As a parent, it’s natural to want to provide your infant with engaging and entertaining television programs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all TV programs are created equal, and some may not be appropriate or beneficial for your child’s development.
Research has shown that excessive screen time in infants and young children can have negative effects on their cognitive and social-emotional development. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of two should not have any screen time at all, with the exception of video chatting with family and friends. So, if you do choose to introduce your infant to TV programs, it’s important to be selective and intentional about the content you choose. Here are some tips for selecting the right TV programs for your infant:
1. Choose age-appropriate content
Infants have very limited attention spans and are not yet able to understand complex narratives or dialogue. Look for programs that are specifically designed for infants, with simple and repetitive visuals and sounds that are easy for them to process.
2. Prioritize educational content
While it’s tempting to choose programs with colorful characters and catchy tunes, research suggests that infants and young children benefit most from educational content that promotes language development, cognitive skills, and social-emotional learning. Look for programs that teach basic concepts such as colors, shapes, and numbers, and that encourage interaction and engagement.
3. Limit screen time
As mentioned earlier, the AAP recommends no screen time for infants under two years of age. For children between the ages of two and five, they recommend no more than one hour of high-quality programming per day. Keep in mind that screen time includes not just TV, but also tablets, phones, and other digital devices.
4. Avoid violent or overly-stimulating content
Infants and young children are easily overstimulated, and exposure to violent or overly-stimulating content can lead to behavioral problems and difficulties with self-regulation. Avoid programs that are fast-paced, loud, or violent, and instead opt for more calming and peaceful content.
5. Watch together and engage in conversation
Watching TV with your infant can be a great opportunity for bonding, interaction and learning. Use the program as a starting point for conversation, pointing out colors, shapes, and other concepts as they appear on screen. Ask questions and encourage your child to respond, even if they are not yet able to speak.
6. Be mindful of advertising
TV programs for infants and young children are often interspersed with commercials for toys and other products. While it’s impossible to completely avoid advertising, try to limit exposure as much as possible, and be aware of the ways in which commercials can influence your child’s preferences and behavior.
7. Choose programs that reflect your values
As with any form of media, TV programs can reflect a wide range of values and messages. Choose programs that align with your family’s values and beliefs, and that promote positive messages and behaviors.
Some examples of TV programs that are appropriate for infants include:
· Baby Einstein: This series of videos and DVDs is specifically designed for infants and features colorful visuals and classical music.
· Sesame Street: This long-running educational program is beloved by children and adults alike, and focuses on teaching basic concepts such as letters, numbers, and social skills.
· Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: This animated series is based on the characters from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and promotes social-emotional learning through catchy songs and relatable storylines.
· Little Baby Bum: This YouTube channel features nursery rhymes and other educational content set to animated visuals.
· The Learning Time A+ Program has some fantastic books, videos and apps that can be the ideal way to start the child on the path of early learning. Have a look. You’ll find it apt for your toddler and preschooler..