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TV on around 4 month old?
33

Mozerellla · 11/05/2022 11:12

Is this okay?? I take him out 2-3 classes a week but other days I have the tv on as we have a reactive dog so we don’t want complete silence or she barks when she hears a car door shut!!!

our house is open plan downstairs so it’s literally one room downstairs

is this okay I panicked as I read they shouldn’t have screen time until they’re 2? But sometimes I put kid stuff on and sing and laugh with him he seems to watch it and enjoy it

i feel really guilty

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Mozerellla · 11/05/2022 11:14

Sometimes I just play music so we have sound but no images or anything on it’s just the song playing on the telly (only the album over as an image nothing else)

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ElmtreeMama · 11/05/2022 13:49

Hm I'd be interested to know people's thoughts on this too!

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MGee123 · 11/05/2022 13:50

Could you put a radio on instead? Personally I wouldn't have the tv on all day regardless of whether I had a 4 month old in the house! We haven't really done any screen time with our daughter yet (9 months). I'm not against it in moderation and in managed scenarios where it is on for x programme and then turned off, but I probably wouldn't want to get into the habit of being on all the time.

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Flavourflava · 11/05/2022 13:55

Screen time advice was developed in an attempt to prevent children being sedentary/shoved in front of tablets all day, rather than evidence of any specific harm caused by them seeing TVs.

It's just having the TV on, you're not giving him crack, take it easy on yourself.

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ShadowPuppets · 11/05/2022 13:56

I think there’s a big difference between TV that’s aimed at entertaining little one versus TV aimed at you. I was really weird about it when DD was little and as a result spent a lot of time when she was breastfeeding bored out of my mind because I didn’t have the attention span to read, but didn’t want to have a screen on!

I’m not a fan of TV on constantly (it is at my parents’ and drives me mad!) but I think the benefit of keeping you sane via having the radio on or TV on for a bit is worth it while you’re the only adult with a non-verbal little one on mat leave.

Wouldn’t have it on all day and as PP say the radio is a good alternative, but it’s not like you’re sticking DC in front of brightly coloured cartoons with a view to them actually watching, which is more what I think the screen time guidance cautions against.

Would also make sure it’s off when you’re reading together so that they can start to pick up language without distractions.

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ShirleyPhallus · 11/05/2022 13:58

The issue with screen time is that they don’t get any reaction back to what they’re doing so it isn’t as easy for them to learn

If you’re doing loads of stuff with them anyway then the TV being on isn’t going to harm them at sll

Its an issue if you use the TV to babysit them instead, but at 4 months I often watched some TV while breastfeeding or something. Perfectly fine

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Hugasauras · 11/05/2022 13:59

I watched my own stuff loads when DD was still potato baby phase! Boxsets and stuff while she was feeding etc. I didn't really put stuff on for her at all at that age except for an emergency dancing fruit and veg video on my phone in the car when she was raging, and she never seemed interested in my boring shows. If it's just background noise I would use radio or something anyway as kids' tv/music on for hours a day would drive me slowly insane.

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Flavourflava · 11/05/2022 14:00

Would add I think one of the nicest parts of Mat Leave is being busy doing nothing. Me and my baby watched Bridgerton when she was about 6 months and she chuckled every time there was snogging. Bit of Pointless before tea. Snuggly film afternoon if it was rainy. She was an early walker, talker and loves books and...busyness.

Really, it's just the TV.

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nearlyspringyay · 11/05/2022 14:02

I had the tv on all the time when I had Dts at that age, turn them away from it, they don't have to 'watch' it. It wasn't something I was bothered about at all. A bit different if you're sticking them in front of CBeebies all day any interacting with them.

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Flittingaboutagain · 11/05/2022 14:02

I'm personally following the guidelines about no TV before 2. I have the radio on if I want company apart from baby when at home. There's nap times or night time for TV when baby is older.

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Amichelle84 · 11/05/2022 14:03

I think the difference is having the TV on for you and the TV being used to entertain them.

Our TV is always on and my son never took notice until recently and he's nearly 2. All he used to watch was in the night garden before bed time.

His cousins introduced him to other kids tv things and he got obsessed wanting it all the time. I've cut out 1 particular show now as I won't deal with his tantrums when it's not on.

I now put on music or turn the telly off for a bit bit I think when they are that young it won't matter.

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Motherland101 · 11/05/2022 14:13

I honestly don't see any issue with having the TV on when you are home. We never really limited screen time though - admittedly, we were / are out a lot and have always had plenty of stuff going on away from home but it truly has saved my sanity during some meal times, dinner prep and on those "I'm about to give up!" days.

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ShadowPuppets · 11/05/2022 14:15

Would add I think one of the nicest parts of Mat Leave is being busy doing nothing. Me and my baby watched Bridgerton when she was about 6 months and she chuckled every time there was snogging. Bit of Pointless before tea. Snuggly film afternoon if it was rainy.

Gosh yes @Flavourflava. And before you know it you blink and they’re at a point where they have to be doing something all the time, and that something changes every five minutes - I’d love to go back to being able to snuggle up with her stationary for the duration of an episode of the West Wing, nowadays it’s about 15 seconds of staying still if I’m lucky!

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Amammai · 11/05/2022 14:25

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this in my opinion. My DS is 9months old and I often watch things whilst I’m feeding him or whilst he’s playing. He’s not normally interested in it but it keeps me sane. Unless you are strapping him into a chair and leaving him pointed at it for ages, I can’t see it’s an issue!

I have an older DS - he does love TV and movies but equally has lots of time playing, drawing, reading etc. and wil often turn it off himself when he wants to do something else. I don’t think it’s the devil people make it out to be. It’s just part of normal life here.

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Prudencia · 11/05/2022 14:33

I don't know about babies as such but for two year olds screens can be beneficial
There was a BBC programme about toddler development and it showed that early familiarity with screens improved manual dexterity
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22219881

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chisanunian · 11/05/2022 14:34

There is no problem in your dc being in the same room as a television which happens to be on at the time. You're not plonking him in front of the telly and leaving him there staring at it, are you?

You have absolutely nothing to worry about at all.

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1940s · 11/05/2022 15:08

I often had TV or radio in the background and would have baby facing me for little activities so they weren't watching it.

I did sometimes use the 'baby tv' those lurid dancing fruits if I needed a quick shower or to put some stuff in the oven and I knew they'd have a meltdown at being left alone.

I'd never recommend any child of any age to be plonked for hours but rainy maternity days stuck under a cluster feeding baby or when I needed a few minutes to myself it was a really useful tool!

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allfurcoatnoknickers · 11/05/2022 15:09

God, I spent the first half of my maternity leave slumped in front of Love Island and After Sun. My lactation consultant actually told me to watch trashy reality TV because it would help me switch my brain off and relax while establishing my milk supply. I usually work a really demanding job and don't get much time to watch TV, so it was a real highlight of mat leave.

DS appears to be unscathed by early exposure to Mollie-Mae Hague et al.

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Sunnytwobridges · 11/05/2022 15:10

We had TVs on all the time when my DD was a baby. It wasn't like she was watching them at that age. She didn't actually start watching tv until she was about 16 mos old. She knew her way around a computer around the age of 2. She graduated at the top of her class in school and in college so I think it depends on the child on what type of effect it will have on them.

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Mozerellla · 12/05/2022 14:16

Ok I feel loads better. We are looking to move for size anyway but our plan is to have. Seperate living room so our reactive dog can not need to have sound on if this makes sense ?

then DS can be in living room with toys and books only

we don’t have a radio but I link my phone to play music on the tv but there’s no images

the only kids stuff we’ve watched is a little coco melon and dancing fruit. My HV mentioned dancing fruit but I’d say we’ve done this a handful of times to see how he reacted really

I’ve never sat and left him watching it. If I need to get something done he has some play mats so I put him there and watch him as I tidy up :)

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WTF475878237NC · 12/05/2022 14:18

I only had the TV on during cluster feeding. Never sat and watched it together or used it as a babysitter so I could do chores etc. Sounds like you're being very sensible to me. Didn't actually put it on to watch a show until 3.

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Greenbay457 · 12/05/2022 14:24

Oh gosh it’s fine to have the tv on, they aren’t actually going to be watching it at that age. I always watch tv whilst feeding. I think the advice is not based on tv actually being damaging, more that they are missing out on other interactions if sat staring at a screen for hours. It’s different if it’s just on in the background with a 4 month old. Go easy on yourself OP!

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Flavourflava · 12/05/2022 15:31

I'm personally following the guidelines about no TV before 2. I have the radio on if I want company apart from baby when at home. There's nap times or night time for TV when baby is older.

That's really admirable but just a reminder that life isn't this straightforward for everyone. For example, my husband works away most of the time and I have an extremely busy toddler who is often tired and needy around tea time (i.e. not able to entertain herself with an activity). I have to make the choice between making her home cooked food, which means putting the TV on for half an hour, or chucking something in the microwave and not putting the TV on. Which is better? I don't know. Everyone's just doing their best, and that best may involve using the TV as a tool to make other areas of life better.

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pieonthesofa · 13/05/2022 01:59

I had the TV on most of the day with a newborn while feeding or contact napping. Turned it off as it started to be disruptive to both feeds and sleep and didn’t want baby watching. Do have radio on a lot of the day with toddler around as I don’t like silence. Although that’s also meant to be bad for language development 🤷‍♀️

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Mytoddlerisamazing · 13/05/2022 14:22

That's really admirable but just a reminder that life isn't this straightforward for everyone. For example, my husband works away most of the time and I have an extremely busy toddler who is often tired and needy around tea time (i.e. not able to entertain herself with an activity). I have to make the choice between making her home cooked food, which means putting the TV on for half an hour, or chucking something in the microwave and not putting the TV on. Which is better? I don't know. Everyone's just doing their best, and that best may involve using the TV as a tool to make other areas of life better

Very much agree. Also some babies will only nap while being pushed in a moving pram <eyes DD> which doesn't leave much time for chores or cooking.

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