My dd (my first child) did not watch tv until she was over 2 years old (I had actually hoped to get her to watch a half hour video at a time, so I could concentrate on learning to nurse ds, he was born when she was 18 months, but, she didn't go for it
Well, I guess you could say ds has been exposed to it since about 6-8 months, which is when dd starting watching it (and I guess the new babe will be exposed to it from birth, since the older 2 watch it
I used to allow just 2 -20 minute shows a day (Dora and Blue), but then they started sitting through the commericals (where they used to get up as soon as the show ended and then come back in when they heard the next show start), so the "gimmies" started recently
, so, onto tapes, no more than an hour a day of tv for the kids, and now, no commercials. Luckily, they play through the tv time as well (so it is not like they sit glued to it for an hour) and we split the hour up to 2- 1/2 hours most of the time.
I wanted to comment on this said earlier:
"I do credit my son's long attention span and creative nature at least in part to the lack of tv in his life."
I used to always tell people that my Mary doesn't have the attention span to watch tv. It is still that way really, with both kids, they just cannot sit for an entire show and pay attention (which is fine by me)
But, they can play with play doh or markers and crayons for well over an hour, or listen to stories for long periods of time.
I think it is like anything else, moderation and parent involvement, and knowing your own childs needs with a balance for your own needs. For example, I do not use tv to babysit while I shower, but that is b/c I can trust my kids to play in their rooms while I shower, if I didn't trust that, I might use a video during that time. To each their own.