TV and babies - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-01-2009, 12:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Question about the TV and DS, who is 5mo old. We don't have cable but do use our tv (color, flat screen) to watch DVDs. Often we will pop in a DVD and watch while we're bouncing/rocking DS to sleep. During this time he'll often be drawn in to look at the TV screen and seems calmed and relaxed by the images. If I turn him away or cover his eyes with my hand, he gets upset!!! Eventually I just turn the exercise ball or rocker away from the direction of the TV and he'll lose interest in trying to see, but oftentimes its tempting to let him watch because it calms him down! My instincts tell me this is NOT good for him tho, so I never do.

Do any of you notice the same thing with your babies? What do you all think about letting very young infants (1 year and under) watch the TV screen?

Melissa, mama to sweet sons Alexander (11/29/08) and Henry (12/29/10).
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#2 of 10 Old 05-04-2009, 10:13 PM
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You may be witnessing the "orienting response."

To answer your question, I have noticed that if our baby happens to be in the room while DH is watching the weather forecast, the baby's attention becomes completely focused on the screen; as a result, we really try not to have the baby in the room if the TV is on.

As this is a TV-free forum, you'll probably not find many families here where very young children are encouraged to watch the TV.

Decluttering SAHM of three. Going for 2011 items in 2011.
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#3 of 10 Old 05-23-2009, 04:58 PM
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Our baby is six months and we have never allowed him to watch DVDs, even on our digital projector. We do have a fireplace DVD that shows a crackling fire (funny and jokey around Christmastime) and one that shows an aquarium. Both of those are just looped footage with the accompanying sounds, and they don't seem to interest him much.

I have no plans to let our son watch anything until he's a toddler, if then.

Loving wife partners.gif and mama to my sweet little son coolshine.gif (Fall 2008) and a beautiful baby girl babyf.gif(Fall 2010)


When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw

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#4 of 10 Old 06-11-2009, 04:27 PM
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I'm having the same problem. I often have the TV on for background noise, as I get bored alone at home with no car. Now, I'm noticing my 5 mth old watching it a lot. At first, I wasn't so concerned, thinking he just liked watching the bright colors, but the more I think about it, and watch DH who is practically addicted to TV, I realize I don't want to start this pattern!

Wife to DH (10/2004) ~ Mama to DS (1/2009) ~ belly.gif (11/2011)
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#5 of 10 Old 06-11-2009, 04:44 PM
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Yes, we don't have TV but when my kids were babies and they were out and about in places with a television (airport, dr's office, my in-laws), they would hone right in on it.

And why not? Heck, I would do the same, myself. Television is very seductive. That is part of the reason we don't have one. So no, I would avoid having a baby around a television.
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#6 of 10 Old 06-17-2009, 10:42 PM
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It's not "calming" as much as mesmerizing... .
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#7 of 10 Old 06-29-2009, 11:35 AM
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You'll notice most people get a little of that distracted, memorized, not wanting to look away reaction to TV, adults just control themselves so we don't cry or tantrum when it's taken away. The brainwaves change when you see TV, especially in kids under age 2, that's why the AAP says don't let them. Last night at a party I saw baby DVDs for the first time ever, it was scary!! So psychedelic and the way the 7mo old in the room was sucked in, *shudder*. One was Beethoven and it wasn't even real music, it was synthesized and sounded like poo, and had shiny twirly spinning things to draw the babies in. My DH was pretty sucked in too, but he had just drank a beer so that might have worsened it.

When we watch TV I turn my babies away and distract them from it. I know, TV-free forum, I shouldn't be watching any. But we have gotten much more selective about what we watch at least, only quality acting and thought provoking stuff.
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#8 of 10 Old 06-29-2009, 11:51 PM
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We call this "the zombie stare". Nothing good comes from it...

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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#9 of 10 Old 08-09-2009, 10:27 PM
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This is so us right now. I have a 3.5 yr old and a 9 month old. When the older girl was a baby she was never interested in tv (didn't watch much, just a couple of tivo'd shows & the occasional dvd) but the little one is SUCKED right in every time. We let the 3.5 yr old watch movies & youtube. I need to cut back on it but it's hard when your tired and they're tired and it so much easier to veg
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#10 of 10 Old 09-07-2009, 09:45 PM
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I just had such a memory -- I was watching jeapordy while DS1 (4 months) was standing holding onto the back of the couch & jumping jumping jumping. Someone on the show answered correctly & the audiance applauded. He stopped what he was doing & turned to watch the TV for a few moments. Did the same every time he heard the applause. After a few more minutes I turned the TV off & that was it. It totally freaked me out, not only that he had tuned into the TV, but that he had stopped his really important, gross motor activity to do it.

I turned the TV off during the day & turned on NPR (National Public Radio) instead. (Highly recomend the same for any other bored & lonely mamas with very LO's. Just listening to music didn't do it for me. I needed human voices & a sense of conversation. Yay - talk radio!)

Loving mama to magical boys Skyler (11/21/03) and Gryffin Emrys (9/30/08). 


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