|

Your Baby and Television

Babyproofing

Don't count on TV's hypnotic powers to keep your crawler or toddler safe. Your child still needs supervision, even if she seems entranced by a particular show. Make sure the TV's in a child-safe room, that all stairs are blocked off, and that you can see your baby from where you will be.

The amount of television your baby watches, and the content of the programs, shouldn't be an issue until the end of the first year or even later. Until about 9 or 10 months, your baby sees TV programs as nothing more than a blur of flashing lights and colors. With most shows, even children's shows, the images change too often to permit your baby to focus. (Some infants do find this blur somewhat hypnotic, but most find it boring.) Even after your baby develops some interest in TV, it probably won't sustain her interest for very long. After all, your child still has an extremely short attention span.

Undeniably, sitting your baby down in front of the TV can be very useful at times. When you need to make dinner, for instance, and your crawler or toddler would otherwise be wrapped around your ankles as you try to carry a pot of boiling pasta to the sink, TV may seem like an appealing option.

It's not that watching TV is such a bad thing to do. But your baby could be doing so many other things, things she won't be doing while watching TV. So when TV does become a viable option, try to limit viewing time. Just as important (if not more important), limit your baby's viewing choices. In general, stick with public television, shows on Nickelodeon or The Learning Channel, and well-chosen videotapes. Almost all of these choices permit commercial-free viewing of non-violent, somewhat educational programming.

More on: Babies

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bringing Up Baby © 1997 by Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.