I Let My Baby Watch TV And I'm Still A Great Mom

Despite what you might have heard, letting your baby watch a bit of television isn't the end of the world

“Do you have a birth plan?” -Nurses, doctors, other Moms, friends

It seemed futile to write any sort of birth plan. My husband and I discussed the way we wanted things to go in the birthing room but were completely aware that things don’t always go the way you expect and that we would roll with the punches (and boy did we roll). 

Contrary to the birthing plan, we had definitive plans on how we would do other things once C was born. One of those things was screen time—our baby would not watch TV, we vowed. 

Then one day, C was crying uncontrollably; none of our usual tactics were working and we were bewildered. I brought his swing (which he hated) down and decided to give it another try. For some reason I thought maybe the sounds of the TV would be calming so I turned on Netflix kids and scurried through to find something tolerable (for me). I’m relieved that Netflix sorts children’s programs by characters, not that I recognized most of them anyway. Curious George was a character that I did recognize so I clicked to watch. C quieted as soon as the theme song began.

My husband and I were astonished—was it the music, the voices, the animation? Whatever it was, it was calming the baby and that was all we needed in that moment. He sat quiet for about eight minutes, which was all we needed to regroup and that was that. 

Except it wasn’t. 

C adores Curious George; the theme song makes him shake and giggle with excitement, he looks to the TV sometimes and looks back at us as if to say, “Uhh… can we get this thing going guys?” 

I often worry that we are creating really bad habits by having C watch as much Netflix as he does—and I especially worry about being judged for raising a child who watches TV occasionally.

But as with anything else, you have to be confident in the decisions that you make. 

Which brings me to my next point and the other elephant in the room: my iPhone. 

Now that I am back to work, my time with C is limited to early mornings and late afternoons so it’s easy to understand why maximizing time spent is incredibly important. I’m also a creature of habit and one of my bad ones is my love affair with social media. I’ve had to move apps into folders that are hard to find in order to cut down on my creeping and it’s so easy to check my phone for one thing and end up down a rabbit hole of checking Instagram/Snapchat/Facebook/Twitter and before I know it, I’m ignoring C who is looking at me like, “Mom, I REALLY WANT TO PLAY!”

Of course, I love every moment spent with my son but there are also moments in the day where I can’t bear listening to a toy dog sing the “ABC’s” any longer and need to feel like an adult (by this I mean, check in with a friend via text or something). On the mornings that I get up with C, I leave all my electronics plugged in upstairs and refuse to check them before his nap. Throughout the day, I try my best to limit my screen time as well. 

We’re in a time where we treat smartphones as lifelines. C knows there are games on my phone and tablet that he can play with, he also knows that Curious George can magically appear on these devices. I’ve decided to give myself a break and trust my judgement. My son isn’t the only one I see out and about playing with iPads so I can’t be messing him up that badly, can I? 

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