The American Association of Pediatrics strongly advises that children under age 2 should not be exposed to screen time. My daughters’ pediatrician took it a step further and said no screen time until age 4. At first, I didn’t process the scope of screen time which includes computers, iPads and cell phones in addition to television. Does talking to family via Skype count? What about their obsession with watching videos of themselves?
One year into their time on earth, my babies’ laser sharp bee-line to all things screen like has me aware of how easily hours of screen time can accumulate in a day. It much, much harder to keep them away than I thought it would be. And what about their time with their babysitter while I’m at work? Is it fair to require her to abide by absolutely no screen time too?
I went almost 7 years without watching TV- the years after college until 9/11. Even then I held onto my 12″ screen with an antenna only for emergencies. Eventually, I had a roommate who wanted cable and television crept into my life. Now I’m a proud appreciator of reality tv. Swamp People is my most favorite show.
I hope that when my daughters are 37 years old, their interests will expand far beyond tv. I want them to be too busy living life for them to be bothered. So my rule is 1 hour a day. 30 minutes for me while I get ready for work in the morning and 30 minutes for the girl’s babysitter to catch a break in the day. The shows they are restricted to are “Baby Einstein”, “Sesame Street” and select music videos.
What are your screen time rules for your baby?