Baby Einstein - good bad or negligible?

See, I hate these posts. If you don’t write everything down and make a lead-tight lawyerproof post, someone comes along and shows you how bad you are at parenting with a nice un-enforceable anecdote and a note how wonderful their kid is and how it must be ‘parenting skill a’ that did it.

MY kids are three. They read, they run around, the inter-relate with other kids, and they’re DIFFERENT. One likes ‘reading’ catalogs and the other likes playing with matchbox cars. They’re both at an age where repetition of something they like is a big ticket item. (Aforementioned Herbie movie) but it’s doled out in controled amounts.

Could be your child is just gifted…could be your neighbor is a bad evil person letting their child rot it’s life away in front of the surrogate babysitter. Reguardless, it doesn’t answer the OP’s question. Frankly we got ‘into’ Baby Einstein when it was a local lady doing a good thing, but before she got the big payoff from Disney and it turned into a marketing behemoth. You can see a big change from the first disks in the series to the later ones.

Baby Bach will let you pop the disk in, press menu, play and immediately watch the movie. (great for frayed nerves and screaming kids*) by disk 5 or so, you’ve go the usual DISNEY LOGO YOU CAN’T BYPASS plus STAY TUNED FOR MORE STUFF YOU CAN BUY FROM OUR PRODUCT LINE.

(*=no screaming kids were hurt in the writing of this post…mostly because Baby Bach Saved my family) :dubious:

Yeah. My Baby-Einstein-obsessed nephew loves to read. He has a limitless number of books that he drags out and demands be read to him – and he’s memorized nearly every one, so if you get up to shennanigans reading to him he calls you on it.

He also likes reading the Baby Einstein video boxes and catalogs. And I’ve quizzed him by having him spell out “mozart” or “einstein” or whatever, so it’s actually reading, not look-at-the-pictures. Of course, he then makes me spell “monkey” or “turtle” or whatever picture catches his fancy.

Really, though, he’s just the kind of kid who’d be interested in reading, anyway. He’d probably have become obsessed with some other video or character, too, had he not had Baby Einstein to pick up on (his growing interest in the Wiggles is a little worrisome…).

I’d have to agree that Baby Einstein is not going to do any harm if it’s part of how you’re parenting your kids. But it’s certainly not a substitute for actual parenting.

On NPR the other day, they had a segment about the Kaiser Family Foundation’s report. The most interesting part to me was the talk about a reflex that these videos take advantage of. I forget what it’s called, but apparently newborns, even more than the rest of us, are compelled to pay attention to changing things: it’s a part of how they learn, and so they’ll stare agape at something that changes.

The fact that the reflex helps them learn doesn’t always mean that they’re learning, though, and the researchers on NPR said that the videos, by constantly changing what was on the screen, were exploiting the reflex in a way that made parents think the kids were fascinated by the video’s content.

If I understood correctly, they werer also suggesting that rapid transformations like this could change a kid’s brain such that the kid expects the world to consist of rapid transformations; later, when the kid is expected to pay attention to something that changes slowly or subtly (e.g., a book, or a worksheet, or a garden), they find it very difficult.

I’m not a parent, and I’m certainly in no position to criticize other folks’ parenting skills. I just thought it was an interesting report.


Bah, I’m just gonna give 'em lawn darts and tell 'em to go play in traffic.

We’ve got one Baby Einsten video (Mozart) and both we and our (now) 4-year old found it very boring, and a little creepy (some of the toys that operate during the video are just weird). We decided against showing it to our 18-month old. I’d say their neglible–certainly they won’t hurt anyone, and some kids probably love them. I would rent them if possible before buying.

Our kids love the Original Baby Songs, which has original music written and sung by Hap Palmer, and which has actual kids in the video, sharing, getting potty trained, etc. They both love music. To introduce them to classical music, we got the CD, “Beethoven’s Wig,” which is fun and has words to the classics at the beginning of the CD and then repeats all of the pieces sans silly lyrics at the end. My favorite is A Little Night Music, where Mozart’s wife complains about Wolfie playing the violin all night and keeping her from sleeping.

We limit video watching to 30 minutes per day. YMMV.

I have friends who have a baby. I like their reaction and think it sums up the whole Baby Einstein thing nicely: “Yeah, she likes the tapes. She also really likes Queens of the Stone Age.”

I personally find them less annoying than many other children’s shows, so if it’s a choice between Einstein and Barney, I’m going to choose Einstein. I don’t push them on my kid with the idea it’s going to make him smarter, though. Treat them like any other tv watching, IMO.

I like the books. They can’t be eaten.

We found them useful in certain circumstances, but I’m no big fan of them. And the most recent one we got has commercial embedded in it that can’t be skipped. That one went back with a nasty letter.