Category Archives: Child Health

Eating My Words about TV


Back in July of 2012 I wrote a well-intentioned post entitled Is it OK for My Baby to Watch TV?  In the post I quote the author of a book called Brain Rules for Baby that explains scientifically why TV is no good for kiddos.  After reading the book, letting my first child watch TV was almost akin to letting her drink a can of beer. The information is interesting, researched, and valid, but I now humbly admit that if watching TV is like having a beer, I have two very drunk children. Continue reading

Should I be Concerned about my Baby Spitting-up?

Today I had no idea that I was spit up on. I just went about my business and found a surprise pile of white regurgitated milk mixed with plenty of drool covering my shoulder. Glad I put my entire hand in it since I didn’t know it was there.

The loud “SPLAT” noise that comes from the sticky stuff landing on the floor is all too familiar these days.  But, the splat is better than when it silently lands on the carpet until you discover the sticky wet puddle with your unsuspecting foot.

On a more serious note, I had concerns about what all this annoying vomit said about the health of my baby.   My Harvard trained  pediatrician said I should have no concern about the spit up quantity if she is a happy spitter-upper and she is gaining enough weight.  This means that she probably just hasn’t developed the little valve in her body that keeps the food down, or she has eaten too much.  The peak of spitting up is around four months, and it should start getting better by six months.

If she was unhappy after the spitting-up, then there could be some reflux issues, which means the stomach acid burns her throat and I should keep her head above her heart for 30 minutes after eating.  He said I could do this by putting something under her mattress to prop it up slightly (for when anyone else happens to have the same concern). Happy drooling, baby!

Is it OK for My Baby to Watch TV?

As a New York Times bestselling author and developmental molecular biologist, John Medina gives extensive research based information on the controversial topic TV as it relates to health and happy children.  In his book “Brain Rules for Baby” he says “The fact is, the amount of TV a child should watch before the age of 2 is zero.”

He goes on to say, “For decades we have known of the connection between hostile peer interactions and the amount of kids’ exposure to television.  The linkage used to be controversial (maybe aggressive people watch more TV than others?), but we now see that it’s an issue of our deferred imitation abilities coupled with a loss of impulse control.”

Deferred imitation is the ability to reproduce a behavior, after only witnessing it once.  For example a 13 month old girl can remember an event a week after it happened.  At a year and a half, she can imitate an event for months after a single exposure.  “This is something the advertising industry has known for decades”, says Medina.

He says that TV can lead to hostility and trouble focusing. “For each hour of TV watched daily by children under age 4, the risk increased 9 percent that they would engage in bullying behavior by the time they started school.  This is poor emotional regulation at work.” He says that “American Association of Pediatrics estimates that 10 percent to 20 percent of real-life violence can be attributed to exposure to media violence.”  Wow.

The American Association of Pediatrics issued a recommendation that says: Although certain television may be promoted to kids under the age of 2, studies show that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with caregivers for healthy brain development.