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« Announcement: Sleep Series on its way! | Main | Q&A -- Infant Feeding »



The one year old doesn't watch it. the 2.5 and 4.5 do a couple hours a day at most and I thank God for it.
The thing that is different now from when I was a child is the abillity to avoid the commercials. I think the commercials is where the poison lies.


I think we should all forget Barney and then he'll go away. Oh that's not what the question was huh?

I think moderation is a good thing. We don't let the girls watch a ton of it and I don't leave it on as background either. Maya adored it from the second she saw it as a baby, so we had to learn really quickly to pay attention. Nata at 2 could care less. She won't even look at it. She will watch a movie in a theather though. Go figure.

I don't think it harms them in small doses. A little Sesame Street or Rugrats won't kill a kid. But it is important to not let them watch to much either.


Oh also....mine go to school...well one does and the other is in day care, so it's easier for me to leave the dam thing off all day. If I was at home with them all day, it might be a tiny bit different. During the week now, ours stays off until they go to bed.


my son watches some tv. Well, dvd's or stuff i DVR for him, like Blue's Clues or the Backyardigans. Mostly we watch it when I need to cook or clean or sometimes when i am babysitting my sister's kid and they are being just too much, we pop in a dvd and calm down. They usually only watch a few minutes and then go play with something else or each other anyway. I agree, in moderation, tv isnt that bad.


Thanks for this post. So far, I'm anti-TV with my 18 month old son. I love reading parenting information that confirms that what I'm doing is good! I'll also share it with my husband, who is mostly on the same page as me, but recently suggested some "educational TV like Sesame Street" to help with our son's language development.

Thanks again!


Ehh, I still like Sesame Street. Sometimes what they learn isn't always cognitivly-based, but I still think it's important. I mean, show me a better episode of children's TV than the one where the adults have to tell Big Bird that Mr. Hooper has passed away.

That said, my child will not watch TV. As in, nothing. He turns it on, looks at the screen, and turns it off immediately. This isn't always my preferance, but I guess I'll take it.

Great post!


I agree that a little bit of TV is okay, it won't hurt a child. Our son will actually turn off the TV when he's had enough... which is good except when it's right in the middle of hubbie's sports event and an exciting play is unfolding. :o The hardest thing to deal with for me, is the amount that my husband watches TV. Thankfully its not "junk", usually Discovery or History channel, but that doesn't change that it is still television. He grew up very poor and didn't have a lot of "extra" things when he was young. So now that he has a nice TV, he likes to take full advantage of it. I'm concerned that this will rub off on our son.


Oh, I WISH I had one of those children who show no interest in the T.V. If the box is on, my 17 mo. child is absolutely transfixed. Which makes me feel even more guilty about "using" it to distract him enough to get things done.

I am TOTALLY guilty of using the T.V. as sitter; the only guilt-saving mechanism I provide myself is a) no commercials (public television or playhouse disney) and b) restricted viewing time.

I grew up in a house with constant ambient t.v., and while I dont believe it has affected my intelligence or ability to focus (M.A. in Anthropology/ currently working on a Ph.D. in History), I don't think it was a healthy environment, and one I certainly dont want to model for my child.

But that said, it is so EASY. It is the total cheater method to getting him to stay in one freaking place for more than 5 minutes...! So, there it is- my slacker parent confession!

Wow! And thanks for the Sesame Street Research... who woulda thunk it?


I'm very conflicted about TV. My daughter (3-3/4) LOVES it but I'm very careful about what she watches. We didn't allow her regularly watch TV until she was 2 years old. I thought that she was just too young for it before then. Also, I stopped watching TV infront of her after she turned 1. I do think that it is too distracting. We watch her DVD's (Elmo, Blues Clues) and watch the "commercial free" programming on PBSKids, Noggin and Playhouse Disney. But I realize that most of those shows are just promoting their "brands" to our kids - Dora, Blues Clues, Clifford, even my beloved Sesame Street. I try to remain aware of this so that I can help her navigate through a world where her girl Dora is plastered on every single thing she sees. Why shouldn't she want me to buy that thing for her when it is already a part of her? It's so predatory it makes me want to scream.


I have a follow up question:
Do you believe background TV while breastfeeding a tiny infant would be detrimental?

I'm expecting in January and my sister said the TV was the sanity saver for her when she was the only one up for middle of the night feedings.


EmilyS: I watched TV while breastfeeding my son (now 2) and felt guilty for not reading like my good friend did. But, I had some hard times after giving birth and moving all in the same two weeks (I know, crazy) and I needed a little distraction from my own brain. I think my son is perfectly fine in spite of my watching TV when he was tiny.

Laura S.

EmilyS -- Krista's right. We need what little relief we can get from those very hard, sleepless days! Plus, if the TV is on at a relatively low volume -- but loud enough so you can still hear it -- it's just not going to matter. To a newborn, it will sound like white noise. Babies can hear high-pitched sounds much better than lower pitched sounds -- which is what is generally found on television! (This is also why fathers are encouraged to speak to their infants in "motherese," the high-pitched voice used by mommies around the world.)


We've tried not to expose my son to much tv. (He's 8 months old) but I admit that I watch the Jon Stewart Show every night whiile breastfeeding. I need something to keep me awake so that we both make it back to bed. I've decided that it won't hurt him. Everything in moderation is our motto.


I kept mine away from TV until about 1.5, then would let her watch maybe an hour of Treehouse (commercial-free preschool TV) on each of Sat and Sun mornings as we were waking slowly. Now that she's nearly 2.5, she may watch and hour, hour-and-a-half a few times a week on weekends or slow days.

When she was sick last week, for example, I totally caved and bought her a Dora DVD to watch while I regained a sliver of sanity. She's interacting with it now though, so I do have the slight hope that it's not quite as mindless as just staring at it and not processing anything. *crosses fingers*


As a mother of nine I don't think nor believe children should watch alot of television. I read to my first five and allowed them to listen to alot of classical music. and other four watch alot more television then their older sibling and their grades show it.although their averaging a B in all subjects I know they can do better.

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