There's a new article out in Times Magazine entitled "Baby Einsteins: Not So Smart After All." The synopsis of the article is that products like "Baby Einstein" and "Brainy Baby" may be "doing more harm than good" and that they may, in fact, "delay language development in toddlers."
Here's a snippet from the article:
Led by Frederick Zimmerman and Dr. Dimitri Christakis, both at the University of Washington, the research team found that with every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants learned six to eight fewer new vocabulary words than babies who never watched the videos. These products had the strongest detrimental effect on babies 8 to 16 months old, the age at which language skills are starting to form. "The more videos they watched, the fewer words they knew," says Christakis. "These babies scored about 10% lower on language skills than infants who had not watched these videos."
Instead of plopping your baby down in front of the tube:
A. Read a book.
B. Go for a walk and describe what you are seeing.
C. Play "Patty Cake", "This Little Pig", and "Itsy Bitsy Spider."
D. Turn on some music and dance with your baby.
E. Mimic the sounds and facial expressions that your baby makes.
F. Go about your daily routine with your baby in a carrier and verbalize your tasks ("We're doing the laundry. First, let's fold the blue shirt...").
(Photo by: Werther)