What are your thoughts on babies watching TV? Truth be told, when I was pregnant and even in L's first few months, I was 100% against it. I felt there are SO MANY ways to engage a baby/child that using a TV was kind of a lazy way out. I didn't want to raise a child that had to be visually stimulated ALL THE TIME; I still don't.
We used to have an 18 in. TV that she never showed any curiosity in anyway, so I figured it wouldn't be a problem keeping her interested in other things. Then our TV broke about 6 weeks ago, and we upgraded to a 32 in. (for us, this makes for a humongous television). Sure enough, the first time we turned it on, her little head turned right to it and her eyes stared in amazement... and we were watching CNN. Seeing as she spends most of her indoor hours in our living room, we made sure to only turn it on if she was sleeping.
About a week later, my mom sent her a package of goodies in the mail including a copy of 101 Dalmatians. I figured I'd just hold onto it until she got a little older. Another few days passed by and I was getting us ready for her nightly walk. It was close to her bedtime and she was especially fussy that evening. I knew once she was in her stroller and we were walking, she'd be fine, but I felt so flustered and was trying to figure out a way to buy myself 15 minutes to get dressed and gulp down a quick meal. So, I caved. I put the movie in, and she was instantly calm. I got dressed and sat on the couch to watch her watch TV while I ate my dinner. I was incredibly surprised to see that instead of just sitting there like a lump on a log, she actually seemed to want to interact with the adorable characters floating in front of her. She'd kick, and laugh, and even gasp when the story seemed to get exciting. I started to think that perhaps letting your baby watch a little TV isn't that bad.
Now, it's part of our nightly routine. I pop it in for 15 minutes (ok, sometimes 20) right before our walk and it allows me to get a few things done without feeling like I need to rush like a madwoman because I've got a crying baby needing immediate attention. In fact, I'd go as far to say that ever since I've been incorporating TV, her evening fussy fits have greatly diminished. It seems to turn a switch on in her brain that tells her it's time to relax. So far, 101 Dalmatians is the only thing she seems to want to watch. She squeals with delight every time Pongo (the main dalmatian) comes on the screen. I tried Bambi, but it was a total bust. Another good sign, if you ask me. At least I know she's not captured by the television just because it's on.
So I'm interested in hearing your thoughts. Do you guys let your babies/kids watch some TV from time to time? Or, maybe even a fair amount of TV because you truly just need a big break? Or, are you how I once was and wouldn't even imagine allowing it?