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Does it hurt my baby (developmentally) if she watches while I'm on the computer?

Sometimes I need to work while I'm caring for the baby. Sometimes she'll be content in a play chair with toys, sometimes on a blanket with toys, but sometimes she just needs to be held.

So I would either hold her with one arm in my lap while I work (very slowly :) ) on the computer. Or I would put her in a sling (two free hands!) and I would work on the computer.

Is it harmful if she watches me work...mostly typing/coding/photoshop.

I asked this question about TV, but this seems a little different. According to Brain Rules For Baby: How to raise a smart and happy child from Zero to Five TV for kids under the age of 2 can decrease attention span and lead to trouble focusing.

I can potentially see this because of the way that content on TV is edited and paced. Lots of information thrown at you really quickly. This can lead to trouble focusing...especially when a developing baby's brain is probably not able to handle that amount of information.

The author John Medina also writes and cites a study... "For each hour of TV watched daily by children under age 4, the risk increased 9 percent that they would engage in bullying behavior by the time they started school. This is poor emotional regulation at work." Of course I'm taking this with a grain of salt, but it's food for thought.

For my computer. The screen is mostly static except for the moving cursor of a text editor or me meticulously manipulating an image.

My gut feel is that it probably is not harmful. I'm having a hard time finding studies. Most things I find are about kids using the computer...and these are older kids.

  • I agree that computer time is different from watching TV, so the studies don't directly apply. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Mar 23 '12 at 18:37
  • My experience is that sitting with a toddler or a child while trying to work is harmful to your work outcome. – Pere Sep 9 '19 at 17:33