My baby girl is 3 months old and always wants to be held sitting up. as such, she is often in view of my television. I try not to let her fixate on it too much because I feel that it is a lot going on for a baby and don't want to start any habits...

Her grandparents have a small living room and a huge TV. Grandpa is constantly sitting close to it and saying she likes "to watch it". Is it physically or mentally detrimental for my baby to be that close to the TV, or to even be in view of it at all?

  • 1
    Hello! Welcome to the site. I've tried to answer your question, but I might have misunderstood your question. Please feel free to leave comments if I've missed anything.
    – user19912
    Dec 29, 2015 at 10:56
  • There is no harm. Certain shows may overstimulate the baby, so it's best to stick with calmer shows like Sesame Street and others targeted at a young audience. My children did and they are perfectly fine :) It's fine for everyone to unwind. I've found that watching some shows or a movie is a good way for my kids to relax after a long day at preschool. I personally disagree with the strong suggestions to not let young children watch television at all. It's very extreme, in my opinion. As long as the baby gets stimulation the majority of the time from direct interaction with people it is fine.
    – Jbird
    Dec 29, 2015 at 17:23
  • @Jbird -- if you've got enough content for three comments, please make an answer instead. Comments are not the place for answers.
    – Acire
    Dec 31, 2015 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


There's a small but serious risk of death or harm if the TV falls on the infant. Please make sure the TV has a good quality stand, and preferably is secured to the wall if possible.

About one child dies every two weeks in the US from falling TVs.

But your question is not about falling, it's about the cognitive stuff.

The American Association of Pediatrics recommends zero screen time before 2 years old. That's about the most restrictive credible recommendation I can find. But that recommendation is not asking you to prevent your child from ever seeing a screen before the age of 2. It's telling you that face to face time is better for the child than tv time; that tv time doesn't provide any benefits, and that excessive screentime might be mildly detrimental to language development.

So there isn't anything to worry about from occasional tv watching.

And the AAP is starting to look at this guidance to see if it's still the right advice.

However, it's a bit rude of Grandpa to ignore your wishes. Your request is reasonable, not outlandish, and they should be listening to you. I have no idea how you'd ask them to start paying more attention to you.


Most of the academic studies conducted on this issue used samples of babies of 1-2 years old. Very few studies for newborns at 3 months old. For toddlers 1-2 years old, watching TV may have the following adverse (long-term) impacts. 1. Attention Problem. 2. Communication Problem. This relates to the amount of TV viewing and the types of programs watched. For example, watching Teletubbies leads to less vocabulary and lower expressive language scores. But there are also studies show that watching TV less than 2 hours per day does not have negative effect. 3. For older toddlers, some TV programs, such as Dora, may have positive effects.

Source: Impacts of TV on Infants and Toddlers: What Research Shows the Misconception and Real Negative Impacts

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