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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Does watching TV do any good to my 3-month-old baby?

    Here's something that my husband and I cannot agree about again: Letting our 3-month old baby watch TV.

    I don't know but am I the only one who disagrees with this? Well, the baby does seem to actually enjoy watching because his eyes seem fixed on the TV set, especially with animations. My husband is simply fascinated with how the baby just seems to watch without batting an eyelash!

    Oh.. but I am afraid that this isn't a good idea. There was one time when the baby has started mewling, which I took as his early indication of hunger. But my husband just thought that it was because the baby was distracted from watching TV when he changed positions in cradling him. In a couple of minutes, my baby burst into tears.

    Is there any benefit for the baby to be exposed to TV at such a young age? Or, doesn't it do more harm than good?
    My sister said that there's some kind of DVD just showing colors and shapes intended for infants to watch. Would you recommend this?

  2. #2
    Studies are proving high contrast objects can be good for infants to look at, but that doesn't have to be TV. You can purchase a high contrast mobile (black and white images) or you can make one.

    Your sister is right in that there are DVDs that show colors and shapes intended to stimulate an infant's brain. But I'll also say that we did not have a TV when my first child was born. She never watched TV during her first year of life... and she has just completed her 2nd year of college with straight A's, she is emotionally stable and is a teacher for infants and toddlers at a child care center.

    My personal opinion is the less TV you allow children to watch, the better. If they don't have TV, they will be more inclined to use their imaginations and to engage in social activities with others in the family (having discussions, telling stories, doing things together). When children interact with others they learn important skills like how to work together and how to share.

    I believe that children who are introduced to TV early are being taught how to have an appetite for entertainment, and this means that as they grow, they will have a steadily increasing desire to be entertained with bright, shiny, moving objects.

    One of the best and most healthy forms of entertainment is books. Teach your children how to read and it will open up the whole world to them.

    At 3 months of age, a child can also become overstimulated easily (TV can do this). So I'd encourage you to not sit baby up in front of the TV for now, as it could be overstimulating to them.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  3. #3
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    I absolutely agree that it'd be better to just let babies be stimulated in ways other than the TV. I think it's the best time for them to play. Thank you for that added information regarding high-contrast visuals. I love the link you sent me! Thank you for sending this DIY high-contrast mobiles. It's no wonder then that my baby tends to gaze intently at my clothes with stripes or black and white spirals such as the ones in the link.

    It's a relief to read your response. I'm going to try your suggestions.

  4. #4
    I agree with you ladies. Whilst babies and toddlers will get fixated on TV programmes it is better for their emotional and social development if they are being stimulated by: chatting, playing with family and other children, reading (there are a huge number of studies to support the positive lifelong influence of enjoying books e.g. the social benefits of reading to kids), drawing etc depending on the age of the child.

    What a wonderful start you are giving your baby!

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  5. #5
    HI Everyone,

    Congratulations Madysen for having such an intelligent kid. Kids, even infants and toddlers, seem to become such fast learners these days. A 3-month old watching intently on TV is amazing. On the other hand, I do agree with Kate and LJ. I even remember my granny tell my sibs and I about TV: "It is not healthy for kids to watch TV all the time".

    Television is one of the many visual stimulants but does not really have a good and productive effect on children. It does make them intelligent or stimulated but the more that they become fixated on it the more they become addicted to it as well.

    I tried it on my 3-year old son - making television my baby sitter - so I can do some chores. However, when he started having tantrums and whining because of the want to watch TV, I tole myself that it was not doing both of us good.

    There are other ways to make a child become a better and smarter kid aside from TV - socializing with other kids, interacting with parents and siblings, reading books or bedtime stories to kids (as mentioned by LJ), listening to stimulating baby songs are just a few of the many ways to make your kid your little super baby.

    Best regards,

  6. #6
    Thanks for your interesting comments on this MumO'Three.

    I have also found that the days when my son has watched programmes on the computer (we don't have a TV as we found we were wasting too much time sitting in front of it) he will often have temper tantrums and become uninterested with the toys he usually likes. Like you, MumO'Three, I see this as a sign that it is far better for him to be stimulated with his building, climbing and colouring.

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  7. #7
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    It makes me excited to read your posts.

    And it's interesting to know that even reading does contribute to building social skills; TV can't give the same. So, I got a set of picture books for my son. He's not holding his attention that long as he would while watching TV, but it's a start.

    Thanks a lot ladies!

  8. #8
    Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job Madysen! Your little boy has a great mum!

  9. #9
    I knew a 1 year old who would spin lids to keep himself entertained. He just got into the cupboard one day and pulled out all the metal lids to his mum's pots, and started spinning them. It was amazing, and as he got older, he would get them all spinning at one time.

    I love the way children can entertain themselves with things around the house. I once had a friend walk into my house and she asked where all the toys were. I simply didn't have many toys when my children were younger so people never saw them.

    Kate

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