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Baby Einstein - RANT

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
OK, so I thought...there must be something to these things, I see them all over the place and am CONSTANTLY hearing about these toddlers who sit still for an hour and stare at Baby Einstein. SO when I saw a DVD on sale today, I picked it up.

We came home, and before dinner we sat down and watched it. I don't know what exactly I as expecting (maybe something like Fantasia only with more solid colors and shapes and fewer villains), but it certainly wasn't.

My complaints are numerous.

First of all, the 18-month-old was so not mesmerised it isn't even funny. I can't imagine these holding the attention of much of anyone. I mean, it is toys, doing nothing but being toys, while pseudo-classical music plays in the background. The 3.5 year old was a bit interested, though, but not so much that she'd willingly watch the thing again. I can't believe people love this crud!? I mean, here we are, watching a plastic keyboard do NOTHING, while music plays in the background.

And then there's the music itself. What makes people think that doing music in weird chimey-tones makes it so attractive to kids? My kids are quite entranced by Toccata and Fugue as played by Cathedral Organ (the ONLY way to listen to Toccata and Fugue IMO), but this grand piece is totally destroyed in spirit and IMO musically when played in chimey "child-like" tones. The kids LOVE Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring as played by piano or guitar, but didn't even notice it when played in those stupid chimes. This just REEKS of marketting-kid-products-to-adults. I mean, just try to find me kids that are really going to be more interested in the songs like this, as opposed to the full-range music, as intended, full of feeling and dynamic and, I am certain, the brain-stimulating effects that the Baby Einstein company is so desperately trying to advertise.

And what on EARTH is up with those odd costumed chickens?

OK, so maybe I'm going overboard. Maybe my love of Bach and the entire Baroque musical period and the pain it causes me to hear such magnificent music murdered like this is clouding my judgement.

But I still don't get it.

The darned DVD even has a function where you select either "play" or "repeat play" (loop, so you don't even have to push play again to keep your kid watching and watching and watching and not interacting, not interacting, not interacting).

If you love Baby Einstein: I am not insulting you. I don't like you any less (unless, of course, you are one of those people who select the repeat play button). I am insulting the DVD. And keep in mind I am PMSing today and leaving moody messages all over the boards.

Thanks for listening.
post #2 of 47
All my playgroup friends were raving about them too so i went out and bought one (silly me) I should have saved my $.
post #3 of 47
I think my ds wasing losing interest in them my the time he was 18mo. old. They did mesmerize him as a baby, though. They really came in handy in a pinch, such as the time or two when he was up crying from earache in the middle of the night and the only thing that would take his mind off of the pain was to rock with me while watching the video. I think we also used the videos when grandma or grandpa were babysitting and didnt know what to do to calm him (those times when only the boob would do but I was running late).

While I hate using videos as babysitters, I did like these for a couple reasons, mainly the fact that there is no dialogue. This allows for more interaction than videos with stories and dialogue and songs with words. I found myself constantly talking to ds while the video was on, describing and commenting about what was on the screen. She leaves the scenes up there long enough to comment on it, as opposed to some other kids videos where the pictures flash by too quick to talk about them. And hey, there is no violence, and at least the music is classical (although in that music box type sound).

So I think they are more interesting to babies. Maybe give your DVD to someone with a younger child.
post #4 of 47
My baby loves moving lights and pictures. Baby Einstein can buy me the time to make dinner.

Though we've put it in the VCR a total of three times in as many months. I prefer the video to cartoons or sports or whatever else other people might be flipping through if I didn't have the video in.

I know what you're saying, though. We don't even get to the end of the tape, usually. How you'd get away with looping it...I dunno. And I'd prefer piano/organ/anything to the chimes.
post #5 of 47
Have to admit to using the repeat play with dd#1. Many times.

BUT (before you wonder what I'm doing at MDC) dd was a really, really high needs baby who just would not nap. At all. She would rarely even nurse to sleep, and if I moved even one muscle, she'd wake and start crying all over again.

One of my tricks was to nurse her, put her in a swing, switch it to full speed, and put Baby Einstein on the video (which stopped her from freaking out). Then turn on the hoover in the next room (which drowned out the music, so she just had the images to stare at.) This was sometimes the only way I could get her to nap. I could even get to use the bathroom, or take a shower, or manage to get something to eat.

So, it does have its uses. Interestingly, dd found the DVDs when we moved house recently and watched them a couple of times. She's now almost three, and actually liked them - especially the animal ones.

What always amazes me about them is that they use their own kids, some very basic filming techniques, and a very crude 'scientific' rationale for their product, but it sells, sells, sells. They had a great concept and marketed it first, before anyone else had jumped on that bandwagon. I guess you have to give them credit for having good business sense.

But those kids of theirs really get on my nerves, especially the one where they show out-takes of her showing off. Aaagh, talk about self-indulgent. All the way to the bank.
post #6 of 47
I'm with Britishmum--my 2 1/2 yr old dd hates to nap but is a bear if she doesn't. Putting her on my bed with Baby Mozart on and telling her she doesn't have to go to sleep is the only way she will nap in the house. Or I can take her out in the stroller or in the car and tell her not to sleep. Well, we've had rain, rain, rain lately so Baby Mozart it is!

Not that I think it is great art or improving her iq or any such nonsense. But sometimes you just gotta do what works!
post #7 of 47
well, we have damn near all of them! :LOL
some of them are not as good, the later ones, after disney took over. baby newton makes her cry, so we threw his ass out. my mom just sent us the world animals one, and shoshanna was delighted. she also sent the animal discovery cards (flash cards) that have pictures of the animals and some information about them. again, she's thrilled. she loves animals, period.
which one did you get?
baby van gogh is my favorite. i like to watch that one. it's so soothing. :LOL
post #8 of 47
We got the Baby Bach video as a gift when dd was a year. Up until that point, she had barely watched any tv at all. I was actually kind of freaked out by the way it sort of put her in a trance. When she would watch Barney or a Raffi video, she would laugh and clap, but the baby Einstein one seemed like hypnotism in video form.

I think my biggest beef with the Baby Einstein company (which has WAY more products now than they did three years ago) is how they try to convince parents that babies will become smarter through watching videos and being entertained by electronic toys. I truly hate this trend and worry that most babies and toddlers are learning that the definition of playing is to be entertained while they sit there passively.

If your baby smiles and laughs and points while watching these videos, great, but mine didn't!
post #9 of 47
We have Baby Bach, Baby Mozart and Baby Doolittle. Ds isn't as excited about Mozart and Bach now (but sure was a few months ago), buts loves the Animal one (Doolittle). Like Elphaba, we have the flashcards as well, and ds gets so excited watching and "playing" with the flashcards. He will yell out the name of the animals on the screen, then clap all proud of himself. For his age (22 months) he is using the movie as a learning tool, imo. I don't mind them, but like all things TV, should be used in moderation.
post #10 of 47
they're owned by Disney now, aren't they? So the style of their stuff seems to be changing. I ordered a few new ones...I didn't really like the old ones but I though DD might like the animals on our boat trip.

What I did get from them...I liked a lot of the toys they pictured - plastic yes, but more european style - plain primary colors, no media characters. Tomy, Tolo, Brio, etc. It defintely made me start looking more broadly - if I was going to have plastic toys, I wanted them to be better quality without a zillion blinking lights and music like is being imbedded in a lot of the mainstream toys.

But yeah, "good for them?" Bah.
post #11 of 47
We have Mozart (was a gift) and Doolittle (purchased w/ a gift certificate at a store where nothing else looked even remotely appealing at the time). Ds didn't like movies when he was under 18 months because he wouldn't stay still long enough to watch one. He never got into Bay Mozart. However, at 2.75 years old, he will still often request his "Animal Movie," Baby Doolittle.
post #12 of 47
My one year old loves it. She sits on my lap or dh's and we watch together. I point out the things she is seeing.
I also like the ones where there is the language lab. They show pictures and show and say the word in another language. I put that on while she is playing with something else to get her used to the sounds of other languages.

I think they are wonderful. I don't let her watch yet but when she does she likes to watch these.
I will admit some are better than others. I like Baby Bach and Neptune best of the ones I've seen.
post #13 of 47
I too found that by 18 mos there was no interest in these things. But a friend gave me one when DD was about little and sick from rotovirus. It really helped calm her down. I used it a few times after that when she wasn't feeling well, but she just wasn't interested otherwise.!
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by Elphaba
well, we have damn near all of them!
We Have all of them.....
Jonathan has been enjoying them since he was a baby and still does at the age of 2. He likes all of them too.
He walks arooud the house all the time with the little pamphlet that comes in the dvd wanting me to name all the animals or put one of the shows on for him.
post #15 of 47
i gotta say that these things really helped me that day i was so feverish i couldn't stand up and was borderline delerious. they kept her entertained while i wondered if i was going to have to call 911 to come get my sorry self. :LOL
post #16 of 47
Someone gave us the Baby Mozart when ds was about 7 months old. I had never played a video for him, so put it on just to see what it was all about. He really didn't care for it - watched for a minute or two but then lost interest. The same person also gave us a So Smart video - he LOVED this video! For a year, I could put it on whenever he was having a really hard, fussy time, or my mom could use it to get him to sleep. I cannot tell you how much he loved that video. It kind of scared me, but when I was in meltdown mode it was nice to have a guaranteed 20 minute break.

He's now too old for that one. His favorite after that was the Einstein Baby Animals video. Loves it - dances, laughs, claps. He still likes it, except that I will admit to buying a Teletubbies video, which is his personal preference at the moment.

These are the only videos we have. And even though we have a DVD player, I buy the video version because I don't think ds cares about the digital quality.
post #17 of 47
I have both the animal ones, neighborhood and world and a water one and my ds loves them as well as the 3.5 year old twins I watch. I bought a symphony of music one thought that is lame. So I think it depends on which one.
post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 
So...you guys are saying that maybe it is just that me the Bach DVD and I don't get along? Is the animals one better to the point that my kids and I might enjoy it?

Right now when I need a moment (or several) my kids will usually watch Rollie Pollie Ollie or Blue's Clues or something similar. But I definately see the attraction to a video without dialogue.
post #19 of 47
We do have all but one of the videos. My 3 1/2 year old loved them as a baby and is mildly entertained by them still when my 1 year old watchs them. Like someone else mentioned, it give you time to get stuff done with a "mommy's girl" baby. I like them that they are so basic and both girls love em. I don't like the disney one I have so much. DD #1 has the set of animal cards and she loved to get each card out as each animal came on the video. It's really how she learned so many animals!

I understand your rant, but I do like them! Sorry! And yes, your kids may like the two animal ones! World and Neighborhood animals.

I am kind of about the DVD having a "loop" feature to keep palying it over and over...sheesh.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
So...you guys are saying that maybe it is just that me the Bach DVD and I don't get along?
Maybe that one just isn't for you?
I personally dont care for the one that has all the different languages in it. that's just me though. Ds likes it.
You should try one of the animal video's. They are nice to watch.
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