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Baby Milestones 9-12 Months: Important News About Babies & TV

Score one for time-pressed mothers everywhere: That fun little DVD you pop in to get your 10-month-old to sit still long enough for you to make yourself a sandwich is not turning his brain to mush. A surprising new Harvard University study found that TV-watching during the first two years of life has no effect on cognitive skills at age 3. "We found that it doesn't harm or help -- both important findings," says Elsie Taveras, Ph.D., coauthor. How to make peace with the tube:

Think moderation. "In our study, few parents said their babies watched no TV, but few said their children watched more than two hours a day," says Taveras. Try to save it for those times when you could use a much-deserved break.

Gauge his interest. If your baby starts playing with a toy before his show is over, click the off button. Background TV is a distraction to play, experts say. Put on some favorite tunes instead, if you crave a little living room sound during playtime.

Be realistic. Don't kid yourself that "educational" programs are more than entertainment. The study found that TV doesn't aid at all in learning. When it comes to teaching your baby red from blue, that's going to be up to you.

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