Does Media Make Your Baby More Fussy?

Does TV watching make TSK (That Special Kid) calm? Well, a study out of the journal Pediatrics, says, No!  They studied kids at 9 months, then at 2 years.  At 9 months of age they asked questions about fussiness and how fast the child went from a whimper to an intense cry, and ease of sleeping. At 2 years of age parents were asked the same questions plus more on attention span and ability to change focus on objects and activities.  It was found that 9 month and 2 year old kids who seemed to get upset very quickly and couldn’t calm down, and kids who had shorter attention spans in working with others, spent more time with media.  One theory was that parents might use media to help calm the child down.  But others wondered if more time with media under age 2 years may affect how well a child can calm.

At this time, nobody knows.  But here are a few take-home messages; No studies show that TV before the age of 2 years helps a child to learn more or to be able to get over being angry or sad, or to act better towards others.  What does help a child to learn these social skills, is for the child to learn to self-regulate and that is done by parents talking and playing, but also giving the child some time to regroup.

When kids get too over-whelmed with life, they can get over-tired, and thus can get fussy.  Check to see if your child is uncomfortable with being wet, dirty, sick, hungry, or tired.  Take care of these needs.  Then if your child is still fussy, leave the child alone without noise or distraction for a few minutes to self-regulate. Once the child calms down, the parent can start engaging again. This can be started at a few months of age. But if the fussiness is extreme, see your doctor. Give that kid a hug, with the TV off!!