The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine has published a report suggesting that not only is TV not educational for babies, its actually counterproductive. The study shows that developmental scores of babies who watched 1 hour of TV a day were more than 30% lower than those who didnt watch that much. Weve always heard TV will rot your brain and while thats not exactly true in this instance, it certainly isnt improving on anything.
Researchers found no difference between educational shows that are designed for small children and shows intended for adults. The real breakdown is that time spent watching TV takes away from the real interactions between parent and child. Even if a show is educational, there is a much higher level of benefit from reading to your child yourself instead of having Elmo do it for you.
Even parents who watch educational shows with their children can be contributing to a lack of development, because theres still a lesser amount of involvement. These parents are substituting TV for actually teaching their children themselves. Sure TV is a cheap babysitter, but anything worth doing is worth doing right. Raising and teaching your children should be a top priority in this regard.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 years of age watch no TV at all.