Baby Einstein DVD for 3-month-old OK? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-12-2007, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 3-month-old and my cousin gave us a Baby Mozart DVD as a gift. I have had it in my car to return (when I find the time - ha!) because I originally thought that babies were too young for TV. I can't give you a real reason for why I felt this way, but my first thought was that there will plenty of time for TV when he gets older.

We only watch a few Tivo'd programs a week and we don't have the TV on a lot with DS around, but in the past month, when we have, he is enthralled with it. He squirms and rolls over (yes, at 2.5 months) so he can see the movement on it. DH and I usually turn him the other way and continue playing with him like we were (and jokingly say, "It'll rot your brain!"), but it started to dawn on me... what if he really loves watching the images move? Is it really any different than me reading a book to him and showing him pictures (which I do all the time)? It's not pure evil - it could actually help him learn, right? I started to wonder if my aversion to things like this Baby Einstein DVD were because I have seen so many of my family members use it as a way to disconnect from their babies and do other things such as have a margarita. What if I was mindful about it and enojyed the DVD with him and didn't use plopping him in front of the TV as a way of parenting? Is that possible or is TV at this age always a bad thing? Has anyone out there watched one of these with their baby?

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:39 PM
 
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No, I don't think it's okay. It's not just the detachment issue. There is a lot of evidence that watching things on a screen is damaging to the developing brain. Even the AAP, which tends to be very conservative and wishy-washy, advocates absolutely no screen time for children under 2 years.

I think your instincts were leading you correctly in the first place. I'd return it or else put it away until much older.
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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Your ds is "enthralled" by TV b/c it puts him a quasi-hypnotic state. TV depresses the metabolism to levels below what they would be if your ds was sitting staring at a blank wall. Babies' brains are not designed to view the flickering, rapidly changing images on a screen. TV at very young ages changes the ways the brain absorbs and deals with information (TV is all "input" with no output or exploration) and is associated with ADD, obesity, and disinclination to read later in life (when the brain gets used to rapid-fire, constantly changing images and instant gratification, book reading seems slow and arduous by comparison). The AAP recommends no TV viewing at all for children under the age of 2. The content of the program doesn't matter--it is the act of viewing itself that causes damage.

I highly recommend the book "The Plug-In Drug."
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Old 04-12-2007, 11:27 PM
 
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As an early childhood interventionist I always recommend no TV before age 2 and after that very, very limited TV. And you're right, Baby Einstein videos teach nothing...they teach nothing at all. They are basically a direct way to market toys to very small children and over stimulate their little brains into a sort of hypnotic state. Stay far away is what I say!

ETA: Yes, there has been studies about how TV affects the brain of the very young and that is why no TV is the recommendation for children under 2. I can dig a couple up if you want to read them!

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Old 04-13-2007, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the posts ladies - I appreciate your responses. Now that I hear you guys say it, I too remember hearing something about no TV before 2 years of age. You're right, my gut instinct was correct and the DVD will go back to the store (or maybe get put on the shelf until he's older).
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Old 04-13-2007, 06:16 AM
 
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I started letting my DD watch a Baby Einstein video every once in awhile when she was about 3 months but it started to turn into a 'once a day' habit while I showered or did other things and I realised that she was just sitting there staring at it. It freaked me out so I haven't let her watch it since and try to keep the tv off almost all the time when she is awake. In fact, I'm moving more and more towards a tv-free household. But it's more because my tv is broken and I can't be bothered to pay to get it fixed than for any philisophical reason

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Old 04-13-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BathrobeGoddess View Post
As an early childhood interventionist I always recommend no TV before age 2 and after that very, very limited TV. And you're right, Baby Einstein videos teach nothing...they teach nothing at all. They are basically a direct way to market toys to very small children and over stimulate their little brains into a sort of hypnotic state. Stay far away is what I say!

ETA: Yes, there has been studies about how TV affects the brain of the very young and that is why no TV is the recommendation for children under 2. I can dig a couple up if you want to read them!
Could you either post these or PM them to me? I'm trying to convince my finace of this, and I need some hard proof!
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Old 04-13-2007, 12:21 PM
 
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http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...t/113/4/708%20

http://www.cyc-net.org/today2001/today010907.html

http://www.theage.com.au/news/scienc...191629304.html

hope these help!

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Old 04-13-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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Someone gave us one of these too. Instead of throwing it away, we put it in the player and turn off the monitor. That way we all benefit from the nice music without the bad tv effects. The music is actually pretty interesting.
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Old 04-13-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Your ds is "enthralled" by TV b/c it puts him a quasi-hypnotic state. TV depresses the metabolism to levels below what they would be if your ds was sitting staring at a blank wall. Babies' brains are not designed to view the flickering, rapidly changing images on a screen. TV at very young ages changes the ways the brain absorbs and deals with information (TV is all "input" with no output or exploration) and is associated with ADD, obesity, and disinclination to read later in life (when the brain gets used to rapid-fire, constantly changing images and instant gratification, book reading seems slow and arduous by comparison). The AAP recommends no TV viewing at all for children under the age of 2. The content of the program doesn't matter--it is the act of viewing itself that causes damage.

I highly recommend the book "The Plug-In Drug."
I totally agree/ We do a small amt tv now with our 3 year old (a movie & popcorn together when her brother is sleeping once a month or so) But in general - the real world is much better stimulus - for kids and adults
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