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Television for a 3 month old? - Page 3

post #41 of 70
I listen to a radio that picks up TV. I usually listen to the news...
post #42 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzberrymom
I find it really interesting though that the latest research is valued so highly on these forums--vaccinations, breastfeeding, circumcision, homebirth, etc. But, mention the research on the damaging effects of tv and most people don't want to hear it or start to argue that research is open to interpretation. I guess science is valuable only as long as it fits our worldview.
Yes, I too find this really interesting - I have noticed it before on this board.

But for everyone who felt criticized when I said that there are other things you can do, I would like to add a couple of things, to wit:

1) I grew up watching tons and tons of tv. my mom was a single mom who worked and the tv was my babysitter. i hardly ever went outside and i was involved in no sports or activities. i struggled with my weight my whole life. in spite of all this, i was a 4.0 student in college (Rutgers), an avid reader and a talented artist and writer. Plenty of smart, talented people watch tons and tons of tv. I was not trying to imply that tv-watchers are a bunch of ignorant morons who couldn't read their way out of a paper bag.

2) Even if you feel bad or sick or tired, there are still other things you can do besides watch tv. I think that a lot of people honestly just have lost touch with the options because the tv is so easy. TV is the EASIEST thing to do, but it is by no means the ONLY thing you can do. If you didn't have a tv, believe me, you would find them. Frankly, I have a very high needs baby, so please don't try to tell me that I don't know what it's like with others' babies, etc. No, I don't, but I know what it's like with MINE and it ain't always a picnic in May sunshine, I can tell ya.

3) I don't have a tv because I think most of what's on is crap and I hate advertising. I've managed to live most of my adult life without a tv (I'm 34). It saves me money, it frees up a lot of my time, and I feel like I am a better, more engaged, more interesting person than I was when I have had tv. My husband has also lived without tv for most of his adult life (he's 48), and I know he doesn't miss it. But we do it for US, and for our baby. We don't do it because we think everyone should or because we want everyone to or because we even care one bit whether anyone else does or not.

4) I honestly don't understand why tv-watchers get so defensive about their tv habits when someone says that they don't have tv. All of a sudden, it's "I only watch the discovery channel" or "I love to read, too" or "I have a PhD in nuclear physics". If you really felt fine with the tube and didn't feel like you had anything to be ashamed about, would you rush to defend yourself so quickly? One of my best friends is a great guy, smart, owns his own business, very active in community theater and the folk music scene. AND he is the biggest tv-watcher EVER. He thinks that if you don't watch tv, you are totally MISSING this very important part of American culture. He is completely unapologetic. And I have to admire him for that. I mean, whatever! You love tv, who cares? You and 200 million other Americans.

My choices are just that - MY choices. For ME. But I was asked my opinion and I gave it. I live a full happy life and I don't own one. And sometimes I am tired, sick, headachy or restless. And I STILL don't own one. It IS possible. That's all I was trying to say.
post #43 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by winonamom2be
I honestly don't understand why tv-watchers get so defensive about their tv habits when someone says that they don't have tv. All of a sudden, it's "I only watch the discovery channel" or "I love to read, too" or "I have a PhD in nuclear physics". If you really felt fine with the tube and didn't feel like you had anything to be ashamed about, would you rush to defend yourself so quickly?
Well, to be honest I think the word "defensive" is the key. People are defensive because they feel attacked, or likely to be attacked. Same as feeling defensive when someone is not being understanding of a decision to breastfeed or co-sleep - it just doesn't feel good to be criticized, second-guessed, looked down upon,or attacked. I find it quite upsetting to be told that, while roughly 23.5 hours of my day are spent in "acceptable" activity, that 0.5 where I let my baby look in the vicinity of the television is turning his little brain to mush forever. That's not dismissing the validity of the study cited, it's simply putting it into perspective.

My brother and I both watched TV as children. While he is smarter than I am, neither of us is an intellectual slouch. So I don't believe that TV, in the amounts that we watched, does extreme harm. It's a calculated risk I'm taking by letting my kids watch TV, perhaps, but I feel comfortable that they will be fully functional adults, as I am. Well, some days anyway.

Carol
post #44 of 70
no tv here. we had one for movies but it didn't get any channels. then we sold it to my brother for $50 b/c he wanted one.

i don't miss it. but if we did have it, i would be sucked into watching it way too often.
post #45 of 70
In all honesty, I find the spastic light-up, flashing, sound-making toys that are so popular to be a lot more disturbing than a little TV.

post #46 of 70
You know, I had the EXACT same worry you have when my daughter was newborn. Before she was born, I had decided my daughter would NEVER see TV in our house. It's just not good for babies, so of course I wasn't going to do it! Then she was born. Man, those hormones are tricky. Man, you're tired. Man, it's intense to be home all day every day with what feels like a whole new life in your pajamas. I watched. My husband caught me on tape watching Oprah and nursing and I was so upset, lol. Then, as my daughter became more aware of her surroundings, and able to turn her head to look at the TV set, it was so easy to turn it off for good! Now it is only on for a movie after she is asleep for the night. You gotta give yourself a break in those early weeks. It was right around three months old that I realized we needed to have an activity planned every day if possible. Playgroup, La Leche League, a trip to the grocery for her to ride around in the sling and look at everything, etc. If the baby is getting plopped down in front of the TV in a month, worry! For now, try not to worry!
post #47 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skim
I don't think it's a big problem until babe starts watching the screen. My dd2 passively "watched" an entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a newborn. We'll see what that did to her!
Newborns can't even see much further than a foot in front of them anyway, so unless you are REALLY close to the TV...!
post #48 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by EllasMama
Well, to be honest I think the word "defensive" is the key. People are defensive because they feel attacked, or likely to be attacked. Same as feeling defensive when someone is not being understanding of a decision to breastfeed or co-sleep - it just doesn't feel good to be criticized, second-guessed, looked down upon,or attacked. I find it quite upsetting to be told that, while roughly 23.5 hours of my day are spent in "acceptable" activity, that 0.5 where I let my baby look in the vicinity of the television is turning his little brain to mush forever. That's not dismissing the validity of the study cited, it's simply putting it into perspective.
Well, you are certainly putting words in my mouth. i think the only thing i ever said was that there are plenty of other options in the world besides watching tv. i also allowed as how lots and lots of perfectly intelligent people watch tv, and said that i didn't like it because i thought it was insipid and hated advertising. i don't think any of my posts "criticized, second-guessed, looked down upon,or attacked" anyone here, and i don't remember saying anything about turning anyone's "little brain to mush forever".

i don't let my baby watch videos. i think there are plenty of other things to do with a baby. but, you know what? i DO put my baby in a <gasp!> bumbo chair while i wash dishes or cook meals. and i know plenty of you mamas think that the bumbo is satan incarnate or something. so my feeling is, who am i to judge? live and let live. i was just trying to offer some other options to those who thought the two choices were "watch tv" and "stare at the walls".
post #49 of 70
Hmmm, I guess I wasn't the only one to feel like the post about "other things to do besides staring at the walls" was, in fact, somewhat "second-guessing." Obviously people know that things such as books and magazines and radio exist. I don't really feel the need to justify myself, but I developed severe carpal tunnel in the middle of labor, which did not resolve until I finally had surgery a month later (and even then I was recovering for several more months). I could barely manage the buttons on the remote, forget about turning the pages of a magazine or book. Writing in a baby book? Was so not happening.

People have their reasons for choosing the diversions that they do during those early weeks/mnoths of constant nursing and baby care. Pointing out all the other (obvious) things they could have been doing is, in a way, a judgment on what they DID choose to do.

Not trying to be snarky, just trying to clarify why people would feel defensive.
post #50 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirly
Hmm, I am also curious about this, because I have the TV on almost all day while I am home with my 14-week-old. She occasionally turns to look at it, and I feel terrible, but I also feel terrible staring at the walls all day. She has to be held all the time and is not overly fond of the sling. She is happiest in my lap or on my chest. When she wants to play, we leave the room usually.

I can't hold her and read - what should I do? Stare at the walls, really?
This was the original post about staring at the walls. i too have a baby who is only happy ON me - she is sleeping on my lap as I type this one-handed, in fact. i have never been able to put her down much - she's pretty much slept on my lap since i came home.

well, it seems to me that this poster quoted above honestly posed the question about what the options are. she seemed to assume that the only options were tv, staring at the walls, and a third one which was reading, which for some reason is impossible (although I don't understand why).

Right now i am sitting in my glider with a sleeping six month old and a cat on my lap, typing one handed on a computer with my latest novel in the other hand. no, i am not trying to say everyone should try this at home! i am just saying that without tv to fall back on, it kind of forces you to be a little more creative about what you do.

i have not spent ONE DAY since my dd was born "staring at the walls", believe me, and she is a VERY high needs baby (not the mellow, easy-going, put me down anywhere and I'll be content type of baby at all).

i am sorry if me saying that there are other things to do makes you feel judged and put down. i know that when i first gave up the tv I didn't actually think it was so bloody obvious what to do instead, frankly. and i can't be the only one who doesn't think it's totally obvious because there are still a lot of people who watch tv instead of doing other things, even while they say they feel bad about the amount of tv they watch.
post #51 of 70
Here's my 2 cents:

Even if TV is bad for babies - having parents who are not supportive of each other is probably worse. This is not so major that Dad should say anything that Mom might feel is a criticism of her parenting. She is probably exhausted from night feedings, bored by long stretches of time alone, and still getting her footing as a parent. The last thing she needs is someone to make her feel worse with criticism.
post #52 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teensy
Here's my 2 cents:

Even if TV is bad for babies - having parents who are not supportive of each other is probably worse. This is not so major that Dad should say anything that Mom might feel is a criticism of her parenting. She is probably exhausted from night feedings, bored by long stretches of time alone, and still getting her footing as a parent. The last thing she needs is someone to make her feel worse with criticism.
ding! ding! ding!
post #53 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by la mamita
And frankly, to the PP who was so shocked by the "no-TV" attitudes, this is a natural parenting website.
I'm not shocked at the no TV attitudes. I'm shocked at the all or nothing attitudes. Ie; No TV is good thing, and ANY TV will rot your brain.

I sometimes watch TV while I nurse but my daughter will NOT be plunked down in front of a TV. I don't subscribe to the theory that having a TV on in a house, period, is going to reduce brain activity. Like someone else mentioned, those studies are subject to interpretation.

One thing I AM familiar with, because my husband is a research MD, is how these types of studies are conducted vrs how the results are published. Controlled studies take advantage of extreme situations to make their findings as precise as possible. For the purposes of research this is a good thing. However, for the purposes of using this information as evidence in a debate about the dangers of TV one has to keep in mind that it is highly improbable that ANY of us here will duplicate the conditions from a controlled study.

Is TV bad? One some (or many) levels, sure. But so is pollution, automobile fumes, cellular frequencies, and many side effects of our modern "conveniences", yet I'm sure most of us here still drive cars, go outside, and use cell phones in the presence of our wee ones.

As for this being a natural parenting website? Um.. that's why I'm here. But, I don't believe that in order to be a "natural" parent that I must get rid of my television sets.

And for who ever it was that said they wrote in a journal and/or baby book.. can you come to my house and finish writing my thank-you notes and birth announcements? My daughter is 3 months old I have STILL have a ton that need to go out. My hat's off to anyone who has the brainpower and physical will to actually be productive in those early months. My brain was mush (and it wasn't from the TV!...lol) up until very recently, so yeah, the TV was my friend.
post #54 of 70
Quote:
I'm not shocked at the no TV attitudes. I'm shocked at the all or nothing attitudes. Ie; No TV is good thing, and ANY TV will rot your brain.

I sometimes watch TV while I nurse but my daughter will NOT be plunked down in front of a TV. I don't subscribe to the theory that having a TV on in a house, period, is going to reduce brain activity. Like someone else mentioned, those studies are subject to interpretation.
Thanks for being the voice of reason...I'm about as anti-TV as they come, but we DO have one in the house. We actually gave our TV away when DS was small, thinking we just didn't need it, but then we found it to be inconvenient NOT to have one. For example, I wanted to watch Sheri Tenpenny's video about vaccination, but I had no way to watch it. I wanted to watch a how-to-knit video a while back, but again, no way to watch it. My SIL gave us a small TV w/ an integrated VCR a few months back and I was happy to have it. DS watches maybe one 30-minute video a month, if that much. There IS such a thing as moderation. (I do have to chuckle when people say 'TV in moderation is fine' and then reveal their idea of moderation is limiting screen time to only 2 hours a day...maybe that is why the hardcore no-TV-on-the-premises folks get cynical whenever they even hear the word 'moderation'...)
post #55 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60
I'm not shocked at the no TV attitudes. I'm shocked at the all or nothing attitudes. Ie; No TV is good thing, and ANY TV will rot your brain.

I sometimes watch TV while I nurse but my daughter will NOT be plunked down in front of a TV. I don't subscribe to the theory that having a TV on in a house, period, is going to reduce brain activity. Like someone else mentioned, those studies are subject to interpretation.

One thing I AM familiar with, because my husband is a research MD, is how these types of studies are conducted vrs how the results are published. Controlled studies take advantage of extreme situations to make their findings as precise as possible. For the purposes of research this is a good thing. However, for the purposes of using this information as evidence in a debate about the dangers of TV one has to keep in mind that it is highly improbable that ANY of us here will duplicate the conditions from a controlled study.

Is TV bad? One some (or many) levels, sure. But so is pollution, automobile fumes, cellular frequencies, and many side effects of our modern "conveniences", yet I'm sure most of us here still drive cars, go outside, and use cell phones in the presence of our wee ones.

As for this being a natural parenting website? Um.. that's why I'm here. But, I don't believe that in order to be a "natural" parent that I must get rid of my television sets.
I'm not saying you can't be NFL and own a TV, just that you will find many people here who do live a TV-free life and find it to be an important part of NFL, for them. Take what you like, leave the rest.

I'm not all-or-none (for example, I won't forbid my son from watching TV at friends' houses), but I firmly believe that TV is not something that will enter my house for my child and that he will be better because of that decision. That's my personal bias on the subject. I grew up without it and I think it was highly beneficial. I do watch some TV episodes on DVDs on my laptop and the very occasional movie here and there (but I barely have any time to do this now that DS isn't a newborn!). I did spend the first few weeks of DS's life watching rented DVDs and surfing the net and I was careful that he didn't "see" any of it. I do like to sort of preach the TV-free idea, because frankly, it's not something many people even consider--TV has become such a big part of their lives that they don't realize it.

ETA: when I talk about being TV free, I don't mean not owning one (because how can owning one be bad in and of itself, kwim?) but rather not having TV channels available. We live with my parents and they have a TV in the back room, we get no channels, they enjoy watching Sherlock Holmes episodes from the library.
post #56 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by la mamita
but I firmly believe that TV is not something that will enter my house for my child and that he will be better because of that decision.
I don't disagree with you there. (I disagree with my husband all the time about me not "needing" a DVD player in my car. However, my point isn't so much based on parental decisions, as it is about the physical dangers, for anyone, infant or not. Although the two do come into play, and like I said TV will NOT be a big part (or one at all) of our daughters life, it does stand to reason that some TV, as background noise or a late night nursing distraction, is not going to be detrimental to the long term development of your child unless used to excess (which I don't think anyone here has admitted to).

As for a TV free life... not unless the program Lost can be telepathically transmitted to my brain to appease my rather pathetic obsession with that show without having to watch it. *blush*
post #57 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60
As for a TV free life... not unless the program Lost can be telepathically transmitted to my brain to appease my rather pathetic obsession with that show without having to watch it. *blush*
I am so with you on that one!
post #58 of 70
I think that like knowing the benefits of breastfeeding, the more you know, the more pro-breastfeeding you become. TV research is the same way.

I read a book called Endangered Minds before I was even pregnant, and I made the decision then to commit to no television watching for my children. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/068...Fencoding=UTF8

I was hard core when I first read the book. Now, the details have faded, so I'm not so strict about it.

To me, no television watching means turning it off if she watches it. She typically goes about her business and almost completely ignores it (two second glances now and then). I put a children's show on once when I was awfully sick and she was grumpy and intolerant and she still ignored it, probably because she was used to it being entirely uninteresting.

For three years before I met my husband, I didn't own a TV. He is a TV addict, however, so it's on when he's in the family room, so she's exposed on the weekends here and there.

I think the arguments I've heard here for some TV, or TV in moderation, are similar to the arguments I've heard elsewhere that formula is an okay choice. In other words, they blatantly ignore the facts. I think it's a parents' right to make decisions regarding parenting issues, and TV is a parenting choice. But to say "it's okay because those studies are open to interpretation" is simple denial.

I admit that the minimal amount of TV my daughter is exposed to may indeed do some harm, even if she's not paying attention. Does a glance every now and then add up? Who knows. It could. I don't think it would create the same brain wave patterns as sitting and staring, but the only certain thing would be to leave it off. I'm no expert on brain development and multimedia. I do take comfort in her lack of interest, and if it ever changes, I'll take a harder line with my husband on the weekends, which is the only time she's exposed to it. I comfort myself with that. Also, I never think to turn it on when he's not around, and as a SAHM she's mostly with me, and that's not changing anytime soon.

Am I a hypocrite? I don't think so. I admit it has been proven to be harmful, and I do it anyway, with strict limitations. No denial here.

Sometimes I wish she liked TV. I have been trying to cut her nails for about a week, and in order to do it without absolute sobbing hysterics, I have to get her right after a long nap, and enlist the help of an assistant (usually her WAHD) to read her a book or otherwise jump through hoops for her, while I snip her nails. It takes timing and teamwork. If I could trade that for three minutes of TV a week, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

So I'd be fine with my dd watching extremely limited TV for a good reason like that--to avoid hysterics over something physically unpleasant and confining. Another example would be a child who needs to use a nebulizer. Given the choice between traumatizing a child and TV, I'd choose TV. The lesser of two evils, I think it would be--but it is still not a positive thing.
post #59 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by katies_mama
But to say "it's okay because those studies are open to interpretation" is simple denial.
Hmm... denial? I doubt it. Realistic? That's more likely. The reality is that it's improbable that I WILL ever duplicate the conditions of those controlled studies. Like I have said already - I acknowledge TV being a not so healthy thing, so, I don't think I'm in denial. Nor do I think I'm a hypocrite, because like you, I admit the risks but continue to do so anyway.

And why the funk about TV's. Has no one seen the studies about about computers and laptops, most notably laptops with wireless internet connections? They are linking it to cancer, yet here we all are, typing away on the WWW (and many of us do so with our wee ones at breast just inches from the computer!)
post #60 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by winonamom2be
Well, you are certainly putting words in my mouth. i think the only thing i ever said was that there are plenty of other options in the world besides watching tv. i also allowed as how lots and lots of perfectly intelligent people watch tv, and said that i didn't like it because i thought it was insipid and hated advertising. i don't think any of my posts "criticized, second-guessed, looked down upon,or attacked" anyone here, and i don't remember saying anything about turning anyone's "little brain to mush forever".
I am SO sorry that my post upset you. Oy, this is the problem with boards; face to face communication is so much better for communicating real intent. *Your* post wasn't one of the ones that upset me, I was referring to other posts that were rather judgmental. I just was referencing your post re: trying to shed light on they question of why I imagine people feel defensive. That was based on my dislike of feeling wholesale criticism over this (or other) choices, which unfortunately seems to happen a lot at MDC, and is why I rarely post here these days. I sincerely apologize that my post made it sound like I was saying you had attacked me, that wasn't my intent or my thought.

In my early mothering days, back when I was idealistic and had had less time to become so darned "imperfect" as a mom, I spent a lot of time here, and had far less empathy for people who did "horrible" things like use formula, let kids watch TV, plop them in exersaucers, etc. Now I know that there are times, places, and perfectly good reasons for these things, and that even if something isn't "ideal" it very often isn't a decision that the parents make flippantly, the way that's sometimes imagined. It's a very good thing to have studies that show the negatives of TV or formula or whatever; we can then take that information and integrate it into our non-picture-perfect lives.

Does anyone else find it vaguely amusing how long this thread has gotten? (And I say that as a willing contributer myself.) I'm imagining the poor original poster, reading all this, thinking, "Ummm, never mind, TV's not so bad after all. At least my wife isn't hanging out online all day with you crazy ladies!"

Carol
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