do you let your toddler zone out in front of the tv when they are sick? - Mothering Forums

do you let your toddler zone out in front of the tv when they are sick?

MrsBone's Avatar MrsBone (TS)
04:55 PM Liked: 86
#1 of 14
11-30-2011 | Posts: 1,183
Joined: Apr 2004


my son has been sick for a few days and yesterday was my food co-op day which I couldn't just skip, so I brought him with me, and he kept running outside without shoes on, and just was generally way more active playing with his cousins than he should have been. Last night he woke up at 4 am with a fever and chills. I gave him some advil and he went back to sleep and slept until noon! When he woke, he was happy, but still has a runny nose and now has been grumpy again. I keep parking him in front of the tv because it makes him slow down and just rest for a bit. I feel guilty though. He keeps asking to go to grammy's house and the park, but I know he needs nothing but rest right now. Anyone else do this in an attempt to get your kid to relax and recover?? any other suggestions?

ilovetchotchkes's Avatar ilovetchotchkes
05:07 PM Liked: 318
#2 of 14
11-30-2011 | Posts: 406
Joined: Oct 2011

They're probably going to take away my AP label if I say this: but yes. ESPECIALLY if I am sick as well. Before I found out I had a vitamin d deficiency, him and I would spend the first two days of my periods camped out on the couch cuddling, nursing and watching sesame street all day because I was too sick and weak to move. I would be in so much pain, i would be dry heaving. It was bad. 


However, the ONLY thing my kid is allowed to watch is Sesame Street. 



queenofchaos's Avatar queenofchaos
09:29 AM Liked: 15
#3 of 14
12-01-2011 | Posts: 504
Joined: Feb 2008

I think TV use in this instance is totally fine.

However, if your child is indicating the desire to engage in other activities, why not?  He'll rest when he needs to.  Kids are pretty good at regulating that, when it comes to recovering from an illness, anyway.

aphel's Avatar aphel
09:48 PM Liked: 21
#4 of 14
12-01-2011 | Posts: 345
Joined: Sep 2010

I think TV is a great resource for a sick kid. If kiddo doesn't have enough energy to play, or just should be resting, you have to keep them occupied and content, and TV is a way to do that.


We don't turn on the TV when DD is awake, but I would do it if she were sick. I think small doses of TV are just fine. As long as it's not part of the child's regular routine, there's no harm in my eyes. In fact, DD watched her first bit of a movie this morning because I have endometriosis and was a having a really rough day, and needed a few minutes for the ibuprofen to kick in.

creddy's Avatar creddy
01:02 PM Liked: 11
#5 of 14
12-02-2011 | Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

If you're feeling guilty about it, maybe try another option - Youtube!  It'd still be screen-time to help him rest, but there are GREAT educational videos you can add to 'playlists' pretty quickly. I've found all kinds of things like letter/sounds flashcards, real-life animals to watch in their natural habitats, all kinds of songs, and cool videos of toddler level 'how-to-draw' this or that. Take a peek and see what's there. Also the library - lots of educational DVDs that aren't character/TV show oriented. 

BabyMae09's Avatar BabyMae09
03:13 PM Liked: 59
#6 of 14
12-02-2011 | Posts: 1,293
Joined: Sep 2008

Isn't advil bad for kids? Or am I confused?

Bokonon's Avatar Bokonon
03:37 PM Liked: 2222
#7 of 14
12-02-2011 | Posts: 2,948
Joined: Aug 2009

Yes, absolutely.  My 6yo will NOT rest just because he's sick.  He'll run around and then start coughing up a lung.  I'd rather he rest, and if that means putting on TV for a while, so be it.

LindyGirl's Avatar LindyGirl
03:46 PM Liked: 11
#8 of 14
12-02-2011 | Posts: 181
Joined: Nov 2011

Yes, and I do it guilt free!

crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy
04:25 PM Liked: 562
#9 of 14
12-02-2011 | Posts: 6,460
Joined: Mar 2009
No, not usually. I either read to him or put on audiobooks (or the stories or songs on youtube, with the screen turned off so he can just lay back & listen) when he wants to rest or cuddle. Otherwise, if he wants to play or go to the park or take a walk, we just go ahead and go, sick or not, provided it's not someplace where other kids will be exposed to his illness, of course (i.e. make sure to go to an empty playground). I feel like he will know when he needs to rest & I'd rather not interfere with his self-regulation, and I believe fresh air helps heal. But for the record, I'm not actually against TV time while sick, and I did turn on a show for about an hour once when we were both really sick. But if I'm feeling halfway well myself, I prefer to occupy him in other ways. We don't have cable & I'm not familiar with the children's programs out there, plus he's my only kid, so we just tend to avoid TV & it's not a big deal. He really loves just listening to stories & music, but maybe that's just how his personality is & some kids would require something more/different. I think whatever gets you through an illness is fine & you should do it guilt-free if it's what works best for you & him!
cyclamen's Avatar cyclamen
09:09 PM Liked: 710
#10 of 14
12-03-2011 | Posts: 1,308
Joined: Jul 2005

100% yes.  I get us on the couch with a jug of hot tea and a pile of blankets.

PluggingAway's Avatar PluggingAway
10:03 PM Liked: 0
#11 of 14
12-03-2011 | Posts: 108
Joined: Dec 2008

Yep.  My 5 year-old and 3 year-old sons self-regulate their TV viewing.  I have no problem if they decide to veg out in front of the TV.  Normally, they are not big TV watchers.  In the past month, they have watched about 8 hours combined.  If they feel crummy and want to watch TV then no big deal.

november's Avatar november
09:20 PM Liked: 13
#12 of 14
12-06-2011 | Posts: 801
Joined: Mar 2009

My daughter's never been sick but if she was, I'd do it in a New York minute. Sometimes when you feel like hell, you just want to veg out.

coldandsleepy's Avatar coldandsleepy
11:48 AM Liked: 17
#13 of 14
12-09-2011 | Posts: 763
Joined: Aug 2008

We don't have a TV, but we do let him crash out on the couch & watch videos with him on the computer.  That's what *I* like to do when I'm sick-- nothing too taxing on the brain or the body.  I suspect I'd feel differently if he wanted to be doing something more active but the couple of times he's been sick, he hasn't wanted to do anything but lie down while in constant physical contact with a caregiver.  (And again, I see where he's coming from, I'd like that when I'm sick too!)


I hope your little guy is feeling better by now!

11:53 AM Liked: 894
#14 of 14
12-09-2011 | Posts: 6,387
Joined: Sep 2008

YES!! My ds doesn't rest either - he's either full throttle or dead asleep. Not much in between. Unless the TV is on that is :)  So, when its rest time and he needs to get over a cold I definitely turn on the tube, or the computer works too. I also use the TV when I'm exhausted (like after work Wednesday - I had been in a 6.5hour meeting and I was the only note taker so my fingers felt like they were falling off, and I could hardly keep my eyes open).


I'm guilt free about it too - I'm doing the best I can, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job! I look at my ds and he is thriving, he's happy, he's loved, and he knows it - and he has a lot of love to give the people we live with and see often, so I use that as my gauge, not an internet source that tells me how I should or should not parent. We are pretty TV free most of the time though, since ds's behavior is generally better when the TV is off.

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