Confession time:

Annabelle watches WAY too much TV.

In my defense, she is obviously not a typical 15 month old who is toddling around and playing with toys at will. And, she spent 10 months in the hospital, where much of the time she did what?? Yep, watched TV.

And she likes it. It’s become part of our schedule. After we “eat” breakfast, I put her in the middle of the living room and hook up her feeds, which takes almost an hour. She plays with toys during this time, but having the TV on helps keep her “happy” while we are shoving formula into her stomach.

And usually she’s so content, that when her feeding is done, we continue with the TV on. It’s the only way Mommy is able to get cleaning done in the morning!

Afternoon is naptime thus the TV stays off, but when the other girls get home from school at 4, they usually flip the TV directly on again.

I haven’t counted the exact hours she watches.

But it is much more than the zero to 1 hour most “experts” recommend for children.

It’s been worse now that she’s broken her leg. We used to have an hour of “jumperoo” time every day, and every Thursday was PT in the morning, but now we don’t have those two things until she gets the cast off.

that said, my other kids at this age were home with their dad. And while my husband is a fantastic daddy, I can guarentee you they watched as much if not more TV than Annabelle.

And my other kids all do really well in school, have great attention spans, and are decently well-adjusted kids. It didn’t hurt them, so I’m thinking Annabelle won’t be worse for wear either.

And it isn’t like she sits there like a zombie. She is usually playing with her toys while she watches.

Am I trying to justify a bad habit?

You bet.

Do I use the TV as a babysitter (the phrase used by many )?

You bet. I have very few people (read no-one) who I can actually have watch Annabelle for me because of her meds and special needs, meaning Mommy is pretty much with her 100% of the day except when she is sleeping, and even then there is the magic of a baby monitor! So yes, the Seseme Street and Sid the Science Kid become my make-shift babysitter so I can get SOMETHING done.

*Discussion* – Am I the only one who pretends she’s never heard the admonitions against TV time for babies???

OH! And quick update. Annabelle sat up by herself AGAIN this morning! (while she was watching TV, btw…) I was in the kitchen cleaning and looked out over the sink into the living room and saw her sitting up! This Momma was SO SO proud. I was afraid it was a “one time” wonder kind of thing, and it’d be weeks before she tried it again. So I’m hoping that she’s getting used to it and it will be come a regular thing.

Baby gates are going to be needed VERY soon, me thinks!



  1. Another thing that puts the quality of my mothering into question: Just went to put Annabelle down to nap. In her crib was the lid to one of her med syringes. Little, tiny, and blue. Easily "put in mouth"able. Thankfully, Annabelle wants nothing of small things in her mouth, only big things like a guitar or her big toys. But still… MAJOR note to Mommy-self! Med lids will be taken off BEFORE they are brought to Annabelle from now on!

  2. I knew all the recommendations against kids watching tv, however, mine did, and turned out ok. I work in a family business, outside the home, and always brought my kids with me. Having a tv in the office was a big help. I tried to schedule phone calls during the shows i knew would keep their attention long enough to finish a conversation. The tv was there, but they spent as much time doing other things as well. (watching tv just can't compete with making a copy of your hand on the copier!)

  3. LOL, Ummm, I'm typing this as my son is watching TV. I completely understand your need for doing it! And yes, I've heard the warnings about too much TV time. I try to mix in active play into our day, but some days just warrant more TV than others. 🙂

  4. I'm with you, KP. Simon probably doesn't watch as much TV as the other two did because he spends more time outside the house since I go to school now. (Wade's aunt watches him, and she has the time to just sit and play!) Anyway, the other two are BRILLIANT, so they are none the worse for wear. 😀 Hey, nobody's perfect, right? 😉

  5. I think TV, like everything else, is just one of those things that you have to say, "You know what…I'm the momma and I know what's best for my child." Clearly, your daughter is engaged and loved. I think television warnings are geared towards parents who, unfortunately, do plop their kids in front of the TV so they don't have to deal. You guys are doing a great job.

  6. When it's too hot or cold to play outside, my son watches more tv than he should. I work from home two days a week, and honestly, the tv helps when I have to get something done. I think a little guilt is just part of being a mom. 🙂 If it wasn't the tv, it would be something else.

  7. I think that if somebody is going to be critical, perhaps he or she should spend one single day walking in your shoes. My daughter has always LOVED TV. In fact, she used an infant car seat as a recliner (she was small) quite a bit. She is now 15 and taking Broadcast and Media at her magnet school. Now she uses various programs for essays and all sort of stuff!! You are MORE THAN FINE, Krista!! And that baby is more precious than gold.
    Carolyn (in Las Vegas, usually lurking)

  8. You all are SO encouraging.. thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one!!! I've never had anyone say anything bad about our TV time, (although this is the first time I've mentioned it, HA!) but I guess it is more ME that is critical than anything. Yet, sanity is important as well, and I'm opting for that currently!

  9. I don't have kids but I babysit a ton and personally have no issues with the tv. She isn't just sitting there, she is playing too! Plus, we all know you're close by. It's probably a good break for both of you. You don't have to hold her constantly, and she hears different voices and sees different things. Don't call it a babysitter, call it sanity control =)

  10. Every family situation is different. You are very tuned in to your children. I think tv issues are for those who do not pay attention to their children to begin with. As well, you choose good programming for them.
    Have you ever considered having trusted friends or family members over to your home to play with Annabelle during the day to read a book or sing with her while you are there working?
    About the med lid…we probably all (mothers) in retrospect scare ourselves horribly recalling the things that might have been. As a friend of mine always says…thank you Jesus!
    We can all tell by Annabelle sweet grin you are doing a great job!

  11. Aly watches TV- probably what some people would say is a lot- but, like Annabelle, it's normally a background she will look at occasionally while she is playing with her toys.
    And, P.S. you are the farthest thing from a "Bad Momma". I vote for a title change. 😉

  12. Oh wow was I ever a "bad momma".My Bunny would sleep through the night but wake at 3am and not nap until 2pm or sometimes not at all. Her doctor said "she does not require sleep". But I did! I would strap her into her bouncy seat sitting inside the crib and throw on a Veggie Tale movie in her nursery. My kid was hopelessly addicted to Veggie Tales from 4 months to …..umm she's 12 now and still loves them. I think Miss Annabelle will be just fine. Just look at her sitting up – I vote Sesame Street taught her 😉

  13. My mom and I baby-sit a 2 year old who lost her mom to cancer when she was 10 months. Her dad is lazy and could care less, so he parks her into a giant baby gate with blankets, pillows and toys and turns on the tv to stuff a 2 year old should not watch for hours on end while he sleeps. At our house, she has total come and go freedom, so it's Mickey Mouse and other disney channel in the mornings, but she could care less. She doesn't sit still for 2 seconds, so we try to come up with other methods of helping her learn various things. Maybe try some kids cd's in the car or in the background if you don't want the TV on. That's one thing we do.

  14. Audrey, that is so sad! Will definitely be praying about that situation! I would say, though, that maybe it's less about being lazy and uncaring than maybe still dealing with grief and overwhelmed at the task before him.

    I'm trying to imagine my husband, if I were to depart this life, taking care of my kids by himself. I'll tell you, there would probably be a LOT of sleeping and TV watching (not inappropriate things though, well, I guess it depends what you deem inappropriate!)

    And we do the CD thing too!! Need to do that more, in fact:-)

  15. Wow…I wish even one of my kids would be willing to sit and watch TV for a whole show. I don't know why they don't…trust me it is not for lack of trying. I work from home and would love them to sit and watch something…anything on TV. I think it is because I have a TV on all the time (mostly on CNN or some daytime show) and they probably learned to hate TV from having to watch that all the time. I think I am the one that needs a timeout from TV!

  16. My son is 17 months and despite the t.v. being on all day at daycare (dora, nick jr., age-ish appropriate stuff, unless the braves are on, then it's tbs) he's really uninterested in it. He'll dance if some music tickles him, or stop and watch if a cartoon comes on, but only for a few minutes. I think it's a moderation thing, and like others said, you're not sitting her down and walking away for four hours. I think it will be ok. If they're not getting it at our house, they'll probably get it somewhere else (daycare, yay!). We do music occassionally, but it's hard to break the habit (come home, snack time, 5 o'clock news, etc.). One of the few things he really tunes into, will fuss if I get in the way, are Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. Can't really go wrong with those. They're educational right? 🙂 I think you're doing fine. It's the times we're living in.

  17. She looks wonderful!! I'm so excited she is home and watching tv:) My babies loved to watch certain shows and they are perfectly smart, well rounded individuals so I wouldn't worry about it:)

  18. Krista – it's been over a year since she passed and if she hadn't gotten sick, it would have been a divorce, she was about to start one when she got sick. Constant yelling, screaming, name-calling, cheating…(open windows in the summer, you hear a lot) they hated each other for years but were too busy for a divorce. When a dad doesn't even buckle a car seat as it should be (he does the top buckle and very loose but not the bottom), that's not right, despite us telling him once that it should be buckled (he said it's broken, but it's not). She eats, sleeps and plays in that gate.
    We've learned from my sis-in-law all the new stuff for kids that is out that my mom said wasn't around when I was little. So we have a baby-proof house, gate at the stairs, all object far away from go-go-gadget arms.
    Maybe when she's sitting, give her some books that make sounds and say words, that way she can learn and play at the same time. Like colors or animals so that when she sees it on a tv show or when you go out, she'll recognize it.

  19. Charlotte watches way too much TV. She's had so many sick days in her life, and she liekd to lay on the couch with her blanket when she's not feeling good… and when she is feeling good these days! Don't sweat it. If she is happy and you can take care of her and get some other stuff done, then so be it.

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