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December 29, 2010


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Complete and total waste of money. Babies/toddlers aren't supposed to watch ANY TV before age 2, and pretty limited after that.

Unfortunately many parents think anything labeled "educational" is perfectly OK to set their babies in front of.

I think that as with everything else in life, it's about balance. There are very few things that are totally good or totally bad. Is it better than sitting them down in front of stupid cartoons for hours on end? Yeah, probably. Unfortunately, that's exactly what many parents do, so these videos are probably an improvement over that.

Another positive for the videos is that it gets the parent a little time to get other things done. As a parent of twin boys and a very high maintenance little girl, I know that sometimes I need something to occupy their time for a little while so I can get a few necessary things done during the day.

I definitely would never advocate plopping them down in front of the TV for hours on end though. The most educational thing you can do for your child is spend time with them and talk to them. They are going to emulate you before some character on the TV. You will find that some of the most successful people had an involved family in their lives. That's the best education you can give them. And best of all, it's free.

Maybe a waste of money but we were given a bunch of Baby Einstein DVDs for free. They can be very useful - for example - we almost never have babysitters, and when we went out for my office Christmas party, I popped one in and my 1 year old sat and watched for about 15 minutes, which was enough time to go over everything with the babysitter, and get out the door.

I don't think they teach anything - but I don't think they are bad either. Many of them facilitate interaction also - they are more like something that you sit down and do with your child.

I don't think that a child will learn from the dvds - in fact, wasn't that was Disney was sued about a while back? But I also don't think a child will be harmed by the dvds. for the most part - the ones we were given at least - are a puppet dancing around to music, or are a tv version of a board book.

I had twins. I don't think the videos teach the babies anything, but hey, they are totally worth the money for their calming effect on the parents!

My kids rarely were allowed to watch TV growing up (we didn't have cable) but boy, did they watch a lot of kids' videos when they were infants. Sometimes as a parent you are just too exhausted for anything other than "watching a video" with the babies. Which means that Mom lays on the floor and goes to sleep while the babies in her arms kick and gurgle happily for half and hour.

The baby swing? worthless. The fancy stroller? not needed when a cheap umbrella stroller works just as good. Fancy high chair? also not needed. A TV and 1 or 2 Dora the Explorer episodes? Essential!

I think the studies need controls for parent involvement, and environment besides the video. I am not fan of the videos (many clips and sometimes the whole video can be watched on youtube), but my 2 year old has definitely picked up a few things from and can pull up youtube on my and search (search terms are saved in the phone - I am not sure if he recognizes his picks or if its just random but he does scroll, and his propensity to pick the katy perry elmo (elmo search on youtube) video is pretty funny). I think the familiarity with tech will help him also (he is limited to less than 30 min a day and I do it with him - usually 1 video clip in the morning, a couple throughout the day and a couple at night before bed - he is also read to frequently).

Baby Einstein = Worthless
Signing Time = Priceless

Signing Time videos had our 2y9mo old BOY signing 50+ words by 18 months. Girls learn even faster. After 50, it quickly became 100+, until he transitioned to words. Now, at 2y9mos old, he's helping us teach his 12mo old baby brother how to sign.

Imagine how much easier your life would be if your infant could tell you:
More Milk, More Food, More Water, Happy, Sad, Diaper, Hurt, Play, Football, Baseball, Sports, Book, Read, etc

Our babies aren't frustrated because they have a language with which they can communicate their needs.

What about those Teach Your Baby to Read programs? The commercials look impressive, but wonder how well they actually help your baby read when they get to be a pre-schooler?

Look for "Teach your Baby to be a Day Trader"--it's a somewhat rare title, but it is a really educational and useful video in my experience.

It helped my kids fund their own college costs! Except that they lost it all the next day, but still, it shows how much they learned.

{snark!} Reminds me of the fad when I was preggers, back in the Cretaceous: You were supposed to play lots of classical music, loud, so the classical music vibes would reach the little developing mind in your belly.

Uh huh.

He's 35 now. Likes hard rock and acoustic jazz.

Darn! If only we'd had that "Teach Your Baby to be a Day Trader" video! The kid could be supporting me in my old age by now.

I told my father that I had read somewhere that talking to your child helped them to learn to speak earlier. He didn't believe me. But my daughter learned to talk early (and not just because she's female) and he became a believer. I read a lot and I would just hold dear daughter and later dear son and read aloud, books, newspapers, magazines, or just talked aloud to them a lot. My children (46 &43) are very verbally intelligent and love to read also. I never had any of those dvd things.

My son learned to read very early. When daughter was 4 1/2, she came to me and asked if a a number on a page was a 7. I said yes. She said that was what her 1 1/2-2 year old brother had told her. So I took a catalog and quizzed him. I would show him a number and ask him what it was. 99% of the time he was right. Then I took another direction and asked him to find me a number. Same % on that one. It became the same with letters. He knew a lot of the signs along the road - filling stations, stores, etc.

I am a good vocal reader and I read aloud to my children until they left home for good. It was a lot of our entertainment. Along about ages 10 & 7, their dad had to be out of work for 2 months with a medical condition. He started listening too. And I mixed it up thoroughly so they would learn to like a lot of different types of literature - true adventure, sci-fi, romance, comedy, etc.

And, guess what? All of this was very inexpensive and a lot of it was absolutely free and easy to do. Try it - you'll like it.

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