I know that watching TV is bad for kids and babies, but sometimes I would carry my baby in my arm and then sit down to watch some TV programmes (typically for an hour everyday). I believe that TV is not yet bad for a 3-month-old baby, simply because she is not old enough to grow an addiction to TV.

Or is her sensory already developed enough at that stage to be fully captivated by what she sees and hears on TV, and the TV exposure will thus harm her development in other areas? In other words, can a 3-month-old baby get addicted to TV?

  • 2
    I'm in a very similar position (we have a 3 month old). We try not to let our baby see the TV but if he does he will often just sit and stare. I think it's probably a lot to take in. Children and even adults can zone out watching their favourite shows. I often watch sport and our baby loves Rugby it would seem. He's even been found to laugh at it at times (not sure why but something must make him laugh). We don't sit him in front of it as we do believe it can be harmful but can a 3 month old baby get addicted to TV? I'm not sure. Would be interested in some of the answers posted myself.
    – Bugs
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 12:52
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    I have no answer, but think if you are thinking your child needs less TV, then turn it off. Read, listen to music, dance, or exercise. Model (even at this age) what you think is appropriate. We all watch TV and many of us, too much. If you think a child should only be allowed a set time -- be realistic. If you are watching TV when you are home, that is what you are modelling. It bothers me when parents won't allow TV to their kids but watch endless hours of it. Walk your talk.
    – WRX
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 15:17

2 Answers 2


Screen time is something to be concerned about at all ages of development for a young child. It can significantly hamper children's sleep time. "Infants exposed to screen media in evening hours have significantly shorter night-time sleep duration than those with no evening screen exposure" source from AAP

Screen time (video games, television, etc) that are not interactive for the child (including ipads, see the source above) are not encouraged and should be very limited for any child under the age of 2. Kids learn through playing and interaction with adults, so they should be played with during awake time (although that's exhausting all the time!).

  • what about playing with a kid while the TV is on?
    – Ben
    Commented May 16, 2022 at 9:02

I believe the specific question, can they become addicted to TV, is difficult or impossible to answer. A 3-month-old doesn't have control of their faculties, schedule, or location at any given time. A lot of what "addiction" means has to do with choices a person makes, e.g. they neglect other areas of their life in favor of whatever they are addicted to. These don't really apply to babies.

I don't think the situation you describe is in any way harmful for your child. You are holding them in your arms and watching television. Their eyes and attention will be naturally drawn to the movement, changing colors and sounds coming from the TV. However, because you are holding them they are still getting interaction and attention from an adult as well.

As the other answer mentioned there is a direct link between poor sleep and screen exposure, so you may want to avoid any screens being on for a few hours before they sleep in the evening.

I believe the main issues with screentime and development have to do with situations where the screen is used to soothe a child or hold their attention without another person present. The TV is no substitute for human interaction, and small children need as much human interaction as possible.

As long as you are not simply plopping your child in front of the TV, but are instead holding, loving and interacting with them, it's hard to believe the TV will cause any problem. And if you are ever worried they are relying too much on the TV for stimulation, or are too focused on the TV, simply turn it off or go elsewhere and interact with your little one face to face instead.

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