(Ah, yes, another review. In fact, there will be even ANOTHER review tomorrow. It's crazy. But it's crazy good because tomorrow I'm giving away something. Yay for free stuff!)
Even before Sydney was born there was a certain brand name that had made its way into our house. The name adorned DVDs, books, the crib mobile, a couple bath puppets, and a baby play gym. Over the course of the years we have collected yet another crib mobile, more books, another DVD, some toys and I suspect somewhere there's a sippy cup all adorned with the infamous sketch of that spiky haired kid wearing glasses.
Guessed it, yet? If you have kids you probably have something that's related to Baby Einstein. It's as familiar to parents as Fisher-Price and Baby Bjorn. I have watched Baby Neptune and Baby Shakespeare more times than I can count, and once upon a time I knew the alphabet in Hebrew thanks to Baby Einstein. Over the course of the years, it kind of got a bad reputation because it promoted the whole "babies watching television" thing, which the American Academy of Pediatrics tends to frown on.
I like the answer that Baby Einstein developed in response to this discussion:
...The Baby Einstein Company is aware of the ongoing discussions regarding children and television viewing, particularly as it pertains to infants under the age of two years old. And, while we respect the American Academy of Pediatrics, we do not believe that their recommendation of no television for children under the age of two reflects the reality of today’s parents, families and households – for example, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found that 68% of all babies under two years old watch screen media on any given day. The Baby Einstein Company believes that when used properly, developmentally-appropriate video content can be a useful tool for parents and little ones to enjoy together.
I will say that Sydney didn't watch tv until she was almost two, but not for the lack me trying. I'm sure it was somewhat influenced by her vision--probably she couldn't actually see the television. No less than a month after she got glasses she was suddenly interested in watching those Baby Einstein movies that we had sitting around. It was a significant turning point in our household because at this point I could actually take a shower, clean the kitchen, and have approximately 45 minutes a day to do whatever I darn well pleased. It was blissful.
And if you had wandered into our house this morning you would have seen me trying to encourage Jules for the love of mice and beans! sit and watch Blue's Clues with Sydney. Instead she went through the kitchen and emptied the dog dish, ripped up some cookbooks, and just for fun pulled Sydney's hair and glasses. I can't wait for the day she decides that tv is entertaining so I can reclaim those 45 minutes. Sorry, American Academy of Pediatrics. Your suggestions, while appropriate and important, deprive me of my sanity and toilet-scrubbing time.
Good old Baby Einstein has tried to reconnect their product with parents and get the word out about the positive ways media can be integrated into the lives of your children. Their Ask the Expert page has some great ideas, and you can even share how you and your kid use Baby Einstein in the home. We just got the Baby's First Moves DVD, which features lots of footage of babies moving. Jules, naturally, doesn't care a smidge for it. Sydney, on the other hand, crawls along, rolls over, claps, and reaches for the sky along with those tiny babies. She's all about moving. After watching the movie, she tries to tutor Jules in all the movements she ought to be doing. Added bonus for moms: there's a feature at the end of the movie that gives parents tips on how to exercise with baby. They even tell you the proper way to put baby in the crib so you don't strain your back. Knowledge I wish I knew four years ago!
The new follow up DVD--Baby's First Words--is coming out March 11. Plus, they won some awards last year, and pretty much I'm just saying they'll always have a place in our home as long as we have kids around. Really, who can pass up a product that has a kid wearing glasses? Not us. We're smitten with spectacles.
Now time to confess: who let their kids watch tv before they turned two? Come on. I can't possibly be the only one...
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