Want to stimulate your baby’s brain?
Turn off the TV.
The programming is adorable. The packaging conjures
up famous thinkers and composers. All of this baby
media is part of a multimillion dollar business (a good
thing to think about when tempted to buy or use media
at this age). After all, you are your baby’s best teacher.
So when it comes to trying new ways to help your child
think, you may want to start by putting that baby
program on pause.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends
no TV for kids under 2.
43% of children under the age of 2 watch TV every
day and nearly one in five watch videos or DVDs
every day (Kaiser, 2003).
In 2009 the Walt Disney Company began offering
refunds for Baby Einstein products, based on
evidence that the products were not educational.
Studies show that television exposure at ages
1 through 3 is associated with attention problems
at age 7 (Christakis, 2004).
Other studies show that some educational programming
for kids over 2 — like family favorite
Sesame Street — can help get kids ready for school
(Society for Research in Child Development, 2001).
What is baby media?
From Baby Einstein to Brainy Baby, all kinds of DVDs
and computer games are out there for our youngest
kids. Since Baby Einstein launched in 1997, baby media
has become big business. Sales of videos for infants
and toddlers reached $100 million back in 2004. There’s
even a television channel — Baby First TV — aimed at
this youngest of audiences.
Why it matters
For starters, the American Academy of Pediatrics
recommends no TV at all for kids under the age of 2. And
while your kid won’t be damaged with a little TV or
video, remember that every minute spent sitting in front
of a TV is a minute when your babies are not exploring
the world with all their senses. Research shows that
interacting with you is what builds babies’ brains. Some
new interactive computer programs can be more
stimulating than TV shows, but none of these products
designed for kids under 2 have been proven to make
children smarter or more school-ready. A study at the
University of Washington released in August 2007
suggests “developmental” DVDs and videos can actually
delay toddler language development.
Read the full story at: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/blog/zero-to-eight-childrens-media-use-in-america