Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Just found out that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for kids under age 2, even if it's "educational." That sounds fantastic to me.
It also sounds unrealistic.
When Olive was a newborn, I would frequently watch TV when I nursed her. But after a couple of months, she started getting distracted by what was on the tube, turning her head away from my breast and towards the TV, so I quickly nixed that practice. However, PapaM and I occasionally let Olive watch some evening TV with us: she's seen her fair share of Survivor and Deadliest Catch (PapaM has a slight obsession with that show).
I also throw in a Baby Einstein DVD a few times a week so I can have time to make dinner. The DVDs I have show stimulating visuals of moving objects with Mozart music in the background or teach about different animals. Things I would teach her myself, but I'm just letting the TV do it. Plus, the shows are only 30 minutes long. (Okay, sometimes I play them twice so Olive gets 60 minutes of tube time--but that's only for fancy dinners!) So it's okay, right?
Actually, I don't feel completely okay about it, but don't know how else to get dinner done. I try to do the food prep while Olive's napping, but that isn't always possible. Other times, I'll put Olive in her bouncy chair in the kitchen and turn on some music to keep her entertained, but that doesn't always work either. I do feel like she is too young (four months old) to be exposed to television, but sometimes I feel like it's my only option.
I try not to beat myself up over stuff like this. I would love to have the time and stamina to play with Olive 24/7, but ultimately I don't think a little TV is going to ruin my daughter. Growing up, my mother limited our TV time to two hours a day (less than the average three hours today's kids watch each day). I thought that was a good balance and think I turned out to be a pretty engaged kid, still able to interact with and explore the non-TV world around me.
If any of you mamas have ideas for how to avoid TV and still get stuff done, please share! I'm sure this will continue to be a challenge as my child grows up.