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Is baby tv OK?

(35 Posts)
Momo36 Fri 10-Jun-11 15:20:49

Hello

My dd is 7 months and I am looking for some opinions regarding watching baby tv. She loves to watch it, laughs and talks to herself whenever I put it on for her. I limit is to about 15/20 mins (usually when I jump in a shower) but am not sure if she should be watching it at all?? Am I creating a habit? Can this have a negative effect on her development? As a first time mummy I'm looking for honest opinions please!

theDudesmummy Fri 10-Jun-11 15:39:39

My DS has watched a little Baby TV every day since he was a few months old, he is now 2 and it is limited to about 20 minutes in the evening while I get his supper ready etc. I would be interested in other people's opinions on this too. DS really enjoys some of the programmes (the Tinies in particular) and they can be effective in calming him down if he is a bit wound up.

Occasionally also have used the calming music and patterns stuff they have on in the middle of the night! He will lie on a cushion and watch it and go back to sleep.

DialMforMummy Fri 10-Jun-11 16:10:32

I don't know if it can have a negative impact on your DC but I am pretty sure it can't have a positive one.
Why do you want her to watch TV anyway?

theDudesmummy Fri 10-Jun-11 16:14:30

My DS finds it both funny and calming, it can work to stop a tantrum faster than anything else.

Momo36 Fri 10-Jun-11 16:19:54

To be honest it is for when she hits the twilight grumpy zone in the eve and so I can run her a bath quickly etc. Guilty as charged..

theDudesmummy Fri 10-Jun-11 16:21:57

Yes exactly that for me too, can make his supper etc. I always play with him and read to him first when I get home from work, though.

theDudesmummy Fri 10-Jun-11 16:26:15

PS we are not a big TV watching family, it only gets put on sometimes, if we want to watch something specific or the news, certainly not always on in the background etc.

worldgonecrazy Fri 10-Jun-11 16:29:38

Don't like it but I'm one of those weird people who doesn't watch a lot of TV anyway. DD always came in the bathroom with me at that age and would sit playing with toys whilst I showered.

DialMforMummy Fri 10-Jun-11 16:31:15

I can see where you are coming from, but I feel a bit funny about putting babies in front of the telly.
However I don't feel funny watching crap on the telly myself!
TV is sometimes in the background in our house but DS never faces it. I think that if, this young, one uses TV to chill out babies, you can end up in a vicious circle where they are going to get grumpy SO they can watch TV IYSWIM.

swanker Fri 10-Jun-11 16:38:40

I would put DC in the bathroom with some toys while I showered tbh- they can see you, can see what showering is, you can talk to them etc. Most of the time I let mine play with the bath toys, as they're already in the bathroom, and they liked playing with them so much!

I personally don't think exposure to television is a good thing for babies- there are so many other ways to stimulate them if you want to, and better ways to distract them while you do things too.

No-one in our house watches television at all.

theDudesmummy Fri 10-Jun-11 16:48:55

I grew up with no TV at all (was not available until I was 14), and have never been a very avid TV watcher, generally prefer to read and would very much want DS to feel that too

BUT he does chuckle and laugh and dance about to some of the BabyTV songs etc, and I can't believe it is doing him any harm in 20 minutes or so? He is not allowed to watch any other channels (have tried him on CBeebies but he is not interested).

DuelingFanjo Fri 10-Jun-11 16:57:45

don't any of you have the tv on in the background while your baby is around? Ddn't you even during the first few weeks?

Madreamer Fri 10-Jun-11 17:04:25

Baby TV is on most evenings in my house as a background noise. DS is not at all mesmerised by it, but he does occasionally turn around and watch it. He prefers playing with car, ball, cat way more than Baby TV and I keep it on for that reason, ie; to normalise it and help him continue to ignore it as he grows older as my DN was so mesmerised by first viewing TV at 6 yrs of age as she had never seen it when young. Dont know if it will work though!

winnybella Fri 10-Jun-11 17:06:17

DD watched Baby TV as we are a trilingual family in France and I thought it would be good for her English (as she spent all day with me who spoke only Polish to her). I am afraid that often it was a bit longer than 20 minutes a day. I think she watched it from when she was over a year old.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that at 2.5 she is a lively, adventorous child, who speaks (at a toddler level, obv.) 3 languages, loves books, running in the park etc and at her last pediatrician appt. she was deemed to be 'advanced' in quite few areas (obv. that doesn't mean anything, but just to illustrate my point about tv not having been a damaging influence on her).

I think as long as your DD gets plenty of interaction with you and others, goes outside everyday and is allowed to run (when she's older) and has lots of books and toys that stimulate imagination etc, she'll be totally fine. I don't see how TV can be damaging, unless the child watches it to the exclusion of everything else.

Mummyloveskisses Fri 10-Jun-11 21:06:13

I am 100% with Winnybella... I especially love the last phrase I don't see how TV can be damaging, unless the child watches it to the exclusion of everything else.

My DD is 3.5yrs and is exactly the same as winnybella's DD (is it a girl thing?) She didn't watch TV until she was about a year old and quite often longer than 20 minutes but she loves books, walking, parks, being creative and at her 3 year check she was marked as 4.5yrs across the board.....

I am very impressed with your DD's 3 languages WB x

skybluepearl Fri 10-Jun-11 21:11:07

Theres quite a lot of research on the topic if you google it. i think mostly they recommend no TV for a baby and only half an hour or an hour for a child of two. I don't bother with TV myself, find it too boring. My older kids have a total of one hours screen time but often we are busy doing other things.

MovingAndScared Fri 10-Jun-11 21:23:32

well my boys have always watched TV - mainly cbeebies and now cbbc - older one has great language skills etc, little one seems fine - I would say if it works for you do it

Eveiebaby Fri 10-Jun-11 22:36:14

I really would not worry about 20 minutes per day - out of 24 hours a day is it really such a big deal? Obviously if it were longer that would be different.

Momo36 Sat 11-Jun-11 09:32:51

Thank you for all the input. She's by no means glued to the tv and we do other things all day. Having said that I will try to engage her otherwise and only have the baby tv on occasionally. I know that to many this may sound like a silly excuse but with a baby that rarely takes long naps I'm simply exhausted at the end of the day - and baby tv keeps her still for a bit smile.

Samvet Sat 11-Jun-11 09:57:34

Moma - I totally understand - I do the same and I cannot see the problem with a little waybaloo of an evening if the rest of the time we are playing and talking to them. I have given up feeling guilty about it tbh as there are enough other things to feel guilty about!

WriterofDreams Sat 11-Jun-11 10:19:44

My first career (before teaching) was as a developmental psychologist. Believe me if 20 minutes of tv a day could really change a child's behaviour or development, developmental psychologists would be using it all the time! Physiologically it's not possible for that small amount of exposure to do anything to anyone. The only danger with tv is if parents literally never interact with their children and plonk them in front of it for the whole day. Even then, children learn quite a lot from tv so it's a far better situation to have a child in front of a tv than in a quiet room all day. There is a huge amount of weird scaremongering out there about tv that I think is leftover from the when tv first came out and was seen by many as "another way for mothers to neglect their children." From a developmental point of view the outcome of watching small amounts of tv is actually quite positive - it teaches children new vocabulary, encourages them to pay attention for sustained periods, helps them develop a sense of narrative through stories, exposes them to new ideas and people and so on. Long long periods are obviously not good but 20 minutes is a tiny amount of time!

Bumperlicioso Sat 11-Jun-11 10:30:54

I wouldn't at that age (though it wouldn't stop me watching my own tv!). But I must admit to my 3 year old watching more than she should blush

I appreciate it is exhausting op, but at 7 mo I wouldn't put her specifically in front of the tv. How about the radio or some music instead?

Bumperlicioso Sat 11-Jun-11 10:34:03

madreamer I understand your logic but I think tv as background noise can be quite damaging for young children. It's distracting, and can interfere with their hearing and concentration. I know I get v distracted by tv. I'd rather it be on if dd is watching it but if she is not then it is off.

monkoray Sat 11-Jun-11 17:13:49

Momo, its not a silly excuse its actually a well thought out response to needing some time to rest. Babies are going to be happier with parents who aren't so knackered that they are grumpy and snappy. If 20 minutes of baby tv gives you the rest you need that can only be a good thing for you dc.
And hurrah for writerofdreams for wading in with some useful facts.

superjobeespecs Sat 11-Jun-11 17:22:18

my DD didnt watch anything on tv till she was over 2 as a woman i worked with was shocked i didnt let her, i lamented and she watched in the night garden nightly till around 4 yo and is now seriously obsessed with cartoons. i wish i'd never let her watch a damn thing now i like having the radio on the pc OH watches sports and the news the rest of the time tv is off. unfortunately DD is now 6 and can work the remotes for our tv in the bedroom sad

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