Beliefnet
Feiler Faster

It’s television. Longtime readers of Feiler Faster know that I’ve had a bit of an ongoing battle with certain members of my family. I’m not a lock-the-TV-in-the-basement guy. I realize that there are certain times of the week when a bit of TV helps the car get packed, the lunch get made, and the adventure off the ground. I’m not a jerk (at least on this issue). But I’ve never bought the idea that the Baby Einstein videos and their ilk are actually good. And I actually worked at Sesame Street in college. They’re cheap (not that cheap, actually) and easy babysitting tooks and to say otherwise is to kid yourself.
Now, more research is in, and it confirms that these videos may actually harm the development they are boasting that they help.

For every hour a day that babies 8 to 16 months old were shown such popular series as “Brainy Baby” or “Baby Einstein,” they knew six to eight fewer words than other children, the study found.
Parents aiming to put their babies on the fast track, even if they are still working on walking, each year buy hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of the videos.
Unfortunately it’s all money down the tubes, according to Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Christakis and his colleagues surveyed 1,000 parents in Washington and Minnesota and determined their babies’ vocabularies using a set of 90 common baby words, including mommy, nose and choo-choo.
The researchers found that 32% of the babies were shown the videos, and 17% of those were shown them for more than an hour a day, according to the study in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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