My Baby Loves Watching TV... Is It Bad?

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  1. I'm so concerned about my baby watching TV right now. As he grows, he just loves it more and more, especially "The Simpsons".

    So I'm wondering that if watching TV is bad for his eyes? (he watches TV for about 2 hours/day) I don't want him to start wearing glasses at the age of 2! The midwives/nurses told me it's ok to watch a little bit of TV, but my in-law is absolutely against it. She thinks TV hurts his eyes and makes him dumb.

    However, my family do watch lot of TV at night, and I can't leave him in the other room just to avoid TV but my son certainly will watch with us if the TV is on.

    So, any suggestions?

  2. Turn. the. TV. off.

    Your child is 2 for goodness sakes, he does not need to be watching television - especially something as horrible as the Simpsons.

    If you must watch TV in the evening while your son is awake, then make sure that he's got something to occupy him so that he won't be drawn to the television. Sit down on the floor with him with him facing away from the TV and play. You can still see the TV and he's spending time with you
  3. Not only will it be bad for his eyesight (I'm sure he's not sitting an appropriate distance away either..) I believe TV watching causes an increased risk of developing ADD / ADHD later in life..
  4. ok. tv's off...

    sorry i forgot to say that he's 10 months old (even worse i know). i was just saying that i was worried about him might need glasses at the age of 2.

    he wont be occupied with anything if the tv's on. he tries to push me away if i block his view...he just loves it so much!
  5. Then you need to either 1) stop watching TV while this poor kid is awake or 2) move the TV into another room so DH and you can watch it on alternating sides if you must.

    My daughter is 6 months old and we don't watch television when she's awake. TV is always saved for her naptimes
  6. And at 10 months old, I don't think he loves the TV...I think he's been taught and shown how to love it.

    When did you start letting him watch TV and which programs did you let him watch?
  7. lamiastella, thank you for all your advice. i made a mistake for letting my son watch tv but it doesnt necessarily make him a "poor kid". i do love him from the bottom of my heart and i do want the best for him.
    he started to show interest from the age of 6 months so i let him watch cartoons and kids shows. and i know my son, he cant be taught or shown to love something.
  8. I'm a firm believer that nothing good can come out of TV at that young age, which is why I used the term 'poor kid'...It wasn't meant to be a jab at you :smile:

    Good luck with everything - I'm interested to see what some other tPFers have to say about this :smile:
  9. There is a lot of information on the bad effects of television on young children. Even "educational" shows have been shown to possibly be harmful. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO TV for children younger than 2, and maybe 30 minutes of TV a day for children older than 2. It's been found that there is very little brain activity going on when children watch TV - they learn to be passive observers. Also, there is an association with speech delay and possibly ADHD. The problem with TV is kids get hooked and it becomes very difficult to wean them off.

    I would suggest giving your child something more active to do like play with blocks, stacking cups, or other age-appropriate toys/activities.
  10. From

    [SIZE=+2]Television and the Family[/SIZE]Family is the most important influence in a child's life, but television is not far behind. Television can inform, entertain, and teach us. However, some of what TV teaches may not be the things you want your child to learn. TV programs and commercials often show violence, alcohol or drug use, and sexual content that may not be suitable for children or teens. Studies show that TV viewing may lead to more aggressive behavior and less physical activity. By knowing how television affects your children and by setting limits, you can help make your child's TV-watching experience not only enjoyable, but healthy too.
    How TV affects your child
    There are many ways that television affects your child's life. When your child sits down to watch TV, consider the following:
    Children in the United States watch about 4 hours of TV every day. Watching movies on tape and playing video games only adds to time spent in front of the TV screen. It may be tempting to use television, movies, and video games to keep your child busy, but your child needs to spend as much time growing and learning as possible. Playing, reading, and spending time with friends and family are much healthier than sitting in front of a TV screen.
    Children who watch too much television are are more likely to be overweight. They do not spend as much time running, jumping, and getting the exercise they need. They also see many commercials for unhealthy foods, such as candy, snacks, sugary cereals, and drinks during children's programs. Commercials almost never give information about the foods children should eat to keep healthy.
    If your child watches 3 to 4 hours of noneducational TV per day, he will have seen about 8,000 murders on TV by the time he finishes grade school. Children who see violence on television may not understand that real violence hurts and kills people. Even if the "good guys" use violence, children may learn that it is okay to use force to handle aggression and settle disagreements. It is best not to let your child watch violent programs and cartoons.
    Television exposes children to adult behaviors, like sex. But it usually does not show the risks and results of early sexual activity. On TV, sexual activity is shown as normal, fun, exciting, and without any risks. Your child may copy what she sees on TV in order to feel more grown up.
    Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
    Young people today are surrounded by messages that say drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes or cigars are normal activities. These messages don't say that alcohol and tobacco harm people and may lead to death. Beer and wine are some of the most advertised products on television. TV programs and commercials often show people who drink and smoke as healthy, energetic, sexy, and successful. It is up to you to teach your child the truth about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
    The average child sees more than 20,000 commercials each year. Commercials are quick, fast-paced, and entertaining. After seeing the same commercials over and over, your child can easily remember a song, slogan, or catchy phrase. Ads may try to convince your child that having a certain toy or eating a certain food will make him happy or popular. Older children can begin to understand how ads use pictures, music, and sound to entertain. Kids need to know that ads try to convince people to buy things they may not need.
    Television affects how your child learns. High-quality, nonviolent children's shows can have a positive effect on learning. Studies show that preschool children who watch educational TV programs do better on reading and math tests than children who do not watch those programs. When used carefully, television can be a positive tool to help your child learn.

    A word about...TV for toddlers
    Children of all ages are constantly learning new things. The first 2 years of life are especially important in the growth and development of your child's brain. During this time, children need good, positive interaction with other children and adults. Too much television can negatively affect early brain development. This is especially true at younger ages, when learning to talk and play with others is so important.
    Until more research is done about the effects of TV on very young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend television for children age 2 or younger. For older children, the Academy recommends no more than 1 to 2 hours per day of educational, nonviolent programs.
  11. thanks guys........i feel like a monster, for letting my baby watch that much tv. feeling so guilty right now. hope i've stopped in time and the tv didnt do him any harm.
  12. When you know better, you do better. Don't beat yourself up.

    I agree with the pp about the telly. Nothing good can come from watching for little ones. My kids were not allowed any telly until age 2, and then they were allowed 1 half-hour program from public telly twice a week, which was probably still excessive.

    Now that the older two are in school they hardly see any telly at all. Of course, there is none in the morning when we are getting ready and having breakfast as a family, and after school I miss them and want to discuss the day, play outdoors or play games with the family.

    However, on the rare occasions I get to sleep in a little on a Saturday, dad watches some Saturday morning cartoons with them! But my youngest is 3.
  13. Hi missy, at least you care enough to do what's best for your son. My son just turned 10 months and does not have the attention span yet to sit in front of the tv to watch. He just crawls away, lol.
  14. again, thanks for sharing your experience guys.

    disney4us-i wish my son could crawl away when the tv is on. unfortunately he loves everything that has a screen-cell phones, cameras and etc.

    i've got an asian style screen door now, just to block off the tv and my son's playing area so that i can watch both of tv and him.

    i hope he forgets about tv one day and i can move that screen door out of the way!
  15. You might find a lot of joy if you shut off the telly for yourself, too! There is no way around the fact that kids learn what they see, and even if he doesn't see the telly, if he knows you are watching it, he will want to, too. Studies show that kids who grow up seeing their parents read learn to love reading far more than kids who don't. And adults who do not watch television, especially news, tend to be happier than those who do.

    Try to shut off the box and interact with your son. This time goes so fast, that no sit-com is worth the price!