Is Hey Bear Sensory Bad For Babies?

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Yes all screens are bad for babies! However, the Hey Bear Sensory Channel has no harmful content. It’s filled with charming colorful, high contrast videos that are very stimulating for an infant’s senses. This can be helpful for distracting a baby and giving you a well needed break. However, it’s not good for your baby to have screen time. So this needs to be done with care and a lot of moderation and supervision. In this article we discuss why you should avoid screen time and what to do instead.

Why Should Babies Avoid Screen Time?

When a baby is growing, it’s crucial for them to achieve their developmental milestones at a steady pace. But developing doesn’t only mean that your baby has to be well fed so that they will grow as they should.

Achieving developmental milestones also includes stimulating their senses so that their brain starts to process information. This begins with simple things such as eye contact, recognising faces and voices of their carers to more complex things like coordination of their hands and feet and senses.Infants are hard wired to learn these things whilst in contact with you. You will notice your child looking towards you. Thats because eye contant( for a fully sighted infant is the primary sensory connection that they need. Whilst playing games, talking and going on walks and having cuddles or baby massage it is the parent’s face and voice that will stimulate that child’s brain to develop in the way it needs. As parents and carers you can feel confident that the time that you spend holding and responding to your child isn’t wasted. Every loving touch is growing their brain. They do not need sensory videos in fact they can be harmful.

There are far better ways to do this than make a habit of watching videos with your baby. Many families with toddlers now incorporate sensory videos into their regular schedules, and these kinds of videos are rapidly gaining popularity worldwide.’One of the most essential experiences in shaping the architecture of the developing brain is “serve and return” interaction between children and significant adults in their lives.”

Today’s post is about such a YouTube channel called “Hey Bear Sensory”, which has a collection of over one hundred sensory videos that you can watch together with your baby.

If you’ve ever heard about the channel from a friend or family, you might be wondering, is Hey Bear Sensory bad for babies? YES if you make a habit of it as its screen time. No it has no harmful content.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the research and help you come to a balanced decision.

What Are Baby Sensory Videos?

Nowadays there’s a range of fascinating sensory videos, especially on YouTube, with shapes, music, and vibrant colors to excite your young one’s senses and assist their growth as they develop and become more intrigued by everything they see and hear.

Also Read: Is Miss Rachel Good For Babies?

Baby sensory videos are completely safe for your baby to watch as far as content is concerned, however your baby can only learn from interacting with you and the world around them. Until they are 1 babies can’t learn anything from screens and they might hinder their ability to focus, give attention and develop empathy and social skills including speech The research is really clear, that’s why the AAP do not recommend the use of screens for children under 2 and advise no more than 1 hour of screen time only per day between 2 and 4 years old.

Instead we recommend creating a safe play space for your baby and engaging in sensorily stimulating play that develops all their senses and their attachment to you.

What Is Hey Bear Sensory?

Hey Bear Sensory, as I said in the beginning, is a YouTube channel created especially for babies and toddlers. These videos are made with upbeat or calming music along with highly colorful objects dancing on the screen.

The videos are eye-catching and will steal a toddler’s attention as soon as you play one. Many people on the internet are praising the quality of these videos posted regularly by the Hey Bear Sensory group.

Parents in online forums report that they also enjoy watching these videos with their babies.

What Is Hey Bear Sensory

As a nursery manager and graduate trained Early Years Teacher I have cared for infants who won’t stop screaming or crying, not even giving a second to form a coherent thought. So I understand the strong desire to put a child in front of a screen if it calms them down. I would say to exhausted parents if this works use it with a great deal of care and infrequently to avoid it becoming a daily habit. Every now and again watching screens with your baby won’t do them any harm but it is best to avoid it becoming part of everyday life. In fact watching sceens with your baby often leads to them being overstimulated. This will result in a young child that struggles to focus on playand learning when they are older.

What to do instead of screen time

Have you tried other distractions first? Go on a walk, sling your baby, distract with other visuals such as bubble mixture, looking at books, calming classical music and white noise sounds first.

Only if all else fails Hey Bear sensory videos could work to give a parent a few minutes mental rest.

It would be better to play these videos offline so that other videos on YouTube wouldn’t disturb your child, you can download them onto your device from as well.

Whilst watching these videos point and talk to the screen engaging with your baby. It’s in these interaction that your baby will learn, not from seeing the screen. Playful interactions with you build your baby’s brain. Whereas sensory videos are fun are fun and stimulate your baby’s visual sense somewhat, they are not an alternative to sensory play, so don’t be fooled by the title. Limiting their screen time is important for your child’s development.

It’s equally important that your child gets stimulated in other ways, such as tummy time, listening to adults talk to them, playing with textured play toys, etc…

When Can Infants Start Watching Hey Bear Sensory Videos?

Hey Bear videos are intended for babies 3 months or older and keep in mind that newborns may find looking at bright screens with upbeat music overwhelming.

When Can Babies Start Watching Hey Bear Sensory Videos

Your baby is likely to be highly stimulated and attracted to the screen , but don’t be fooled into thinking that just because their tears might stop the videos are doing them good. Too much visual stimulation The evidence is to the contrary.

A relaxed parent is also important. Therefore, if watching “Hey Bear” for a short period helps distract your baby when all else as failed don’t worry about using it just don’t make it a daily habit!

Despite the marketing that surrounds these videos they are not educational. Infants can’t developmentally gain what they need for their senses to develop from screen and screen time use in children under two has been strongly linked to speech development issues and learning delays.

Dr Patrica Kuhl author of How Babies Think has conducted experiments on 1000s on infants and the impact of screen time. The results are really conclusive that not only do babies under one not learn at all from screens but that the alsoy can reduce a baby’s ability to focus on other things and reduce their development of empathy.

“What we’ve discovered is that little babies, under a year old, do not learn from a machine,” 

Patricia Kuhl

Also Read: Baby Only Rolls One Way

Videos aimed at toddlers consist of much more complex activities that will might encourage you to join in such as using their body to respond which will stimulate their senses growing neural pathways in the brain. However they only have benefit when children are older than two and then for less than a hour a day and even still when an adult is interacting with the programme with them the advantage of this type child screen time can be seen.

Baby Play; sensory activities

The best way to engage in sensory play with your little one is to spend time with them this will remain the same for all stages of development.

Specially-Made Sensory Baby Toys can provide an activity for babies and keep things interesting. However they dont need many toys, really they just need you. One of the most useful accessorize is a baby carrier. This can make it easier for you to take your baby on walks, where your child’s senses will be stimulated in a natural and gentle way. Whilst in the house wearing your baby between 0-12 months in a carrier can increase your bond and help your infant feel calm. Their senses will be stimulated by the sound of your voice, the touch of your skin and the environment around you.

HoneyBug features sustainable and Montessori style wooden toys, using Innovative eco-friendly manufacturing and green materials.

GIving your baby physical activity everyday is important sensory stimulation. For example a baby gym allows an infant to understand cause and effect as they knock toys that hang above them with their hands and feet. Hanging objects with bright colors from the play gym helps a child develop hand eye coordination, as they kick and hit the objects to make them swing. Some of these toys also make gentle noises allowing for auditory stimulation.

Tummy time is an essential infant sensory experience. It’s a good idea to do this daily as soon as possible when your baby is newborn, lay them on their tummies for short periods of time. You can place strong contrast images in front of them or lay facing them. This activity develops the strength in your infants core muscles.

A baby bouncer chair can be another useful piece of equipment that will allow your child to sit comfortable whilst looking at high contrast images or listening to soothing music, but they should never be left unattended in a chair.

What are the best sensory baby books?

Books with bold colourful images and strong images, mirrors and textures. Black-and-White Sensory Books are really great at keeping the attention of newborns. Daily book time can be a bonding alternative to visual stimulation videos and are far better for building your child’s attention span.

Screens and Sleep

Hey Bear Sensory gives the choice to choose from either a video with upbeat music or calming ones, you can select a video for your situation. As I was looking through conversations between moms on online forums, I noticed that many parents are also using these videos to help get their children to sleep as well. However, I would strongly advise against this as a habit as although music can help settle a baby the blue light in screens is associated with sleep latency and less deep sleep. Sleep habits start to develop in infants as early as around 6 months of age and dependencies are difficult to crack. Therefore I would never use any device with a children within two hours of they going to sleep.

Instead of Hey Bear try Audible

Instead of turning to screens I would recommend creating a book reading habit where you read with your baby, dull the lights, lighten to calming music or sing songs. For day times create a calm organized and safe play area. This will encourage your child to play solo later on for longer periods. If you want to create a rest time for example before an evening meal, listening to an audio book was a great way that I used in nurseries and preschools, childminding and with my own children. Whereas a baby isn’t going to follow a story on an audio book they weill still enjoy your voice. Having a Audible subscription can also be a great way for you to create a mental space for yourself if you are solo caring. Having a pair of bluetooth headphones allowed me to give myself mental breaks whilst being in the presence of my children and certainly helped me to stay calm through colic crying session and feel less frustrated when they needed me near in evenings. Sometimes we just need that headspace and that’s when we turn to screens.

Audible also helped my to not have constant noise is the house of the TV or radio which is not good for speech development in babies. The long alone stretches of the day and night for some can be one reason why parents feel so drawn to screens. The first two years can be a tough time for parents and the draw of screens I have felt myself, but I can attest to the long term benefits to being strict with screen use, both for myself and my children. Like I said I’m not an idealist, children need to learn how to self care and monitor their own habits they don’t always get this right, neither do I, but they can only do this if healthy habits are modeled to them. Whereas monitored screen time can be a great tool for connecting with your children the science is clear it’s not good for babies under 2, and it does not improve long term sleep.

Verdict – Is Hey Bear Sensory Bad?

Yes! Because it’s screen time and screen time for needs to be used with all children cautiously , especially for children under two as it can affect their speech development ,mental health, physical health attention span and behaviour in a negative way. The British Medical Journal is one source of many the reveal the dangers of screen time. This research is however based on habits occasional watching isn’t something to be afraid of by habits can easily develop. Never just sit a baby in front of a screen, if you are going to watch always engage with them.

No- Only If this is very occasional use and reduces your stress. For example, when a baby is at a friends, whilst travelling as a distraction or the odd time it’s not likely to do any harm , its when you are doing this daily and instead of playing with your baby, or having face to face time that it is bad. The danger is that as babies get older they become attached to screen time and cry unless you use it.

Personally I wouldn’t use screen time for infants its really necessary and could develop unhealthy habits in your baby.

Having said that if you are watching it for short periods with your baby on occasion it’s not likely to do any real harm but it shouldn’t be an alternative to other activities that will help your baby’s development more and help you bond with them better!

Whilst you must closely monitor your baby’s screen time, watching these videos with your baby will also give you a chance to rest and relax with your child.

Also Read: Is It OK To Wash Baby Clothes In A Public Laundromat?

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