Many of us already knew that babies should not be exposed to television aimed for adults (maybe you should watch Weeds after baby goes to bed…), but did you also know that even so-called “educational” programs can hinder a child’s development before the age of 2?
A new study found that babies at 14 months of age who watched one hour of television daily had developmental scores that were one-third lower than babies who weren’t watching that much television. (Here’s an article about it on Yahoo.) The result of sticking baby in front of the television results in delayed cognitive and language development. While it may seem like an easy way to occupy baby while you get things done, it is actually very harmful to your baby’s development. Other studies have linked television watching to increased occurrences of ADD/ADHD, obesity and aggression in young children.
I had been aware of the increased likelihood of ADD/ADHD, but until last night I was unaware of the decrease in cognitive and language development. This makes me even more glad that I’ll be staying home with our baby at first, so that I can read to him and teach him things. I know that there will probably be many times that I’ll desperately want to sit him in front of the television so that I can take a break or get some things done around home; but I’m hoping that in those moments I’ll be reminded of these studies.