My Ban on Baby's Screen Time Is OverRebecca from Fosterhood
My daughter’s pediatrician doesn’t mince words, and he gives very little advice but one thing he’s made clear is “No screen time until age 4.” I remember consciously swallowing a gasp. No screens? That means everything, right? TV, iPad, my cell phone, computer … has this man ever met a toddler? Does he know it’s 2014? Sure enough, the American Pediatric Association (APA) put out a recommendation last year that children under 2 years old should not have screen time. Apparently my pediatrician double the age for good measure.
So I did it, for a year. Then the slope got slippery. The girls really love music, and I want to encourage them to learn children’s songs. Where do I go for music? YouYube of course. I tried Spotify, but YouTube was giving me more of what I wanted. For quite a while my babysitter and I would use YouTube and then minimize or blacken the screen. The babies didn’t know any better. However, it was just a matter of time before they realized they were missing out on some brightly colored visuals that they wanted in on.
I started out by just letting them watch one song of other children singing and dancing to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Then it was Alex Boye’s “Royals” video and next was Katy Perry’s “Roar.” The girls went NUTS. Suddenly I was able to do an entire sink of dishes without interruption. I was sold. We needed some life balance. I began rationalizing that it’s a quality of life issue. Wouldn’t it be better if the girls had a mopped floor to crawl around on in exchange for 20 minutes of Sesame Street? Surely that’s better than
never rarely mopping the floor.
And so now, if I need to get something done, the TV comes on. No more than an hour a day. Much more than the APA recommends, but we’ve got to keep the boat afloat!
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