My baby is obsessed with watching TV. It is easy in this day for a baby to get obsessed. There are so many shows geared toward infants. Baby First TV is a whole network dedicated to entertaining your baby. There are also many ways that my infant can watch, not only on the television but on phones, computers, and tablets as well. A 2013 study found 1/3 of toddlers in the United States have used smartphones. My baby is obsessed with TV, but is it bad? In this article, we will Explore the bad, the good, and how to help your infant kick the TV habit.
The American Academy Of Pediatrics encourages parents to avoid any screen time for children 18 months and younger. The Academy suggests that children 18 through 24 months can have a little bit of screen time. The World Organization of Health sets there recommendation at no screen time for anyone under 2. For children 2 through 5, the organization suggests that children watch only an hour or less.
Why do most organizations state that infants and screen time are a bad combination?
Infants need parents, not TV.
Infants learn by interacting with others. They learn social cues and body language by watching their parents. A parent who talks to their infants will have babies with higher vocabulary, then those who do not. These cues cannot be picked up by video.
One study viewed the interaction between parents and children when watching videos, reading books, and playing games. When the parents read a book or played with their baby, the parents used high-quality communication. The parents interacted with what the child was doing. The parents labeled objects and affirmed their curiosities. When they watched TV, the parents commented less. Any comments the parents made were unrelated to the children. Even with the TV on in the background, parents tend to speak around 200 words less.
TV obsession may cause sleep problems.
It’s an easy habit to let a child watch a video before taking a nap. One of the reasons that my baby is obsessed with TV is it helped with nap time. According to one study, children who watch TV, or play games ninety minutes before bed takes longer to go to sleep. The children lose around an hour of sleep each week.
The TV awakes the child’s brains, making it hard to become restful. The blue light used in screams also messes with your child’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is what tells the body when it’s time for sleep. Children who suffer from sleep problems also suffer from behavioral problems and obesity.
TV obsession may cause attention problems in your baby.
The first few years of life is the time when the brain develops the most. What the loud, flashing lights of a Television do to that brain development is mostly unknown. One study by the Children’s Hospital in Seattle showed there could be a link to children with ADHD and Television. Children age 1 through 3 who watch TV have an increased ten percent chance of having ADHD by the age of 7.
Another study in Ohio looked at preschoolers who had a TV in their rooms are listened to TV in the background. The study showed these children had a harder time understanding of mental states. Mental states include ideas of other’s beliefs and intentions. These studies tend to show that TV is affecting my baby in less than ideal ways.
Infants don’t understand.
My baby is obsessed with TV, but he doesn’t understand what he is watching. Television more than likely appears to infants as a confusing mix of colors and noise. They cannot yet follow along with any story the show is trying to tell. An infant can also not yet tell what is real and what isn’t. To my baby, TV is a confusing mix of stimulation. To my baby, this stimulation can be addicting.
Is anything about TV good for babies?
Everyone knows that TV is bad for your baby. My baby is obsessed with TV. still and isn’t likely to completely kick the habit. Television has become an intricate part of many people’s lives. Is there anything good about watching TV? Is there anything to help ease or parenting guilt as the little addicts stare at there screens?
TV can help infants learns.
There are hundreds of shows that claim they can help your baby learn. While some of them are empty claims, others may help your infant. Emory University conducted a three-week study where they tried to teach infants ASL. Some infants watched ASL videos with their parents, others watched alone, and others looked at an ASL book. The infants that watched the videos retained the information as well as the infants who read books.
Some TV gives you a break.
If you need a break, and the only way it’s going to happen is to let your infant watch a show, it’s ok. A short educational video so you can accomplish a task is not going to hurt your child. Keep the content short to only 15 to 30 minutes.
How To Help Your TV Addict:
My baby is obsessed with TV, but there are steps that we are taking to help curve the baby’s addiction. It would be better to keep TV away from children over two. At this point, it’s too late for my infant and many other infants across America. Instead, we are starting media detox. These suggestions are things you could do with your infant too.
- Restrict TV to 30 mins a few times a week.
- Carefully pick out educational videos only.
- Do not let the baby watch TV an hour before nap or sleep time.
- Replace nap TV time with a calming bed routine. This routine could include bath, reading, and playtime.
- Replace other TV time with playtime or reading.