My mother in-law mentioned this weekend that she thinks TV is no good for toddlers. Up until about a year ago my husband and I would have agreed with her whole heartedly. Our original plan was to not let Z watch TV until he was 2 years old. Well life gets crazy and plans have to change sometimes. I do "need" Z to sit down and watch TV on occasion and I think I am okay with that.
Z did not watch any TV until he was over 6 months old. After he turned 3 months, I gave up on daytime TV and so the television was not turned on until 8pm. Once he turned 6 months he would watch an occasional 20 minute Baby Signs (R) DVD. These DVDs are great and they go over 6 signs in a fun and baby friendly way. The videos eventually became a nightly routine and Z even learned a few signs from the movies. The reason I started allowing Z to watch TV was so that I could make dinner.
Now Z spends about 60 minutes watching TV a day (sometimes less, sometimes a little more). He watches about 20-25 min of Elmo's world in the morning so that I can get ready for our day and about 30 min of Curious George (or a Baby Signs (R) DVD) in the evening so I can shower and make dinner. The rest of the day, the TV is turned off.
I can't say that I am proud of all of his television viewing but I am very happy with the programs that he watches. He loves George, Elmo and Beebo from his Baby Signs (R) movies and has learned signs and even words from these programs. With my husband as busy as he is at work and my day as long as it is....I do need those breaks to get dressed, shower and make dinner for the family. I have read many studies that say as long as the programs are educational and that toddlers do not watch over 2 hours of TV a day...they should turn out just fine :) I hope so because I don't think Z and I could give up his favorite three characters!