Television for a 3 month old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My wife stays at home to take care of our 3 month old son. She tells me he watches TV with her, and I'm wondering if that is a bad thing. I've read that there is a lot of controversy on it. I'm just concerned that my 3 month old is watching Montell and Dr. Phil.
What should I do?
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#2 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 02:53 PM
 
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Dude. Taking care of a 3 month old is hard. They nurse ALL the time. You need a distraction.

My kid watched TV with me constantly at that age. They don't retain it, they don't know what is going on, it doesn't matter.

Later on, yes, you will need to curb the TV watching, but that will come naturally as baby becomes more active and engaging.

For now, whatever gets her through.
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#3 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thismama
Dude. Taking care of a 3 month old is hard. They nurse ALL the time. You need a distraction.

My kid watched TV with me constantly at that age. They don't retain it, they don't know what is going on, it doesn't matter.

Later on, yes, you will need to curb the TV watching, but that will come naturally as baby becomes more active and engaging.

For now, whatever gets her through.
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#4 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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is he actually WATCHING the show with her? because i would say that's not a good idea. babies watching TV is a bad thing, it messes with their brain development. check this out http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/st...186745,00.html

but if she's just watching and he's nursing or napping and not looking at the screen, it sounds fine. i spent most of the first 12 weeks on the computer or watching DVDs, because my son was always either nursing or napping. once he turned 3 months, i shut it off.

raising my two sunshine children.

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#5 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 03:00 PM
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Is the baby really watching, or is he nursing/playing/sleeping while mom watches? If the latter, I think it's probably fine, but I wouldn't really encourage a 3 month old to stare at a TV. A baby needs the boob, not the boob tube

ETA: Once again, la mamita beats me to it

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#6 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 03:08 PM
 
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this is something I used to worry about because I did it on maternity leave and yes, I watched Montel and Dr. Phil

But ITA with the PP--it will drop off as baby gets more active. As it is when you are holding a sleeping baby or nursing most of the day, there's just not much else you can do! And I'm not a big TV person at all--we usually only turn it on for Lost.

Anyway now that DS is one there's no time to even sit, too busy chasing him around the house.

Don't sweat it.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#7 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 03:37 PM
 
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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!

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#8 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
Dude. Taking care of a 3 month old is hard. They nurse ALL the time. You need a distraction.

My kid watched TV with me constantly at that age. They don't retain it, they don't know what is going on, it doesn't matter.

Later on, yes, you will need to curb the TV watching, but that will come naturally as baby becomes more active and engaging.

For now, whatever gets her through.

Yeah, I understand. I know it's hard. I'm just a worry-wort. I should clarify: she doesn't just plop him down in front of the TV. She's usually holding him or nursing or something, and he will look over at the TV. I think mostly just because of the moving color/sound.

I think he'll be okay.
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#9 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 04:05 PM
 
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I used to watch TV while I was nursing but NEVER when the baby could see the TV. It is really bad for kids to watch TV, even if they are just looking at it not knowing what it is.

There are tons of studies that show just how bad it can be for babies to watch TV.

I don't think that it's not a big deal and I don't think that being a tired SAHM is an excuse. I am just as tired as any mom and I do not let my daughter watch TV.
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#10 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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Except that my older 3 watch a little bit more than I would like.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#11 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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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?
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#12 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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I would imagine that the majority of the studies done on television watching look at toddlers and up watching tv for perhaps 30 minutes or more a day. I highly doubt that your son is watching more than a minute or two total throughout the day. I know that my son will glance at it, wondering what the noise is, etc, and then will go back to his toys.

I know they have tied ADD and ADHD to television watching in children, but I'm nearly positive it's from perhaps one or two years on up.
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#13 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:18 PM
 
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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?
listen to NPR! it's my new thing to do while walking DS to sleep for naps. very stimulating.

raising my two sunshine children.

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#14 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:23 PM
 
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ITA with those saying it can be very boring to sit and nurse all day long...I am not a TV person AT ALL but still those first few months I watched a LOT of TV. I don't see anything wrong with it. Once my baby got more active I didn't have time for TV anymore so I just left it off. The TV actually went in a closet and that's where it stays. I wouldn't worry that all this TV your wife is viewing now means she and the babe will just be couch potatos forever.
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#15 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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We're a no-tv family, but I caved during the enormously long hours of nursing and rocking DD at the very beginning. But, it did seem like the noise of the tv overstimulated DD, so I kept it on mute and turned the closed-captioning on. Perhaps you could convince your wife to try that as a compromise?
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#16 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericisbacchus
My wife stays at home to take care of our 3 month old son. She tells me he watches TV with her, and I'm wondering if that is a bad thing. I've read that there is a lot of controversy on it. I'm just concerned that my 3 month old is watching Montell and Dr. Phil.
What should I do?
How does he watch TV? I ask as if you are BF he faces the other way. He would hear the TV but not watch it.

FYI - WHO recommends not allowing your child to watch TV prior to 2 years of age.

A.
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#17 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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If your wife is watching it while she nurses, I don't think its a problem. As long as your baby isn't being sat in front of it for his entertainment.
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#18 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LolaK
It is really bad for kids to watch TV, even if they are just looking at it not knowing what it is.

There are tons of studies that show just how bad it can be for babies to watch TV.

I don't think that it's not a big deal and I don't think that being a tired SAHM is an excuse. I am just as tired as any mom and I do not let my daughter watch TV.
:

I think Montell AND Dr. Phil every weekday is a little long for the TV to be on where a baby can see it. I don't put the TV on during the day at all unless there is some sort of breaking news, which I think has happened twice in 6 months. If she feels the need to get away maybe she can watch TV while the baby is napping, or try reading a book or magazine instead? Or listening to the radio?

My baby does watch Saturday morning cartoons with DH for 1/2 hr one or two Saturdays a month which I don't exactly agree with, but it's DH's parenting decision and I think his excitement about sharing this daddy-son time with ds is too important for me to go on a "down with TV" tirade.

Since you said she is holding or nursing him maybe she can work to shield him from staring at the tube? I'll put a light blanket over Andrew while he's nursing to shut out distractions sometimes.

Part of the reason I am SO anti-TV is because I grew up in a house where it was on all day long and it absolutely makes me crazy and angry. I don't even know when I will finally feel that it's ok for Andrew to watch a little TV but I'm sure it won't be for a very long time.

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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#19 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rosie_plus_one
I would imagine that the majority of the studies done on television watching look at toddlers and up watching tv for perhaps 30 minutes or more a day. I highly doubt that your son is watching more than a minute or two total throughout the day. I know that my son will glance at it, wondering what the noise is, etc, and then will go back to his toys.

I know they have tied ADD and ADHD to television watching in children, but I'm nearly positive it's from perhaps one or two years on up.
Actually there are a bunch of studies done on children UNDER 2 years of age and they show that TV puts babies into a catatonic state and impacts brain waves. I used to have a great link but it has disappeared, I may try to find it when I get a second.
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#20 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 06:24 PM
 
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Eric, I also have an almost 4 month old who likes to watch tv. And I mean WATCH. Like twists her neck around to watch. (Must take after her daddy!)

Anyhow, I'm no expert, but I am discouraging it whenever I notice and turning her to face me, the cat, or anything else.

That's my $.02!

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

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#21 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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LolaK-

I'd love that link if you ever find it!

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

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#22 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 07:45 PM
 
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LolaK-

I'd love that link if you ever find it!
I'm not LolaK, but I've posted these on another thread.

1) Harvard University Professor T. Berry Brazelton hooked newborn babies up to electroencephalographs and then exposed them to a flickering light source similar to a television but with no images. Fifteen minutes into their exposure, the babies stopped crying and produced sleep patterns on the EEG, even though their eyes were still open and observing the light. Brazelton's experiment revealed that the medium itself, with no content, acts directly on the brain to suppress mental activity. The Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry confirmed Brazelton's finding in 1982. They reported that the brain waves generated while watching even the most exciting shows were those of low attention states. The researchers found that while subjects viewed television, "output of alpha rhythms increased, indicating they were in a passive state, as if they were just sitting in the dark." http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/tvkelemen.htm

2) Young children who watch television face an increased risk of attention-deficit problems by school age, a study has found, suggesting that television might overstimulate and permanently 'rewire' the developing brain. For every hour of television watched daily, two groups of children - ages 1 and 3 - faced a 10 percent increased risk of having attention problems at age 7. http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/tvkelemen.htm

3) And in 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents should not expose children under the age of 2 to any type of screen media.

More research:

http://www.zerotothree.org/vol22-2a.pdf

http://www.tvturnoff.org/research.htm
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#23 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 08:02 PM
 
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Does your TV have closed captioning? With the noise off the baby wouldn't get distracted from nursing. I did that a lot when my first was tiny.

NPR is a good idea too or reading.
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#24 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 08:05 PM
 
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we don't own a tv, so to everyone who feels that there is 'nothing else to do' and the two options are either watching tv all day or 'staring at the walls', i can tell you that there is a whole world of other things you can do.

i look at the internet while nursing, read books, listen to npr, write for her blog or in her baby book, listen to audiobooks from www.audible.com, and when she was really young and small i could do some scrapbooking with her on my lap. now she is bigger, that's a little harder.

she doesn't nurse ALL THE TIME and in the other time we have we go for walks, i read to her, take pictures of her, fix and eat my meals, maybe some light tidying, and we EC so of course i toilet her frequently and that takes time. sometimes i put her on my back in the mei tai and we do some light yardwork, or we run errands like going to the grocery store or library. i am also active at city hall in our town so there are a couple of meetings each week that she accompanies me to, and we started a mom's group that meets at a local cafe.

i would suggest to anyone with kids that they donate their tv to the local dump and start finding other ways to amuse themselves. really, what is going to happen to you if you don't get to watch 'Lost' or Dr. Phil? After a while you will realize that you were missing WAY more of life by watching tv all the time than you are now that you don't have tv at all.

just my 2 cents.
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#25 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 08:25 PM
 
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Sorry my "stare at the walls" comment struck you wrong, but most days that is all I would be able to do with no TV on. I can't read or write or surf the internet, because all of those activities require me to be in a physical position that makes my daughter upset. She doesn't nurse regularly (I Ep for her and offer her the breast all the time), and she is very particular about how I sit and feed her. Also, she must be held in a certain position to relax or nap at all most of the time. Basically, we live on the couch much of the day. I have tried music, but mostly it just makes me want to go to sleep (which is a bad plan for a sleep-deprived mom trying to stay awake to take care of her baby). I don't have a radio to listen to either (cd's only). When she is awake and not feeding, we sit and sing away from the TV, read, play silly faces with each other - whatever she wants, but those few hours a day where I have to hold her on the couch, I do watch TV.

I guess truthfully too, I grew up a TV junkie.... and yet, I have always been an avid reader (and still am), graduated salutatorian of my high school class, have advanced degrees in polymer science,and generally feel fairly intellectually well-developed. I don't wish to allow my daughter to be a TV potato, yet my habits are so firmly ingrained that they will need to be changed before she learns from my example. However, I am still at a loss for what to do those few hours a day where I am stuck in my little "nursing station" on the couch. She will outgrow it soon, so it will be a moot point, perhaps?

I do try to get out of the house at least two days per week to visit other moms, so we can sit and talk and visit the day away, which eliminates TV on those days.
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#26 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 09:30 PM
 
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Here's my $.02: I guess I'm weighing in with the "whatever gets her through the day" camp. For those who eschew TV, that's great...for you. But you never know how other peoples' lives, and babies, compare to your own, so it's a bit harsh to assume that your way is the best for everyone. In the early weeks, I think it's a rare mom who has enough energy to read or use the computer during ALL the nursing times. TV is a great companion for exhausted moms at 2 am (and 2 pm, for that matter). Past a certain point, I think with my DD it was about 6 months old, it was impossible to use the computer or read while nursing, she was too distracted by trying to grab at them. But TV she'd largely ignore. So it truly was TV, radio, or stare at the wall for us.

I think TV isn't great if it's too much, but I really don't get worked up when I see DS craning his little head around to stare at the glowing screen. After a few minutes I turn it off so he doesn't watch too much, but I truly don't think my boring, slow-moving cooking or talk shows are ruining his brain forever. 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.

Carol
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#27 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 09:50 PM
 
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DirectTV offers a 24/7, commercial free channel SPECIFICALLY for infants and toddlers UNDER 3 years old!

Check it out: http://directtv.com/DTVAPP/packages/BabyFirstTV.jsp

My child is 17 years old and has been exposed to plenty of t.v., even in his early years, but even I was shocked to see a channel designed especially for babies.
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#28 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 09:57 PM
 
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Ugh, I have seen reference to that before. I think it is pretty terrible, especially since people will think "it doesn't have commercials so there is no harm in my BABY watching it."
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#29 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 10:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllasMama

I think TV isn't great if it's too much, but I really don't get worked up when I see DS craning his little head around to stare at the glowing screen. After a few minutes I turn it off so he doesn't watch too much, but I truly don't think my boring, slow-moving cooking or talk shows are ruining his brain forever. 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.

Carol
I'm sorry but did you actually read this previous post? The whole point is that it doesn't matter what kind of show is on the TV, it doesn't have to be some crazy kid show.

"1) Harvard University Professor T. Berry Brazelton hooked newborn babies up to electroencephalographs and then exposed them to a flickering light source similar to a television but with no images. Fifteen minutes into their exposure, the babies stopped crying and produced sleep patterns on the EEG, even though their eyes were still open and observing the light. Brazelton's experiment revealed that the medium itself, with no content, acts directly on the brain to suppress mental activity. The Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry confirmed Brazelton's finding in 1982. They reported that the brain waves generated while watching even the most exciting shows were those of low attention states. The researchers found that while subjects viewed television, "output of alpha rhythms increased, indicating they were in a passive state, as if they were just sitting in the dark." http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/tvkelemen.htm"
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#30 of 70 Old 06-07-2006, 10:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EllasMama
Here's my $.02: I guess I'm weighing in with the "whatever gets her through the day" camp. For those who eschew TV, that's great...for you. But you never know how other peoples' lives, and babies, compare to your own, so it's a bit harsh to assume that your way is the best for everyone. In the early weeks, I think it's a rare mom who has enough energy to read or use the computer during ALL the nursing times. TV is a great companion for exhausted moms at 2 am (and 2 pm, for that matter). Past a certain point, I think with my DD it was about 6 months old, it was impossible to use the computer or read while nursing, she was too distracted by trying to grab at them. But TV she'd largely ignore. So it truly was TV, radio, or stare at the wall for us.

I think TV isn't great if it's too much, but I really don't get worked up when I see DS craning his little head around to stare at the glowing screen. After a few minutes I turn it off so he doesn't watch too much, but I truly don't think my boring, slow-moving cooking or talk shows are ruining his brain forever. 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.

Carol
:

Studies are great, but are subject to interpretation and critique. Common sense is one of my best friends.
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