Thursday, August 23, 2007

Baby not-so-einstein

Daniel Devine, again, in World.

Popular baby video products like Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby may be holding infants back instead of helping them. In a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found that for every hour per day infants ages 8 to 16 months spent viewing baby videos, they understood 6 to 8 fewer words than infants who didn't watch the programs. Among toddlers (17 to 24 months) the videos produced no discernible positive or negative effect.

In a press release, study co-author Andrew Meltzoff suggested the infants' linguistic handicap resulted from parents using the videos as babysitters. He recommends "parentese"—talking to your babies yourself.

Those videos are certainly convenient-- and at times, helpful-- but apparently, they cannot substitute fully for good, old-fashioned time spent with your kids!


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