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My wife just introduced a "Baby Sensory" video to our 3-month old.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Ka0Q9oOVXt0&feature=share

This video claims to help develop sensorial skills and keep babies entertained and relaxed. And there are some sites that even recommend different videos. However, I'm well aware that introducing videos too early to a baby can have detrimental effects.

But I'm not sure how old a baby should be for these "Baby Sensory" videos - how old does our child need to be before we start putting him in front of these videos? And, is that dependent on whether or not they are unsupervised?

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    Great to see a well-researched question! So +1. Beware of anything that claims to keep babies "entertained and relaxed". Babies need stimulation from other humans, not entertainment/relaxation from a mechanical device. You're wise to have doubts. (When I needed to rest, I did watch Sesame Street with my toddlers, but they were on my lap, and I would narrate and point things out, i.e., we were interacting.)
    – anongoodnurse
    Dec 1, 2021 at 16:32
  • @anongoodnurse I see...so if we're supervising our child, and playing with them, while watching TV together incidentally, then it's okay?
    – Zibbobz
    Dec 1, 2021 at 17:54
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    If your primary attention is on the baby, it is fine to have a show on in the background (note I did say toddler in my comment). I would still limit the time, though. Most experts would say no screen time at all, but I think it's because people tend to stop interacting with their baby/toddler if they are quiet and content, and would do other things. If you have the self-discipline not to do that, I don't think any but the most die-hard would object.
    – anongoodnurse
    Dec 1, 2021 at 19:25

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In the links provided, and links from those pages, I could not quickly find any peer-reviewed research articles that show any benefit whatsoever of the "baby sensory videos". Without such evidence, the videos appear to be not beneficial for any age. I recommend not following recommendations of questionable sources, especially when they appear to contradict the scientific consensus, developed across multiple studies by multiple, independent research groups. Instead, consider the following guideline from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), that summarizes the current scientific consensus quite well:

Consider the following as a guideline:

  • Until 18 months of age limit screen use to video chatting along with an adult (for example, with a parent who is out of town).
  • Between 18 and 24 months screen time should be limited to watching educational programming with a caregiver.
  • For children 2-5, limit non-educational screen time to about 1 hour per weekday and 3 hours on the weekend days.
  • For ages 6 and older, encourage healthy habits and limit activities that include screens.
  • Turn off all screens during family meals and outings.
  • Learn about and use parental controls.
  • Avoid using screens as pacifiers, babysitters, or to stop tantrums..
  • Turn off screens and remove them from bedrooms 30-60 minutes before bedtime.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP): Screen Time and Children, No. 54; Updated February 2020: https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-And-Watching-TV-054.aspx

(emphasis mine)

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