I am not quite there yet, but hopefully will after the new year.
Before Oct, DD1 (she'll be 4 next month) just watched a video once in a while, and maybe a cartoon or two a week, and that just started this year. We could easily go a week or more without turning on the TV. I would turn it on when I needed to sit down or etc... DD1 never asked for TV.
Fast forward to Oct, DD2 was born, TV time got increased alot, then we all got pertussis. DD1 couldn't run around and play for several weeks without throwing up, more TV time. Now DD2 has a bad case of pertussis, I literally do nothing all day but sit on the couch holding her while she is coughing and nurse her, which equals DD1 being parked in front of the TV for hours.
DD1 isn't able to entertain herself anymore, it's not like she was that great about it before. If DD2 isn't vomitting everywhere for once and the TV is off, I try to play with DD1, she just begs for it to be turned back on. I know this will be a weaning process, DD2 is still pretty sick, I know it is going to be a couple more weeks before our house feels somewhat normal again. DD1 still isn't fully herself yet either, so my goal is to start in the new year.
Any tips, suggestions from moms who have been here?
I, too, worried a great deal about the amount of TV DD was watching and that she wasn't learning to entertain herself but was becoming dependent on the TV (videos, actually. We don't get good tv reception out here). I was really agonizing over how hard it was going to be to cut down on TV and how in the world we were going to do it.
Then the power went out for three days. We had no choice about the TV. DD asked several times for the TV, but eventually stopped, and found other things to play with.
I realized that it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be, and for us, anyway, the best thing was cold turkey. Maybe even put the TV in storage somewhere out of sight. Its not really good for Mama to become the entertainment instead of the TV, I don't believe, because then she would be just as dependent on me as she had been on the TV. I would make sure she has activities (playdoh, crayons, etc) and even set some things up for her, but not become the TV replacement.