Babies and TV
The world of social media has opened my eyes to how many parents sit their very young babies in front of the TV. So, what’s up with all the screen time with babies?
I mean, babies are…babies. They explore and play. Most babies are just happy to be held, put in a swing, or to just play on the floor.
No judgement from me, it’s just surprising that a tiny being who would be happy to play with an empty Sprite bottle would be placed in front of a screen for entertainment.
I’m of the belief that TV and other forms of screen time are tools in our parenting toolboxes, but babies don’t need that level of stimulation.
Why do parents do this?
I conducted a little poll in a general Facebook mom’s group and got some answers!
Or pretty much just one answer over and over again, along with a whole load of snarky defensiveness.
People put their babies in front of the TV because they need to get things done. They believe their babies simply cannot exist without constant entertainment.
There was also the overwhelming sentiment that their babies are learning from the television. And, of course, the babies seem to enjoy it.
Babies like TV: no kidding
I’m a mother, so I get it! It’s hard to hear your baby cry while you take a shower or wash the dishes.
These things have to be done, though. These aren’t “Dust if you Must” situations. This is just life…and just like you have to get used to it, so do your babies.
Babies are smart. They get to know the deal.
Of course, if you put them in front a screen, they are going to to like it. And they are going to get used to it and begin to expect the intense stimulation that TV provides.
Entertainment they don’t have work for. Who wouldn’t like that?!
Herein lies the problem, though. You really don’t want your baby used to constant, effortless entertainment.
Screen time and babies: it’s a problem, not a solution
I’m all about having time to myself and getting things done around the house. The only thing that would make my life harder is having kids that are in constant need of high-intensity stimulation.
What parents need to understand is that babies are natural scientists. They want to explore their surroundings.
Screens are entertaining, sure, but babies need to be using thier bodies and minds; their limbs and hands. They are able to create their own entertainment, but only if you let them.
This is how they develop, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
While babies may be enthralled by a movie or a show, they aren’t actually capable of following a storyline or gaining value from a plot. And, yes, babies can actually learn some things from TV and apps, but this is just rote memorization and it’s not even remotely (no pun intended) useful to them.
It’s a waste of their time. A waste of the most rapid period of their brain development.
I know, as the loving parents you are, that you don’t want to waste this time for them.
Parenting an infant is hard! With the lack of community and family support mothers are suffering from this day in age. Parenting may be harder than it’s ever been!
But what seems like a great short-term solution can cause problems in the long run.
Babies are built to play, it’s how they learn. So give them the chance to develop naturally.
I challenge you to just give it a chance. Turn off the TV and see that your baby, and you, can manage just fine without it!