Thursday, January 29, 2009

Baby Einstein is a Crock

Baby Einstein, Baby Genius and Brainy Baby, its all crap & I have always though that (really now, come on, your kid is 4 months old, can't even hold up their head properly, but you think they are getting something out of a flood of annoying songs and flashing lights?? - They don't even know what they are experiencing!).

But now I have a bit more to back me on up that statement:

Far from providing the brain-boosting advantages promised by specialized programs aimed at the youngest viewers, TV time for children under two does more harm than good, according to a newly published review of international research.

"Infant TV viewing is associated with delayed language, with shortened attention spans and with delayed cognitive development," says Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician and professor at the University of Washington. "The scientific evidence of benefit is just not there and the best available evidence suggests harm."

Keep reading: Baby TV time slows development: Research

Baby Einstein, makers of popular DVDs for infants as young as three months, has stopped billing its videos as educational, following a formal complaint from a U.S. advocacy group that the Disney-owned company was making "false and deceptive" claims that it can give babies a leg up in learning.

Gone are promotional claims that the DVD's such as Baby Wordsworth "fosters the development of your toddler's speech and language skills" and Numbers Nursery will "help develop your baby's understanding of what numbers mean."

Keep Reading: Infant DVDs won't mould a baby Einstein

In August 2007, the Journal of Pediatrics published a preprint version of the results of a study by researchers at the University of Washington on the effects of television and DVD/video viewing on language development in children under two years of age. The study, the second conducted by the same researchers as part of a larger project, was a correlational study based on telephone interviews with parents of children aged 2 to 24 months.

The study's authors, Drs. Frederick Zimmerman, Dimitri Christakis, and Andrew Meltzoff, concluded that, among infants aged 8 to 16 months, exposure to "baby DVDs/videos" — such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby — was strongly associated with lower scores on a standard language development test. This result was specific to baby-oriented educational videos and did not hold for other types of media, and was not related to shared parental viewing. Among toddlers aged 17 to 24 months, the study found no significant effects, either negative or positive, for any of the forms of media that were viewed. Daily reading and storytelling, however, were found to be associated with somewhat higher language scores, especially for toddlers.

Keep Reading: Controversy over effects on language development

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