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Baby Talk!

In light of all the recent toy recalls, you may be looking for new ways to entertain your baby. Well, don't park your little loved one in front of a video, even if the title contains the words "Einstein" or "Brainy" - new research indicates screen time may delay developing language skills in babies.

Researchers at the University of Washington 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 videos. Watching DVD's during the early stages of language development, from around 8 months to 16 months, was found to be most detrimental on babies learning new words. Basically, more TV time equals fewer words.

This UW study is not the first study to criticize baby videos, and chances are high it will not be the last. Mounting evidence suggests that passive screen time doesn't promote learning and might actually hinder development. The truth is, babies require face-to-face interaction to learn. So talk to your baby as much as you can, any way you can. One of my favorite sayings is, "Read to your baby often, and someday soon, your baby will read to you."

While videos are often used by harried moms to create much needed breaks for themselves, it might be time to rethink that plan. Any suggestions for how to keep little ones occupied so moms can take care of necessary business, like: phone calls, bathing, chilling out? Share your ideas in the comments section below.


Join The Conversation
LoraKostandyan LoraKostandyan 9 years
I usually just include my son in my day to day activities. We eat at the same time, he takes showers with me(I bought bath toys), and I usually sit and talk on the phone next to him and give him some blocks to play with.
mizlynz mizlynz 10 years
I don't like the idea of the Baby Einstein vids, just because I wouldn't really consider it to really be quality time spent with your kids. I don't have any kids, but I thought that one of the best ways to help nurture child development is to actually play and interact with them.
eel623 eel623 10 years
My baby never liked the Baby Einstein videos - she just wasn't interested. However, she does like Sesame Street and several other PBS shows. I don't use TV as a babysitter but sometimes it's the only chance I have to get ready for work in the morning. The interesting thing is that I found it actually helped with my baby's vocabulary. She is 16 months old and can clearly speak and understand over 100 words. She knows many animals and their sounds, can clearly count to 10, and can recognize the sounds of animals and planes when she hears them outside. I think the big thing is that when she does watch TV, I watch it with her and talk to her about what she is watching and I find opportunities to relate things she saw on TV to real-life objects and objects in the books we read.
urchin7980 urchin7980 10 years
OKAY!!! I am sorry but I do not agree with that. I do notlet my kids watch TV all day but they do get some time in. My youngest is only four months but my oldest is gong to be 3 in a few months. My 3 year olds vocabulary is outstanding..she is ahead of the game stated ny Dr.s and teachers and new people she meets. You compare to other kids her age and it is very obvious. Her pedi said she is also very articulate. I have always let her watch educational cartoons and the odd junk one. I have seen that some of the shows have taught her a lot...but I think parents need to be involved with reading and playtime.My daughter loves to read and that also has helped with her fast progress. I personally do not see harm in letting them watch TV, especially if you need the odd break.
kalaloughary kalaloughary 10 years
I think videos are great when used as a teaching tool. We would sit with my nephew and watch the video and talk to him about it. He had the baby bach video which started with chicken bawking across the screen and every bird he would see he would start bawking after that it was really really cute. But, we don't let him sit and watch stuff alone.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
thats really interesting. its so sad to see kids plopped in front of a tv to watch something for hours at a time. i like the idea of the mozart tapes to listen to rather than a video - but i don't have kids so i dunno. i can imagine it'd be hard to entertain and look after a child all day. clearly, i don't have the time to devote to this so i don't want to have a child.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
bfly1133 is exactly right. As a SAH mommy for the first two years of his life, when I took a shower, I put him in his playpen, put on Baby Einstein or Baby Signs video, and took my shower. I also put toys and books in his playpen. But that was usually the only tv he got for the day. Moderation is key. Don't use it as a baby-sitter or rely on it to teach your children.
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
From what my cousins and friends say, these videos in moderation are fine. They don't rely on them to teach their babies and kids. They do believe it helps reinforce what they teach their children. I know the sign language Baby Einstein DVD was what finally helped my friends' daughter grasp some of the concepts.
lintacious lintacious 10 years
tv is never a good solution. HOWEVER, i remember i was babysitting for my sis (i stayed over) and i needed to shower. i called my mom and said "what do i do when i shower" and she said "turn on the tv, that'll keep him busy for the 10 mins." so, what is a good alternative to tv in that situation?
c0rkie c0rkie 10 years
I'm interested as to what mommies on team sugar has to say about this.
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