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It all started when she was only a few month old: my in-laws always put her in front of the TV and sometimes for a long period of time.

Today I read how bad it is for the child's brain and for the development of the language. I am really scared if she started having difficulties.

Especially that she didn't start making the "bye" gesture or "come" gesture. What should I do?

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It is never too late to stop watching TV, however you shouldn't panic.

Various studies do show that TV is not a good replacement for real interaction, but depending on what was shown, there will still have been stimulation. There are many programmes specifically designed to help babies.

In any case, however, what you can do now is spend time talking and playing with your daughter. Interact with her to give her the input and feedback a TV doesn't give.

If you are worried at all, your pediatrician should check how your daughter is doing against learning milestones. We have a fair bit of info here on the site on expected milestones, and how the timelines are very broad - some children get to some of them faster than others.

Please read the following articles - all agree that for under-2's, television is not recommended, and even over that age, while there is some good content, it doesn't match live interaction for your child's development.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/baby-einstein/faq-20058099

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Why-to-Avoid-TV-Before-Age-2.aspx

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/03/12/why-watching-tv-can-actually-be-good-for-toddlers

https://www.cnbc.com/2015/05/15/babyfirst-tv-offers-round-the-clock-programming.html

  • @Anne - yes, I'll pop a couple of citations up later. Was going to be today, but, well, it's father's day so I have been busy. – Rory Alsop Jun 16 '19 at 18:03
  • Not a ding on your answer, but I hate the whole "no tv recommended" line. I'd like to see how many parents follow that rule. It would seem to me the ones spouting that either never had children to raise or they never had a busy schedule like the working class among us. – user20343 Jun 17 '19 at 20:34
  • @SiXandSeven8ths - my wife and I both work, and although she did take 6 months maternity leave with each child, we were very keen that there was no TV before that age. And even now (eldest is almost 19) they prefer to be outdoors to watching TV, and in fact we only have 1 TV in the house - no demand for any more. – Rory Alsop Jun 17 '19 at 22:41
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As the previous answer says, you don't have to panic. Most of what you've read about the big dangers of watching TV is very likely to be BS (see Why Most Published Research Findings Are False) If TV was that bad for children's language skills, we'd see a lot of muteness around

But of course I understand that you don't want your child to spend too much time in front of the TV and focus more on social interaction instead. That's great and, since you are the parent, you can decide how much time to dedicate to TV (or Youtube, or whatever) You don't have to be too drastic, either.

In short, don't panic. The fact that you are having this concern proves that you are already better than the average parent. Keep doing what you do and get in charge of your child's personal development and education.

But TV and media can also have a good impact on her if you use those ressources wisely at, for instance, learning a second language or showing stories that fit moral values you want to teach her

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    David, please don't use that one report to trash all research. It is, by definition, just a report, and the conclusion can be entirely wrong, partially wrong, or correct. Using that report to support your personal opinions is also very unwise. There have been good studies (yes, you read that correctly, good studies) on the effects of non-interactive TV time on developing - and developed - brains. – anongoodnurse Jun 16 '19 at 14:56
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    "If TV was that bad for children's language skills, we'd see a lot of muteness around" Can you define "that bad", else it's too vague? Are you denying that non-interactive TV time can have any detrimental effect at all and on what basis (other than a 2005 paper on meta-research)? Also, can you back up your last paragraph ("But TV and media can also have a good impact on her if you use those ressources wisely at, for instance, learning a second language or showing stories that fit moral values you want to teach her")? – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica Jun 16 '19 at 15:12
  • @anongoodnurse I am not using that study to support my claims. I am using it to advice the OP to always take that type of claims with a grain of salt, not becoming too worried about things that don't require such level of preoccupation. I am not denying nor accepting that TV has an imapct on developing/developed brains, I am saying that that effect, if it exists, is no negligeable and subject to such variance that there is no point in panicking about it. By the way, could you please show me those results? – David Jun 16 '19 at 15:29
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    The OP's child is 8 months old. How much experience do you have with 8-month-olds and their language development? – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica Jun 16 '19 at 15:40
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    "...if it exists, is no negligeable and subject to such variance that there is no point in panicking about it." Please support this statement. (Also, it's not my obligation to respond to your comments with evidence, but it is my prerogitive to ask you to support your answer.) – anongoodnurse Jun 16 '19 at 19:20

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