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What can I do about this?

Think my 16 month old DD watches too much television. I find it difficult to spend time with her. Her attention span is so limited that play time is hard for me. Plus she likes a lot of freedom, she is very inquisitive and loves to explore. She does not always like me to be around her, she very much enjoys being off by herself. When we do play together, we have fun. I often keep the television on- just for background noise. Frequently during the day she will sit & watch Noggin for a few minutes at a time- usually not more than 15 minutes at a time, for a total of about 2 maybe 2.5 hours a day. She has about 10-12 words, can point out body parts when asked, can follow directions well, and is generally a happy child. Is watching a max of 2.5 hours of television a day bad? How do I stop it? How can I interact with her more? What are some activities we can do?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:55 PM on Mar. 22, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (5)
  • my son is 17 months old and will watch some television but he usually gets bored after a few minutes. I too leave the Television on for background noise but I turn on music channels or channels like CNN that generally have things on that does not interest a baby. I do think that sometimes the television is a great way for a mom to get 5-10 minutes to put in a load of laundry or sit down for a few minutes, so 2.5 hours in an entire day doesn't sound could be alot worse. Playing outside and playing ball or drawing with chalk is something fun that I do with my son. We also love going to the park and running around, sometimes we even take our lunch and have a picnic, as for indoor things to reading is something we love to do. Also going to places like the library and the children's museum.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:54 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Take her outside. Outdoor exploring is great for little ones. Go for a walk. Visit your local library and see if they have toddler story time. Barnes and Nobles offers them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:54 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • I don't like to say "good" and "bad" about what moms do, because I know there's a lot we have to do to get by. But that's a LOT of tv for a 16 month old. Try to limit tv... as much as you possibly can. If you do let her watch something, watch it with her and try to engage with her about what she's seeing. I've never liked tv for background noise, so if you need it I don't know what to tell you... but really try to cut it out. It's ok to let her play by herself. Short attention span is very normal at this age. Just ask her about what she's doing, etc. I would make sure there are lots of books in the house... she needs you for those. Get a big pile from the library and put them in different rooms. And I agree with what the previous posters said about getting out of the house as much as possible. That works well for breaking habits you want to get rid of.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 9:29 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • My 16 mo old wants nothing to do with the television. He'll sit and watch for a couple seconds but that's about it. Go outside play, build with blocks, color with her, get a big bag of rice and play with scoops and funnels in a large shallow sterilite box, paint with ice on the sidewalk on a warm day, give her play food and a kitchen to play with. The ideas are endless. Turn off the TV. You have the remote.

    Answer by AudreyJ at 10:34 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • For background noise try changing it to the radio, or a baby friendly cd. Or switch the station to the music stations where they have some kid music. Without the visual, your dd will most likely find other ways to amuse herself.

    Music is fun though. Me and DD love putting on some music and dancing around. I also love it because some of the kids songs help them learn certain things. This was how my DD learned the words Head, Knees, and Toes.. (she still struggles when she tries to say shoulders, lol). I would stand there and do the dance and sing a-long, and she picked it right up. GOod luck.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 1:26 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

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