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Thread: Baby Einstein, TV etc...

  1. #1
    CatherineL Guest

    Exclamation Baby Einstein, TV etc...

    Gawd, this is going to sound so stupid.

    My darling little one always seems to watch telly when she has the opportunity, like when we're having a cuddle with Daddy on the couch or Daddy's holding her whilst watching cricket so I can make lunch etc. (seems to love cricket btw). Anyways, I really didn't want her to watch TV at all until she was much bigger, like school age because I want our kids to be able to entertain themselves and use imagination. We play together everyday and have set play times throughout the day where we read, sing, massage, nappy off time in the breeze etc. all sorts of things. But we also have the Baby Einstein series, which for the first time today I put one on and we listened to the music and watched the colours etc. I swear she cackled herself just about through the entire thing (just started to laugh properly the last week or two - loves laughing at herself in the mirror) no idea what was so funny but she seemed to love it. I felt bad for letting her watch it even though she seemed to enjoy it so much so I googled it and found a study on wiki.

    To me it sounds like the problems associated with telly and baby vids are if it is a daily thing? Do you think it would be horrible of me to show her one every week or something? She just seems to love it so much and it's pretty funny to watch her. I suppose the alternative for me to do is just buy a classical DVD...

    Please give me your comments, advice and feedback. I don't mind what is said, I'd like to hear it all.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Hi Catherine, your question doesn't sound stupid at all! I think a lot of mums worry about their children watching TV. I really don't think you will have any problems if you let her watch a Baby Einstein DVD (or anything really) occasionally. The BE DVD's are great for babies, Joel used to love watching them and it was a great thing to put on for quiet time or just for a change of scenery. He is a very outdoorsy, imaginative boy so I'm sure watching TV has not hurt him in any way! I think as long as you don't make the TV a permanent baby-sitter you will be fine.

    Hope you and Ro are going well!


  3. #3


    I think Trish is spot on. As long as it is occasional and bub isnt plonked in front of the tv all day, which Im sure you wouldnt do then she will be fine!

    The reality is tv is a part of our lives and I think it can be used sensibly with children. Izy has the Baby Mozart one and LOVES it and in fact I used it quite often in the afternoons when she was a bit younger because it was literally the only thing that would settle her enough for me to get dinner on for 30 mins or so! I use it about once a week now when she super unhappy.

    I used to have the tv on, mainly for background noise all day but noticed that she would watch it quite a bit so have taken to turning it off and putting on music now and we dance and sing instead!!
    Good luck and dont beat yourself up hun! If she loves it and you use it sensibly you have nothing to worry about!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    I heard having the telly on all day may sometimes cause speech delay coz bubs can't tune in clearly to ur voice etc. Also I hate it when my bub turns and is transfixed by the TV. I have it turned off when she's awake, but I dont think there is anything wrong with "purposeful" watching - ie watching playschool or a BE DVD, but I'm waiting until she is age appropriate - at what age can they watch BE DVDs?

  5. #5


    Lilli - the BE have dvd's that are from birth- I think thats a bit early though and got one from about 6 weeks.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    oh, ok, and are they any good?

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Sunshine Coast, Qld


    Hi Catherine ~
    I made a thread not long ago about Scarlet watching TV, Ours is hardly ever on during her awake times but when it is i find it hard to stray her attention from it. She particulary likes Jamie oliver which is only ever on when DF can't be bothered to change the channel - I think she has a thing for him lol
    After reading the answers i got from my thread i decided not to worry too much if she wants to watch it every now & then, It's been probably a couple of times a week during school holidays because the big girls are home & like to watch cartoons in the morning.
    She also watched some of the cricket yesterday & thought it was brilliant, Strange... I think a baby einstein DVD would probably be more beneficial then the cricket .

  8. #8
    paradise lost Guest


    There was a study done on this...

    Baby DVDs, videos may hinder, not help, infants' language development
    Despite marketing claims, parents who want to give their infants a boost in learning language probably should limit the amount of time they expose their children to DVDs and videos such as “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby.” Rather than helping babies, the over-use of such productions actually may slow down infants eight to 16 months of age when it comes to acquiring vocabulary, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

    The scientists found that for every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants understood an average of six to eight fewer words than infants who did not watch them. Baby DVDs and videos had no positive or negative effect on the vocabularies on toddlers 17 to 24 months of age. The study was published today in the Journal of Pediatrics. “The most important fact to come from this study is there is no clear evidence of a benefit coming from baby DVDs and videos and there is some suggestion of harm,” said Frederick Zimmerman, lead author of the study and a UW associate professor of health services. “The bottom line is the more a child watches baby DVDs and videos the bigger the effect. The amount of viewing does matter.”

    Co-authors of the study are Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrics researcher at Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute and a UW professor of pediatrics, and Andrew Meltzoff, co-director of the UW’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences.

    The paper is part of a larger project looking at the trajectory of media viewing in the first two years of life and examining the content of what is being watched and its effects on young children. A paper published last spring by the same researchers showed that by 3 months of age 40 percent of infants are regular viewers of television, DVDs or videos and by the age of 2 this number jumps to 90 percent.

    For both papers, the researchers conducted random telephone interviews with more than 1,000 families in Minnesota and Washington with a child born in the previous two years. Television, DVD and video viewing were divided into four categories: baby DVDs and videos; educational TV programs, DVDs and videos such as “Sesame Street, “Arthur” and “Blue’s Clues”; children’s non-educational television shows and movies such as “Sponge Bob Square Pants,” “Bob the Builder” and “Toy Story,” and adult television such as “The Simpsons,” “Oprah,” and sports programming.

    The researchers found no positive or negative effects on infants of either age group from viewing educational and non-educational media or adult television programs.

    “The results surprised us, but they make sense. There are only a fixed number of hours that young babies are awake and alert. If the ‘alert time’ is spent in front of DVDs and TV instead of with people speaking in ‘parentese’ – that melodic speech we use with little ones – the babies are not getting the same linguistic experience,” said Meltzoff, who is the Job and Gertrud Tamaki endowed chair in psychology at the UW.

    “Parents and caretakers are the baby’s first and best teachers. They instinctively adjust their speech, eye gaze and social signals to support language acquisition. Watching attention-getting DVDs and TV may not be an even swap for warm social human interaction at this very young age. Old kids may be different, but the youngest babies seem to learn language best from people,” Meltzoff said.

    “In my clinical practice, I am frequently asked by parents what the value of these products is,” said Christakis. “The evidence is mounting that they are of no value and may in fact be harmful. Given what we now know, I believe the onus is on the manufacturers to prove their claims that watching these programs can positively impact children’s cognitive development.”

    As part of the telephone interviews, which took about 45 minutes to complete, a standard inventory for measuring infant language development was used. Parents of the 8 to 16 month olds were asked how many of a list of about 90 words their child understood. Typical words on this list included choo choo, mommy and nose. Parents of the 17 to 24 month olds were asked how many words on a similar list they had heard their child use. Typical words from this list were truck, cookie and balloon.

    Parents also were asked about how often they read books or told stories to their children. Daily reading and storytelling were associated with slight increases in language skills, not a surprising finding since both activities foster language development, Zimmerman said.

    The researchers believe the content of baby DVDs and videos is different from the other types of programming because it tends to have little dialogue, short scenes, disconnected pictures and shows linguistically indescribable images such as a lava lamp. By contrast, children’s educational programs, which make up the largest viewing category at this age, are, crafted and tested to meet developmental needs of preschool children.

    “We don’t know for sure that baby DVDs and videos are harmful, but the best policy is safety first. Parents should limit their exposure as much as possible,” said Zimmerman. “Over the course of childhood, children spend more time watching TV than they do in school. So parents need to spend as much time monitoring TV and other media viewing as they do in monitoring their children’s school activities.”

    The researchers believe more research is required, particularly to examine the long-term effects of baby DVDs and videos on children’s cognitive development.
    So basically no, they aren't harmless, but more research is needed to see how harmful they are. I can tell you that DD's vocabulary is well over 300 words now and she never gets to watch tv. Very occasionally i let her watch an episode of Pingu on Youtube (they're about 5 minutes long) but that is only when she's ill (like this past week - what is it with winter!?) and only since just before Christmas (she's 21 months). I'm less concerned as she gets older, but i certainly won't be letting her be a regular tv watcher before she's 5 or 6.

    Last edited by paradise lost; January 8th, 2008 at 07:49 AM.

  9. #9
    CatherineL Guest


    Thanks for your comments guys. This morning I had to turn the telly off myself because she was fixed on David and Kim. I wonder why it causes vocab problems? I watched the BE baby with her yesterday and would do so if I were to put another one... I'm not the type to just plonk her in front of telly by herself, I love spending my day and all my time with her - so I guess I just have to be aware of it and use my discretion.

    Trish - Great answer and makes me feel much better. Ta
    LIddiePixie - How cute that your bubba likes Jamie Oliver... JO's wife better watch out
    Tanstar - it's funny how much they love the einstein DVD's... Watching Rochelle watch it yesterday was weird, she seemed heaps older!
    Lilli - We have a series of them ranging from 1 month+ to 12months+. They don't really stimulate me, but they certainly seem to be a hit with Rochelle. It's basically just bright colours, simple things like a animal for them to stare at etc. compilated with classical tunes.
    Hoobley - That's the study I read too.

    Again thankyou all for your time! Have a wonderful week.

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