No matter how much research you do, no matter what you decide to it, when it comes to parenting, you’re probably doing it wrong. There is always some expert or some group that’ll say you’re ruining your child by making the choices that you have. And one contentious subject has always been screen time. Should you let your young ones watch TV and zombie out in front of an iPad?

Up until now, the general ideal consensus is that any baby or toddler under the age of two should be restricted from any screen time whatsoever. No TV. No Netflix. No iPad. No smartphone games. Nothing. “They” say that it can have a detrimental effect on spatial reasoning and speech development, among other possible challenges. Well, now the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is changing its tune.

The truth of the matter is that as much as parents try to avoid using glowing screens as digital babysitters, it’s almost inevitable. And not all screen time is made alike. If Baby George is on a video chat with grandpa, that can be quality bonding time that may not have otherwise been possible. If Baby George conks out in front of yet another binge session of PAW Patrol, that’s another matter altogether.

So, what are the recommended guidelines from the AAP now? They’re still saying that you should avoid screens altogether up until the age of 18 months, with the noted exception of FaceTime or Skype or similar apps. From 18 to 24 months, digital media can be introduced as long as its “high-quality programming,” whatever that’s called. And then from two to five years, the kids can continue to enjoy “high-quality programming” for up to an hour a day, as long as parents are “co-watching” that content with them.

From age six and up, kids should have “consistent limits” and there should be “media-free times” for the entire family. So, while this is less restrictive than what the AAP was saying before, it’s still a lot less than what most of us are doing. Yup, I’m going to continue feeling like a terrible father, but if it means I can maintain some semblance of sanity (ha!), I guess that’s what I’ll have to do.

Via Gizmodo

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