Come here often? Make XFINITY.com your homepage » close

Get instant access to XFINITY.com. Download the XFINITY® One Click Google extension» close

close

Your XFINITY Connect session has timed out due to inactivity. Click here to go back close

Media Tips for Babies and Toddlers

Loading... Share No Thanks

Caroline Knorr , Common Sense Media
Fri Mar 7, 3:37 PM UTC

Using the TV, a tablet, a smart phone or video game as a babysitter may not be something to brag about, but we all know that it's an easy way to buy some necessary downtime. According to Common Sense Media's 2013 study, Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America, kids 8 and under spend about two hours a day interacting with screen media; 72% of kids 8 and under have used a mobile device for some sort of media activity—and 38% of kids under 2 have used a mobile device for media. That's a lot.

Obviously, a little screen time won't harm your child. But remember that every minute spent sitting in front of a screen is a minute when your babies aren't exploring the world with all their senses.

Next time you're tempted to reach for that remote, pop in a DVD, or fire up an app, take a moment to think about a balanced media plan for your child, and create a daily schedule to make sure you're not over-relying on media.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, excessive media use can contribute to health risks, including obesity, lack of sleep, aggression, and school problems. Plus, it's interacting with you that helps build baby's brains. That's why the AAP discourages screens for kids under 2 and recommends limiting it to 1 or 2 hours per day for older kids.

But it's not just quantity that matters—quality does, too. Programs with learning potential and pro-social messages have value for all kids. And there are plenty of programs that encourage brain-stimulating interaction rather than mere passive consumption.

Tips for Parents of Young Kids

If you're going to let babies interact with a screen, know what they're watching and playing. Be smart about the programs you pick. Choose games or programs that are age appropriate, with non-jarring sounds and bright, stimulating colors.

Don't turn TV into preschool. Baby TV hasn't proven to be of any benefit for school readiness. The best preparation for your children involves spending time with them, reading, talking, and exposing them to the world.

Have-it-your-way TV. Take advantage of your DVR, On-Demand service, and streaming TV on the Internet to take control over what your kids watch, when they watch, and how much they watch. Customize the experience by skipping commercials and muting parts you don't want your kids to hear.

As kids get older, keep media out of their bedroom. When TVs or computers are in their room, kids spend more time using media, and parents are less involved with their choices.

Teach your children to ask you whether it's OK to turn on media. This simple control mechanism helps keep gaming, TV watching, and online activity from becoming habits.

Watch the clock. Media use increases as children get older. Less screen time improves your children's ability to entertain themselves in other ways. Set time rules, and stick to them.

Co-view and co-play. Take an active role in your kids' media and take the time to share your values with them.

Loading... Share No Thanks

Most Popular News

  • Bradley Cooper's DNC appearance irks conservatives
    Bradley Cooper's DNC appearance irks conservatives

    2 Recommendations

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bradley Cooper's appearance at the Democratic National Convention has irked some conservative fans of the actor's portrayal of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in 2014's "American Sniper."

  • Bikini-clad Swedish cop makes arrest while sunbathing
    Bikini-clad Swedish cop makes arrest while sunbathing

    2 Recommendations

    STOCKHOLM (AP) — She was off duty and wearing a bikini but that didn't stop Swedish police officer Mikaela Kellner from catching a suspected thief.

  • AP FACT CHECK: Misfires in Hillary Clinton's speech
    AP FACT CHECK: Misfires in Hillary Clinton's speech

    1 Recommendations

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In her speech accepting the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton wrongly implied Donald Trump has proposed banning Islam in America and sketched out a plan for defeating Islamic State militants that merely mirrors what the U.S. is already trying to do.

  • Rabbi was behind meeting between pope, Polish rescuers
    Rabbi was behind meeting between pope, Polish rescuers

    1 Recommendations

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Pope Francis' visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday included an encounter with 25 Christian Poles who rescued Jews during the Holocaust — a powerfully symbolic meeting that Poland's chief rabbi played a key role in orchestrating.

Ad Info - Ad Feedback

Loading...