Effects of Too Much TV on a Baby?


Lately, Haruka has been watching a lot of TV…A LOT of TV.  This has made me quite concerned because I have been noticing that on a few occasions, she would not even respond to me calling her name when her attention is on the TV.  We would even have to turn the TV off while feeding her, otherwise she wouldn’t eat.  She’s gotten so accustomed to watching to TV that she would only have to listen to few bars of a commercial jingle to recognize it.

There have been conflicting studies on the internet about the negative effects of television on children below the age 2 years.  Some studies suggest that even the so-called educational programs may not be too good for small children.  The reason for my concern is that Haruka has not been sleeping too well lately, as I mentioned in my last entry.  Initially, I theorized that it may be because she is growing and learning things quite rapidly at this stage of her development.  However, after some of my recent observations in her behavior and her irregular sleep patterns, I am more inclined to think that it’s more due to over stimulation (from too much TV to be specific) .

She is particularly fond of a children’s program on NHK called Inai Inai Ba, which is very similar to Romper Room.  The 30-minute program broadcasts twice a day, and features a child host and animal characters who dance and sing the same songs on evey episode, at almost precisely the same point in the program.  I watched Haru watch this program yesterday, and she seemed to be totally mezmorized by the music.  She knows the music well, and at what point her favorite songs will play.   At first I thought it was quite amazing for a 9 month old to retain that kind of memory and attention span.  But after a while, her behavior was reminiscent of what seemed to be similar to ADHD.  Athough ADHD is thought to be genetic, or due to environmental factors, I found this article that suggests that excessive TV on a small child can possibly cause attention problems.  Although I tend to discredit TV as the cause of ADHD, I do believe that excessive TV watching can lead to attention problems, which can possibly lead to behavior problems later on.

Although I know it will be difficult initially, I think the next plan of action is to start limiting Haruka’s exposure to TV.

Haru playing underneath the dining table

Haru helping me readjust her child seat to fit her

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“Baby Geniuses”?


Several years ago, I watched a movie called Baby Geniuses.  It’s a comedy about a bunch of really smart babies.  In the movie, there  was a premise that all babies, prior to being able to speak their first “real” words, are able to communicate with each other, and also possess “universal knowledge”.   And at the age of two, when the babies start to talk, they begin to cross-over and they lose their ability to tap into the universal knowledge and communicate with each other.

With the “universal knowledge” premise aside,  I somewhat wondered if there may be some truth to the part about babies actually being able to communicate with each other at some really fundamental level.  The reason I wonder this is because everytime Haru comes back from playing with her baby friends, it seems that she learns something new.  Maybe there maybe some degree of knowledge transfer going on that adults aren’t able to, or have lost the ability to understand.  And its not just Haru, it seems that several other people report that their kids also learn things faster when they are in the presence of other kids. Perhaps this is something I should investigate further because it is an intersting topic.

Haru’s walking skills are improving on a daily basis.  She is able to take several steps now, and stand for longer periods of times.  Sometimes she will stand for several minutes while watching TV before either squating down, or falling over.  I think it’ll only be a matter if time before she spends the majority of her time walking rather than crawling.

Another thing Haru has learned to recognize is the word “bye-bye”.  Everytime she hears bye-bye she’ll wave goodbye.  There were even a couple times when she attempted to say bye-bye, but it wasn’t quite coherent yet.   But she can even recognize when she hears bye-bye on TV, or when her toy turtle says bye-bye, and she would wave.

However, with the good comes the bad.  I’m not sure if its because she is learning things so quickly, but she has been having a hard time staying asleep at night.  Sometimes, she would even wake up on an hourly basis.  There were a few times when I checked Haru during these waking spells, and it looked as if she wasn’t really fully awake, but more like as if she was crying in her sleep.  My wife suspects that she may be going through a time where her brain development is happening so quickly, that it puts her in some state of half sleep.

Haru with crackers all over her face

Standing the middle of the living room

Sharing her lunch with Princess

Digging out a toy she dropped into the vase

And here are a coulple of videos:

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A Family Outing


Yesterday we spent the day at the local furniture store to buy some longly needed items that we had neglected for the last year (mainly lamps etc).  In the process, Haru seemed to fal in love with a big stuffed toy dog, so we decided to buy it for her.  But as with her other toys, Haru seemed to lose interest as soon as we got home.  And like some of her other toys, it became a toy for the dogs.  She does occassionally grab it and hug it though.  Maybe she still a bit too young for stuffed animals?

While at the furniture store, we saw some really interesting layout for kid’s rooms.  Eventually, Haru will need to move out of our room and have room of her own, so we looked at some furniture for her room, as well as some stuff that will replace the space where Haru’s crib is now.  It’ll still be a while before she moves out, but it was fun looking none the less.

Lots of pictures this week:

Practicing drinking from a straw

Sticking her tongue out

Sharing her crackers with the dogs

playing with the dogs’ water dish

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“Babies Be Bobbin’ Up Everywhere!”


This morning, before I left for work, I looked through some old pictures of Haru from last November, as I occassionally do from time to time.  It’s hard to believe that Haru was that small only nine months ago.  I think what triggered me to want to look at Haru’s birth photos, was the fact that it seems like everyone around me is having or just recently had a baby.  I have 3 co-workers who are expecting within the next month, my wife’s cousin is also expecting her second child within a few weeks, and my friend Saori, who just got married a couple weeks ago is having her first child in January.  This is not to mention all of the babies that were born within the last year, including Haru and her second cousins.  I wonder if this is a second wave baby boom?

It’s only been a few of days since Haru took her first steps, and she has already progress into taken more steps.  I think its a matter of gaining  confidence  more than anything else, because she’ll fall only if she know’s that one of us is close enough to catch her.  If I put her a few feet away from me, she’ll walk to within a  range where I could catch her before she does a falling dive into my arms.  Probably by the end of the month, she will be full fledge toddler.

Learning to use her training cup (with a straw)

A blurry pic..more biting

Standing on her knees

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Thunder and Lightening


Haru continues to learn new things on almost a daily basis.  She finally learned how to wave bye bye.  There are some things that she does that neither of us taught her to do.  For example,  her new favorite thing to do is to throw out her fist and shout “punch”.  I suspect she may have seen it on TV or maybe she saw some other child do it, but its odd that she was able to pick that up so quickly.

Another thing she seemed to learn on her own is dancing. Today, we had a pretty intense thunder and lightening storm.  Until recently, the sound of thunder didn’t really bother Haru too much, but lately they seem to frighten her.  So to keep her mind off the storm, we played a DVD of a children’s program that she seems to enjoy a lot.  At times she would turn away from the TV and sway back and forth to the music.

A closeup of Haru

A video of Haru dancing to her TV show

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First Steps


Since about a week ago, Haru has been able to stand up for a very short period of time on her own (unsupported).  Often times, she wouldn’t even notice that she’s standing up without holding on to anything, and when she finally realizes it, she would fall over.

Lately, she’s been making a conscious effort to try to stand up.  She often smiles or even laughs when she’s able to do it successfully.  And finally, she took her first unassisted steps today.   Although it was very unsteady and she fell over right afterwards, I have a feeling that she will learn the ropes really soon.

Standing up on her own, unsupported

Taking a small step

she still needs the wall most of the times

Here’s a very short video of her trying to walk.

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