What is appropriate media for babies?
Undoubtedly you’ve read news accounts about not allowing your babies to watch television or other forms of media. Surprise…there is very little research to support the harmful effects of use on young children. In fact some newer research is showing that well-planned use of media may be helpful in early literacy development.
I know…the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended not letting young children watch TV. However, check out the links below for the true facts. The principle the newest research emphasizes is the amount and quality of the media that your babies watch.
First, you must select high quality programs geared for your baby’s age. Then make sure you are present during the first few times to observe your baby’s reaction. Besides high quality, limit the amount of TV viewing. High volumes that take the place of parent interactions with their baby would not be wise. For the youngest babies, limit the time to around 15-20 minutes. Remember to watch your use when baby is around!
What media is best for different age groups?
Babies will be exposed to media even when you can’t control it. It is because you are using it all the time and they will imitate you! You Skype with your parents in another state and Mom and Dad will want to talk to the baby…and so it begins! These interactions are precious and important to both your parents and your children so please allow it! So what is good to let them watch or interact with? I have reviewed a few links at different ages to help you get started, but please feel free to explore some of your own. It does matter what age your baby is. For the youngest babies, they recommend something very controlled and no longer than about 15-20 minutes. The older toddlers and preschool children can watch longer media. What is not good though is to just turn on the television on the kids network and let them go. Be selective and watch the amount of time. Here are some to get you started:
Best shows for babies:
It’s Your Turn:
Study the research
- Study the links above
- Keep an open mind
- Watch your own television and media use around your baby
- Be selective when choosing media that improves literacy development
Select the best media
- Select the best media for your baby’s age
- Watch with your baby at first
- Limit the time, especially if they are babies
- Develop shortcuts or favorites to access the best media quickly
- Focus on media that improves early literacy development