How Much TV Is Too Much For Babies?
It's time for dinner. You only need 15 minutes to finish. But your baby has other ideas. And using a baby carrier over a hot stove isn't exactly a recipe for parent of the year. So you choose the lesser of two evils. You reach for the remote and let the TV do a little babysitting.
Is that so bad? Maybe.
The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine has just released the results of a new study on the effects of TV and development.
US News & World Report writer Nancy Shute summarizes the study:
Babies who watch TV are more likely to have delayed cognitive development and language at 14 months.
The study says that ALL TV is bad for babies. (Sorry Baby Einstein videos.)
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that children under 2 should watch no TV at all.
But is TV really that bad for kids? Do shows like Sesame Street have no value for kids under 2?
I disagree with the doctors. I think TV can be an excellent educational tool for children when used properly.
It is impossible for any parent to spend every minute of the day teaching and interacting with their child. If TV can simultaneously teach your child and give you some time for household chores, I say go for it! (In small doses.)
I don't see a problem with moderate TV use for older babies or toddlers as long as the shows are carefully selected and the TV time isn't replacing time spent reading/talking/playing/etc.
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