The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report came out last week reiterating their 1999 stance that “babies (0-2 yrs old) should learn from play, not screens”.
The question isn’t whether we all agree that babies should play (who is going to be against play?), but how, in this day and age, do we use this information in our everyday lives? I crave information and I believe in well grounded research and advice from experts.
I want us parents to be as informed as possible so that we can see the educational difference in content as we make our media choices for our children and our family. So, although it is not groundbreaking, there is worthwhile information for us parents:
– No matter how persuasive the packaging is, it is not likely that a baby will go to Harvard because he watched a baby video. (Yup, they got me too. Hook, line and sinker)
– Shut off the News: Background media is harmful to kids. Babies have been found to play less and adults interact less when the tv is on in the background. (The news stresses me out, let alone what it would do to my kids…)
– What about my free half hour? Bring back the Playpen (to a certain degree)! A safe play area with some stacking blocks? What about sitting on the floor of the kitchen with a pot and a wooden spoon? Everything in moderation, but a properly setup and tended playpen may be a pretty good alternative to screen time for babies.
– Haven’t we proven that television can be educational? Yes, for preschoolers, 2-5 years old, longitudinal studies have proven that curriculum based television programming can help them learn (hello, Blue’s Clues…Super Why!). But babies brains are different. They need to be developed enough to absorb the images and information in order to learn.
Read more on this topic from my friend and colleague, Dr Dan Anderson HERE