■ Be selective If your baby is not yet 2, choose programmes made specifically for the under-2s — they’re slow-paced and presented by a single adult speaker.
■ Watch together and ask occasional questions or discuss a character to open up a dialogue between you and your child.
■ Turn on the telly for specific programmes, then switch it off after. Constant background noise can distract parents and children from listening, talking to each other and playing together.
■ It might not be your idea of fun to watch the same DVD over and over, but the familiarity of words and phrases makes it easier for children to learn from them.
■ All the experts agree that letting your child watch television while you take the occasional 10 minutes to yourself isn’t harmful. However, if junior is under 2, try to limit this to half an hour’s viewing a day.