their hair shirt purgatory they became MC Donald’s eating pissheads trying every drug they could for a while at University when they first left home.

I will tell you how bad a parent I am I not only allowed gaming from a young age I actually gamed with both my dc. They both did very well at school, never in trouble, respectful and well rounded.

SarahAndQuack Fri 08-Jan-21 15:02:50

I realised reading the thread on here about 1960s parenting that lots of us, and our mums and grannies before us, probably spend hours in a pram gazing up at trees or whatever.

In all honesty, I bet it's the same.

MummaBear4321 Fri 08-Jan-21 15:09:21

Utter rubbish, and I used to severely limit DDs tv time. I was so careful about screens, and I did loads of engaging activities, baby groups, nct meetups, forest walks, crafts, book reading, the lot. I was frigging super mum. On the opposite side my SIL stuck her DS in front of the tv at any opportunity, never went anywhere, barely played with him, didnt really read to him. My DD is now 2 and doesnt speak bar a few words, didnt crawl til 14 months, didnt walk til 21 months, and is generally 'behind' in nearly all her milestones (although her comprehension is fantastic). My SILs son was walking by 14 months and talking in full sentences by 2. He is miles ahead of her (they are both the same age).

Its bull. You can do whatever and they will reach their milestones in their own time regardless. Ignore your DS.

ToHellinahandbasket Fri 08-Jan-21 15:31:34

You’re all so lovely thank you so much. I’m exhausted and feeling like a failure in the first week of home schooling and this thread and your replies have helped so much.
It was easier before as DS was only a couple of months old. He’s only just turned one to the poster that asked so is still quite small.

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ALightFromTheShadows Fri 08-Jan-21 15:34:55

If he's only just turned 1, really, really do not worry about the talking/walking yet!
Perfectly normal not to do either yet, so don't feel bad about that. Lots don't talk until they're over 18mo.

ToHellinahandbasket Fri 08-Jan-21 15:39:02

Thank you @ALightFromTheShadows I hadn’t been, but after that conversation I was! He does things in his own time, always has and as long as I’m seeing a bit of progress I try not to obsess. Learned that with older DS.
But older DS didn’t really have much TV and it just made me feel like I was potentially damaging the little one 🙈

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SarahAndQuack Fri 08-Jan-21 15:50:26


You’re all so lovely thank you so much. I’m exhausted and feeling like a failure in the first week of home schooling and this thread and your replies have helped so much.
It was easier before as DS was only a couple of months old. He’s only just turned one to the poster that asked so is still quite small.

You are absolutely not a failure!

It's a rotten time at the moment. I wonder if your sister is taking things out on you a bit, with her own stress.

modgepodge Fri 08-Jan-21 15:56:08

I just can’t get to wound up about it, especially at the moment. My daughter is coming up 2 and during the first lockdown had hours and hours of tv each day as we were both working. Thankfully CM has stayed open this time so she is spending more days doing fun/educational activities this time. But to be honest, the days with me there’s a still a fair amount of tv. Today we went out for a walk for 2 hours, she was freezing when we got home so not sure we could have been out longer. She’s c,imbed on her indoor frame, we’ve done some magic painting and aqua doodle, we’ve read about 10 books...but there’s not much else to do. The tv buys me some peace and quiet and I refuse to feel guilty about it!!

NoJetter Fri 08-Jan-21 16:18:03

I have a similar experience to @MummaBear4321

My eldest had limited tv, lots of groups, activities, one on one interaction, lots of books read to him. He was late with pretty much every milestone. His speech was very delayed. He only started putting 2 words together at 2.5 and even now at 3.5 some of his speech is unclear.

Along came ds2 when ds1 was 18 months. Having 2 under 2 was not easy and ds2 was left in a bouncer in front of cbeebies much, more more than I’d like and never had the level of one on one interaction ds1 had. I think he was pretty much ignored and put the sling until he was about 9 months as I was so busy juggling the 2 of them 😂. So I was very surprised when he started talking in full sentences at 15 months. They are all so different and unless they are being completely neglected I really doubt a bit of screen time makes much difference.

My mum was a sahm in the 80s and I don’t remember her interacting with me very much. I think I was mostly left to my toys and watching videos while she got on with the housework.

ToHellinahandbasket Fri 08-Jan-21 16:36:42

Thank you for sharing. I’m going to try not to feel guilty about it. We can only do what we can do at the moment!

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CatFaceCats Fri 08-Jan-21 17:05:48

My 2 were a year and 5 days apart and probably spent too much time in front of screens!
My youngest was reading by age 3. He is in P4 now and does P7 maths.
My daughter is a wonderful artist and loves reading.
As long as you’re not propping them in front of the TV all day, every day and actually not interacting with them, I don’t see the issue especially just now!

ToHellinahandbasket Fri 08-Jan-21 18:35:07

Thanks @CatFaceCats we do a lot of reading and playing (when he doesn’t want to climb me) and singing and bouncing in the bouncer etc it’s just at the moment I have my hands full and baby sensory or baby club or whatever makes it so much easier to manage

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