PAIL Monthly Theme Post: TV and My Baby

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When I was pregnant I read a few articles claiming that children under the age of two should not watch television because it slows down development. Apparently children under the age of two don’t understand what’s going on when they watch TV/computers, phones, touch pads, etc. and staring at a bright screen is doing more harm to their little brains than good.

The articles made me want to try doing without the TV for the first two years of Baby G’s life. After all, I want him to be intelligent!

And I tried. I would get upset with Hubby for setting Baby G on his knee while he watched TV. I’d tell my parents when I dropped Baby G off before work I didn’t really want him watching it.

But I got weird looks and, “Well, it’s what I(you) did as a child, I(you’ve) turned out okay!”

I was getting judged for trying to do the right thing by my baby. Sigh.

The reality is, TV is a big thing in our house. It’s even on a lot at my parent’s house, which is surprising because my mom would make us turn off the TV and find other things to do in the afternoons.

I guess, at least for now, what it comes down to is that Baby G loves to move around. And by move around, I mean he wants to stand and walk, neither of which he can do on his own. He’s just starting to figure out crawling. It’s great that he sees something across the room and wants to go to it and learn what it is. But it’s exhausting to help him walk around the apartment. And a little painful, as you’re either hunched over or on your knees.

So we’ll let him watch TV just to get him to chill out for a bit. I won’t allow him to sit and watch hours of TV. I may let him do half an hour here or there; after all we have perfectly good toys he needs to play with. But in an effort to rejuvenate myself, I’ll sit down on the couch with him and he’ll chill out for a bit.

My parents and I do our best to make sure what is on is kid-friendly, and I’m trying to get Hubby to turn these on when he’s with Baby G as well. I am enjoying getting to watch Sesame Street again (although, does Elmo really need to take over the last 20 minutes?). I remember the theme song to Arthur and almost all of the theme song to Mr. Rogers. I’ve seen episodes of shows I loved as a child and I find it exciting that Baby G gets to see them too.

Sure, the big, furry, lovable monsters on Sesame Street will get his attention and he seems to enjoy Super Why. He made his dad proud by being very into the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader reality show that was on a few weeks ago. But right Baby G seems to be more interested in getting his toys in his mouth than he is in the TV.

I think that as long as Hubby and I take the time to pull ourselves away from technology to help Baby G knock down block towers, read, and play peek-a-boo, the TV shouldn’t be a huge deal. So until he starts taking more notice of technology instead of the world around him I don’t think I’m going to worry too much.

8 thoughts on “PAIL Monthly Theme Post: TV and My Baby

  1. ICLW #4. We didn't limit Mini from watching TV when he was young, but he also didn't show any interest (unless there were dogs on the screen). Honestly, I love being able to put on Caillou and get 20 minutes of peace now 🙂

  2. It sounds like you have a reasonable position. I am unwilling to completely give up TV and given that I'm usually with my children, either I give up my TV or they see some of it. I think as you mentioned, the biggest thing is quality interaction with your child outside of TV time. When TV is used as a constant babysitter, that's when I believe it's the biggest issue.

  3. I'm pretty much like you; I like TV and it's on quite often in the background, but Chloe doesn't pay attention to it unless Yo Gabba Gabba is on or animals. And even then it only has her attention for a short time before she's off exploring something else in the room. I agree moderation is key, but completely avoiding it is unrealistic for us at least.

  4. I think it is up to you how you raise your child. As long as you feel good about it then it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Happy ICLW!ICLW #41

  5. "Well, it's what I(you) did as a child, I(you've) turned out okay!" ZOMFG!!!! This is my mum's go-to line whenever I mention that we are doing X with our son, and they apparently did Y with me. "YOU TURNED OUT JUST FINE!!!" Like, dude, chill. I am just, you know, an autonomous human being making the choices I think are best for my family, with my husband, in 2012. Not an indictment of your parenting! But hey, thanks for the invalidation!Whew. Where was I? Oh yes – screen time! I like your approach. Just be there with your kid – interact with them while it is on AND off. That is the part that matters to them! 🙂

  6. OH MR ROGERS!!! I loved him…I remember running in from kindergarten and turning him on while I ate lunch…I can't wait to introduce those kinds of shows to my daughter. She's not paying it any attention right now, but once she really starts, child friendly programing will have to begin…"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood…."

  7. " I was getting judged for trying to do the right thing by my baby. Sigh.". – this drves me nuts too! My inlaws said that about CIO. Grrrrr. Sounds like you guys have a great relaxed attitude about it all. You just have to do what is best for YOUr kids, for sure!

  8. I think it's so important to do what keeps you sane and able to be a good mother. Taking a time out on occasion to rest and recharge is important! And I like the attitude that you’re just not going to worry about it for the time being. It’s important to know both sides of the issue but to keep a sensible head about it all. Sounds like you’re doing just that.It's so hard when family isn't as supportive as you'd like. Sigh.

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