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Babies and Television

(54 Posts)
Zideq Thu 04-Aug-11 07:48:42


My DS is 7 weeks old while he doesn't really watch the television he sometimes stares at it etc. Is it harming his development in any way?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 04-Aug-11 08:06:48

I think at that young age it doesn't really matter that much. Once they can focus better and pay attention, it's best to restrict it for a number of reasons. Recommendations these days are towards the 'no TV until 2' end of the spectrum. But at 7 weeks, it's just sound and flickering images, so you're fine for a bit. I think we stopped having it on around DD when she hit aruond 12 weeks, but that's not scientific.

ScarlettCrossbones Thu 04-Aug-11 08:30:35

Sorry, Tortoise, I have to disagree. The minutes that he's looking at the flickering images on the screen are minutes when his brain is not being allowed to develop normally. I'm not trying to scaremonger, but there's all sorts of on scientific evidence around to support this if you have a google, and imo it's just not worth the risk exposing infants to it.

Taila Thu 04-Aug-11 08:31:03

My 2 yr old has been exposed to the television since she was born. I HATE silence and need noise in the background so I put it on. She perfectly healthy happy and bright little girl with NO problems focusing or any of that speculated nonsense people go on about with television.

She barely actually watches it now as its had the effect of 'over exposure'. she knows its there if she wants to watch it so she doesnt because she would rather be learning or playing. The biggest difference I have noticed with her 'compaired' to a few children I personally know is that they become zombies if they see a tv and their viewing is restricted to 'little as possible' where as my daughter with interact with the tv answering the questions and is easily taken away from the tv if there is something else that we are doing or she wants to do.

I should mention, I dont just put on anything. I only put on educational programs that are either in the form of 'fun educational' or documentaries. I personally would NEVER have something like 'In the night garden' on my tv, now that is a brain masher right there if you ask me! lol

So yeah at 7 weeks old, I think your little one is going to be ok. Use your best judgement. You will hear a lot about how it is bad but now you have also heard from a parent that believes its not bad.

Sirzy Thu 04-Aug-11 08:32:48

As long as he isn't sat in front of it all day every day it won't do any harm.

Ds is 21 months and loves watching a bit of tv, I restrict it (other than this week as he is recovering after an op) and it hasn't done him any harm! Intact he is great at signing thanks to mr tumble!

ScarlettCrossbones Thu 04-Aug-11 08:40:24

Sorry, Talia and Sirzy, the evidence says otherwise. Choose to expose your kids to TV at this age if you like - just don't delude yourself that it has no effect on them.

Sirzy Thu 04-Aug-11 08:42:14

I have read varying evidence and have made the decision that is right for us. The odd 20 mins here or there IMO will do no harm at all.

I have yet to meet any child (or adult!) damaged by occasional exposure to tv!

ScarlettCrossbones Thu 04-Aug-11 08:45:39

No, the odd 20 mins here and there probably won't, you're right, but sticking a 7-week-old in front of the telly is just asking for trouble.

tinker316 Thu 04-Aug-11 08:53:30

Can I ask what do u do with your DC all day??

Sirzy Thu 04-Aug-11 09:03:03

At what age tinker? At 7 weeks old it was mainly cuddles, play mat and sleep to be fair!

Now we do all sorts! Lots of time playing with cars and drawing, baking and just general out and about!

EBDteacher Thu 04-Aug-11 09:14:18

I have waybuloo, baby jake and dip dap on series link and put an episode on for 11mo ds occasionally if I want to do something else for a few minutes. It works for me to have things recorded because it stops at the end and there isn't the temptation to just leave it on.

I have to say ds loves the telly and does sit and watch most of an episode of waybuloo or a whole (shorter) baby jake or dip dap a bit like a 'zombie'. My nephew lives in a house where the telly is on for company and I think he is a bit more desensitised to it.

I quite often put on classical music and I have to say ds sits and listens to that (facing the speakers!) like a 'zombie' too but I don't think anyone would argue that's bad for his development!

I think it's about striking a balance as with everything- lots and lots of good, healthy childhood experiences and maybe a little bit of modern crap culture for convenience. grin

tinker316 Thu 04-Aug-11 09:20:28

My DD is 14mo-she goes nursery fir 2 days a week.
We try to go out & do various things, like to spend alot of time outdoors.
But with weather as it us today angry we will stay in & play with toys, she loves looking through books & the t.v will be on.
I have it as background noise wink
She takes notice of it when the few programmes she likes are on- but most of the time she is happy to at with her toys & run riot at home smile

worldgonecrazy Thu 04-Aug-11 09:25:00

We have avoided the TV, I dislike the way it 'hypnotises' small children, not scienctific but just something I dislike and our daughter will be going to a school that discourages TV. Having very little TV for the last two years, I am now starting to notice the benefits, such as not being pestered for the latest toy/merchandise which some of my daughter's peers are starting to do.

As a family we also are noticing the benefits of not automatically plonking ourselves in front of the TV every night. We sit, read and chat, play with our daughter. When she was younger we would carry her around with us when doing housework, and now at 19 months, she 'helps' out and loves copying whatever we are doing.

I know some mums use the TV as a sort of babysitter, to keep their children quiet whilst they get on with other stuff, housework, having a shower, etc. I didn' want to do this, but other parents choose to, and that is what is all about, personal choice.

Momo36 Thu 04-Aug-11 09:32:08

I posted the same Q on this forum some time ago. As a first time mum I would stick my little one (a few weeks old) in front of the tv for just a few minutes so that I could have a quick shower. She would stare at it and fall asleep. I then decided to do some research to make sure that it was OK to do this. ALL of it said that TV was not good for very small babies. It is not to do with getting addicted to it or anything like that but to do with the quick images that babies brains are not supposed to be processing at this age. I am sure that some babies who have 'watched' tv from birth are absolutely fine BUT why take the risk if there is any at all?

I stopped putting her in front of the tv and now when she is almost 10 months she watches 15 minutes of Baby TV from time to time. There are some people who would not allow any tv at this age and I can understand that too.

Your choice really. Good luck with your little one!

Sirzy Thu 04-Aug-11 09:38:57

Worldgonecrazy - to be fair doing those things are still perfectly possible with some tv thrown in aswell anyway. Ds loves "helping" with washing!

Zideq Thu 04-Aug-11 09:44:05

DS isn't really watching the TV it is just on while he is being fed etc. Occasionally he stares at it for periods but he isn't being dumped in front of it.

Zideq Thu 04-Aug-11 09:50:38

In her initial analysis, Schmidt found that babies who spent more time in front of the TV performed worse on language and motor-skill tests at age 3 than those who watched less. But once Schmidt and her team controlled for other factors — the mother's educational status and household income — the relationship between TV-viewing and cognitive development disappeared. That means that TV-viewing alone did not appear to influence babies' brain development; a parent's education and finances mattered more. "Initially it looked like TV-viewing was associated with cognitive development," says Schmidt, "but in fact TV-viewing is an outgrowth of other characteristics of the home environment that lead to lower test scores."

Read more:,8599,1882560,00.html#ixzz1U33d5ydw

Taila Thu 04-Aug-11 09:53:23

You would be suprised what sort of things children at that age pick up on. For example, the tv while on isnt especially loud (as I said in previous post its only for background noise) My daughter from the other room will answer Mickey Mouse when he asks how many beans he has all together if he adds say 5 beans and 3 beans.

ScarlettCrossbones - With any scientific evidence you have to consider the variables involved in the research, what were the circumstances surrounding the children they studied? Im in no way saying the research is invaild, personally for me though I will only take it as another opinion on the subject. Its much like the research that every other week something else causes cancer or is found to not actually cause cancer. Science is based on fact that is known for the time, ie the world was once known to scienctifically be proven as flat.

ScarlettCrossbones Thu 04-Aug-11 09:56:45

Zideq, it really doesn't matter if it's "just on" and they're "not really watching it". The fast flickering images, even at the periphery of their vision, upset the neural connections that their brains are making at this age - more quickly than at any other time in their lives - and just the fact of them being exposed to TV is, as others have said, a risk not worth taking. If you have the TV on while feeding them lunch, turn them away from it. They don't need it in any shape or form. It may placate them, but it also hypnotises them and stunts their mental development.

I'm sorry to bang on about it but it's one of my pet hates on here: someone says "Is TV bad for my baby?" and the replies are like: "I don't think it does any harm"; " In my opinion it doesn't make a difference" etc etc - well, a huge body of scientific research has shown that it does. So, in my opinion grin, y'all are deluding yourselves and choosing not to believe the evidence.

Can you imagine the responses if someone asked "Will a bottle of Coke a day do my 10-month-old any harm" and the first few replies said "Well, I don't think so, this is what my DS had and he still has all his teeth. It's fine, go for it!"

And breathe. grin

Zideq Thu 04-Aug-11 09:57:58

It has been know since the middle ages that the world is not flat it is a common myth.

Flowerface Thu 04-Aug-11 10:01:12

Scarlett, could you provide a link to some of 'huge body of scientific research'?

Zideq Thu 04-Aug-11 10:01:57

Can you show me the research as the link I posted seems to disagree.

FjorgynAndHotWater Thu 04-Aug-11 10:10:31

For those of you who just want the telly on for background noise, why not put the radio on???

Taila Thu 04-Aug-11 10:14:43

Zideq- LOL! My point exactly. One day its one thing the next its something completely different! I will be honest I havent kept up with my flat earth research since about middle school so Im a bit rusty. grin

ScarlettCrossBones- my mentally stunted 2 year old is currently watching videos on an ipad that are teaching her to read and the shocking part its working wink

Taila Thu 04-Aug-11 10:23:03

FjorgynAndHotWater- Unless it is Heavy Metal or Classical music there arent any educational properties to having the radio on.

For us having music on is totally for jam sessions and dancing around the house like we are crazy people who have been chewing on some form of purple mushroom.

For the reference, I dont know the exact details but I understand that Heavy Metal and Classical are based on the same types of sounds that cause the brain to be 'free' and 'open' to developement.

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