OK, I am going to be super honest in this post. I agree that I allow my 18 month old daughter to have little screen time everyday. I still vividly remember the day, I let her watch TV. I felt very selfish and I thought I had acted like the most irresponsible mom ever. I cannot express here in mere words, how guilty my heart was.
But you know what, I needed a break so badly that day. My body ached so much after a long,sleepless night and it cried for a nice, warm shower. I wanted my hair to smell good and I badly wanted to wash my hair with all the cool products that I had bought from India. It had been nearly ten months since I had had a peaceful bath. After baby all I could afford was a super fast five minute shower, when she was napping , with so many things going on in the mind. So I switched on the TV for her, put her seat belt on as I made her sit on her booster chair and let her enjoy some rhymes on Netflix.
I rushed from the bathroom after a fifteen minute guilt-loaded ‘me’ time and I was eager to know if my daughter had searched for me and had missed her mommy. Anticipating that she would ask me to remove her belts and free her to run to me, I called her name so many times. I made all sorts of funny noises (to grab her attention), only to find her very engrossed in TV and to get zero response.
That moment explained me why experts tell absolutely no screen time until two years of age. If babies are exposed to such devices too early, they stop listening to you. They lose the connect with the world. They are so involved in their own world of smart devices and they stop bothering about what’s going on in the real world. They stop learning from nature and from you. They get addicted to smart mobile devices.
But I have to add here that engaging your baby 24/7 is not possible for the parents, especially if both of you are working. So we, my husband and I made certain rules to introduce screen time for our baby. We feel it’s okay to let them have little screen time when you have to take a quick shower, cook a super fast meal, get ready somewhere real quick, or make a phone call etc. I make sure that she is not watching for more than 15 to 20 minutes continuously. I watch the contents and approve them before letting her watch. Also we have few more of our own screen time rules that work really well for us. Those rules will be shared in my next post.
I feel that, if it is impossible to make yourself available for the baby the whole time, it is okay to let them watch, supervised contents for a maximum of 15 minutes a day. At least, it works for me to do my personal stuffs. I also make sure, that she learns something from the digital content she has been allowed to watch. So don’t be so hard on yourself momma and don’t be guilty to have some ‘me’ time because not everybody has a great support system.