Infant Educational Products (Like Baby Einstein)

Updated on December 07, 2012
H.?. asks from Nampa, ID
7 answers

I am writing a paper about infant educational programs and products. I wonder, have you ever purchased a product to make your baby smarter or to help your baby learn academic skills? Something like Baby Einstein, Brainy Baby, Baby Prodigy, Your Baby Can Read, etc. What were your motivations? Do you feel like the products "worked," was it worth the money and/or time that you invested? Do you think that a genius can be "created" through such programs?
 

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So What Happened?

It seems that the Baby Einstein backlash is in full swing, LOL! I was hoping to hear from the other side of the debate too though. It is a subject that interests me, I have 3 children and even though I have read the studies on the importance of free play and how teaching your child to read too early can be detrimental, I still have moments of anxiety when I wonder if I have really done enough to educate my children. I think that the infant education companies capitalize on these anxieties, and new products seem to crop up every few years (as new parents become the newer targets I guess). I used to see/hear a lot of ads for educational videos, and now I see/hear more for educational computer games. I believe that these forms of media can be (limited) tools for learning, just not for infants!

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D..

answers from Miami on

My opinion is that they do not make your baby smarter. However, the people who would buy them for their children are the ones who pay lots of attention to academics, and their babies are smarter because their parents don't ignore them.

Now, it follows that mothers like ME who know that it's a waste of money, also have smart children because we care about academics too, and we don't ignore our kids either.

Old fashioned tried and true methods of engaging a child in age appropriate manipulatives, playing music for them, talking to them, reading to them, etc are what help a child to learn. Not a bunch of baby Einstein products.

Dawn

4 moms found this helpful
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B.M.

answers from Chicago on

I believe they have proven that these programs are not beneficial to children. In fact, one study proved that parents who bought Baby Einstein spent LESS time interacting with their kids who they plopped in front of the TV.... so not only were there no benefits, there was actually a DETRIMENT of less parental interaction.

So, no.... these products don't work. Most of them are outright scams.

3 moms found this helpful
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D.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

It does NOT matter whether some random people you interview believe these products work. There is EVIDENCE showing they do not. Anymore than it matters whether people believe that vaccines are harmful, the earth is 4000 years old or the sun revolves around the earth. Of course if you are writing a paper about the ethics of marketing .....

2 moms found this helpful
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A.L.

answers from Austin on

Okay, I'm going to go a little bit outside the box with the answers you've gotten.

I bought quite a few of the Baby Einstein music CD's, and we had three of the Baby Einstein DVD's. And we LOVED them.

But not because we were convinced it was making our baby smarter. If a child that young is watching TV, all they are getting is sounds and colors, anyway. Of the three DVD's we had, the only one we didn't care for actually DID focus on teaching - and it was no good at all, and the kids didn't care for it, either. One was colors, and it just focused on bright, happy things that were fun for baby to look at, with music to go along with it. The other was Van Gogh, and when the kids were a little older, they liked watching the images being "painted" on the screen. (My six year old still enjoys Van Gogh - she seeks him out in art books in the library.) The music with both of them was relaxing music that parents could enjoy, and was real classical music, that the kids were able to connect to when we turned the radio on.

I like them for the same reason we bought Gershwin and Charlie Parker CDs for them, or play the Beatles, or watch Fantasia, or read Robert Frost in silly voices. Cultural familiarity in a kid-friendly format.

2 moms found this helpful

K.A.

answers from San Diego on

I remember renting one of those Baby Einstein DVDs out of sheer curiosity when my first child was about a year old, maybe less, I can't remember how old though. It was 2001/2002 which was right in the biggest height of all the hoopla of how they were promised to make baby smarter yada yada yada. Well, my husband and I sat down with our son and put it on, and he had absolutely zero interest in it after maybe a minute max. He was so bored with it. Could care less. He would watch other shows on TV so I know it wasn't a TV in general thing. He loved Teletubbies and Sesame Street while he played with his toys and danced to the music and such. But this he just sat and stared with glassed over eyes then left to do something else. Some other friends of ours with kids around the same age at the same time had some of the DVDs and would put them on when we visited and again, my son was completely uninterested in them. But put on Clifford he was engaged and interested.
The only Baby Einstein DVDs we found even vaguely interesting were the couple of sign language ones they put out.
All the other things, we didn't waste our money on them. We didn't feel they were worth it. There are far more interesting and better ways to teach your kids everything they need or want or should know.
I think those products just prey on parent's paranoia that what they're doing "isn't good enough".

2 moms found this helpful
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D.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

I've bought many of these products. And they all ended up at the bottom of the toy bin or DVD pile. My baby didn't seem any more interested in the black and white graphical designs than the colorful puppy dog kitty cat patterns.

What engaged them the most? Empty boxes, pots and pans, colors and markers to scribble all over the empty boxes, blocks, dress up clothing, and playing with toys in the wading pool. In other words, letting their imaginations run wild! (I often think back to the Sponge Bob epidsode where he and Patrick are playing in the empty tv box. Squidward is on the outside, convinced they are really on some wild expedition. That was my kids!)

The only thing 'scientific' that I ever found a success was music - classical music or kids songs they could sing along to and learn ABC's or what not. And they were just fine and happy with the 5 dollar cd's from walmart as they were the designer brands.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

its all useless junk.

1 mom found this helpful
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