Many experts agree that children under the age of two should watch very little-- if any-- television. Realistically, that's not always possible, especially if you have older children in the house. So aside from unplugging your television set until your kids are out of diapers, what can you do? As with anything, moderation is key. If you want to allow your baby or toddler to watch a little bit of television on occasion, there are some great educational programs and DVDs out there. Here are some of my family's favorites:
Baby Einstein (DVD series). If you're lucky, someone may have given you some of these DVDs as a baby shower gift. The award winning baby Einstein series combines classical music with fun images that your baby will love. My daughter was mesmerized by the Baby Doolittle videos when she was a baby (they featured monkeys and lions). My son's favorite is Baby Neptune (discovering water) and both of my kids love Baby Santa's Music Box (fun holiday music and images). A new release, Baby Wordsworth, may even help teach your baby his or her first works.
Sesame Street (PBS). This long running television series (it's been on 35 years and counting) was likely a staple in your house when you were growing up. This show has lost none of its charm and new characters have been added. Your child will learn numbers, letters and words from this show. If the hour long show is too long to keep your little one's interest, check in during his or her favorite segments (many young children enjoy the Elmo's World segment).
The Wiggles (The Disney Channel). This Disney series features a wacky Australian singing group called the Wiggles. Your baby will love the songs that are featured on this show, like "Big Red Car" and "Hot Potato". It's a colorful show, f=full of vivid images and catchy tunes.
Dora the Explorer (Nick Jr). My daughter never liked cartoons until she started watching this animated series. Dora is a young girl who is always on an adventure. Catchy songs like "I'm the "Map" and "Come on Vamenos" are featured in every episode, but what I like best about this show is that it will help teach your child some Spanish words. My daughter could count to ten in Spanish by the time she was two and a half years old, thanks in large part to this series. This show is a daily favorite in our household.
Curious Buddies (DVD series). We were first turned on to this series when they were featured on Nick Jr. On Demand. Now I see that the DVD series is available and I'm ready to order it. My son absolutely loves this series, which features babies and catchy songs (babies love to look at other babies). I can't get the "Dig Dig" song from the "Let's Build" segment out of my head! You will find that you and your kids will be singing the songs from this series all day long. Some favorites in this series include "Let's Build", 'Let's Move" and "Let's Go to the Farm".