Baby Einstein was still my saving grace

Surely we can be smarter about our criticism of Baby Einstein DVDs. Of course it’s TV. We all know that TV is not good for us, especially our kids. Yet even I reacted when I read this article in the Health section of today’s Washington Post. In fact, it was placed in the paper just so that it was the first thing I saw this morning. Good thing, since I was up all night with a sinus headache, and I was tempted to put both kids in front of a DVD.

The criticism is that it’s not educational, TV is bad for kids and it can delay language development. Did any of us really think that this series of DVDs for infants to toddlers was really an educational tool? I saw it as a quick way to get dinner on the table and keep a wee one out trouble. Or for me it was to nurse my even younger one at the time.

My son started his Baby Einstein fix at the tender age of seven months when I found out I was pregnant with my second child. I was tired and nauseous, and I would lie on the couch next to him while he watched sometimes [gasp] two or three of the 20-minute DVDs. And by the time he was 16 months old, he was still enjoying two or three while I nursed and tried to get my infant down for a nap. How else could I keep him entertained and out of trouble, while I dealt with another baby? He was too young for books, PlayDoh, crayons, etc.

As for delay in language skills, he had a vocabulary of 50 words by 17 months. And now he often corrects my grammar. A far cry from being verbally delayed, I think.

These DVDs are not a replacement for books or interaction with a child. Most of us moms know that. Yes, a child should be able to entertain themselves for 20 minutes, but often they don’t or can’t or we need a break from playing cruise director for the day. We’re not using these shows in lieu of parenting. I am sure, however, there are parents out there who do plop their kids in front of the boob tube for eight hours a day. And for them, Baby Einstein is not the problem. And yes, language development would be a problem if that were the case.

In my humble opinion, a child watching a few Baby Einsteins everyday while mom showers, takes a phone call, gets dinner on the table, goes to the bathroom, nurses a child, puts someone to bed, gets another bathed, etc. shouldn't be condemned. Moms have a hard enough job without people always harping on us about what we should and shouldn't do.

1 comment:

Stephanie Balvin said...

I support that 100%. I am a mom of 3 kids in 3 years. When the newborn baby came home from the hospital, I couldn't think straight so a little tv was the time I could sit, nurse and try to gain some sanity. My kids are now 4, 2.5 and 14 months, and I can finally say for the first time that life is getting easier. Whatever that means! :)