Sometimes, in preparing for the holidays, we overlook the very ones we’re celebrating them for: our children. And if we’re not wound tightly because of shopping, cooking, wrapping, and rewrapping, we’re on the verge of passing out from exhaustion. This season, though, Mom Central has partnered with Baby Einstein to encourage Moms to spend stree free time with their children. They’ve put together, for their 10th year anniversary, a special interactive package including a Touch and Feel Farm Animals book, a Lullaby Classics CD, and a Baby Mozart DVD.
Moms would welcome this gift for their little ones, and it’d make a great stocking stuff for Mom as well!
Over a decade ago, Baby Einstein was founded by Julie Clark, a mom who wanted to share her love of humanities with her baby. Her intent was to create products that offered interactive experiences for her and her daughter to discover the world together. While Baby Einstein has grown over the years, this same philosophy is at the heart of everything that we do. All of our products are designed to encourage discovery and inspire new ways for parents and little ones to interact.
Baby Einstein offers a wide range of developmentally appropriate products for babies and toddlers. What makes Baby Einstein products unlike any other is that they are created from a baby’s point-of-view and incorporate a unique combination of real world objects, music, art, language, poetry and nature — providing you an opportunity to introduce your baby to the world around them in playful and enriching ways. This simple principle is the foundation for The Baby Einstein Company and its products.
Children and Electronic Media
All Baby Einstein products, including its video line, are designed as interactive tools for parents to use with their babies. Since the debut of the very first title, Baby Einstein videos/DVDs were developed with the idea of creating a “digital board book,” allowing a parent to have two free hands while enjoying and experiencing the video with their little one – leaving their hands free to clap, point to objects and interact with their baby.
The Baby Einstein Company believes, along with the child developme nt experts with whom we have consulted, that parent-child interaction is one of the most critical elements to the development of a healthy and happy baby during the first three years of life. Baby Einstein products are not designed to make babies smarter. Rather, Baby Einstein products are specifically designed to engage babies and provide parents with tools to help expose their little ones to the world around them in playful and engaging ways — inspiring a baby’s natural curiosity.
That being said, The Baby Einstein Company is aware of the ongoing discussions regarding children and television viewing, particularly as it pertains to infants under the age of two years old. And, while we respect the American Academy of Pediatrics, we do not believe that their recommendation of no television for children under the age of two reflects the reality of today’s parents, families and households – for example, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found that 68% of all babies under two years old watch screen media on any given day. The Baby Einstein Company believes that when used properly, developmentally-appropriate video content can be a useful tool for parents and little ones to enjoy together.
Key to our perspective is our belief that parents/caregivers play a critical role in defining the “appropriate use of television.” The Baby Einstein Company has built its reputation on creating developmentally appropriate content that parents/caregivers know they can trust to use with their little ones, and it is our responsibility to continue providing them with superior products they can feel good about using with their children. Alternatively, we believe it is up to parents/caregivers to make decisions on what they feel is appropriate for their children — and that includes whether or not they choose to use television, how much television their child is allowed to watch, what they are allowed to watch, etc. Baby Einstein respects the decisions parents make for their children and believes its videos and other products are just one of many tools and activities parents can use throughout the day to interact and bond with their child.
DVD VIEWING TIPS
Without exception, one of the most significant moments of discovery for any mom, is the day she realizes her baby truly recognizes her and wants her above all others. That bond, the super-glue of parent child attachment, is the foundation for baby’s healthy development.
At Baby Einstein, each DVD is designed to reinforce parent-child interaction by providing visually interesting, entertaining content that you and your baby can watch together. Whether the theme is art, music, or barnyard animals, each DVD offers an opportunity to cuddle, share, talk, or sing along with your baby. The DVD can also be a jumping off point for more parent child interaction during your everyday routine.
Talk! Talk! Talk!
From the moment we say that first hello to our new baby, we begin developing our little one’s language. So, when you’re watching a Baby Einstein DVD, you don’t have to be quiet. This is a chance to create little stories.
For example, if you see mechanical toys on the DVD, describe the action to your baby—“see the seals go UP the ladder. Now they’re sliding DOWN and around– very fast.” If your baby starts “talking” back to your sounds, praise, cuddle, and imitate your baby to keep the conversation going. Even if you feel self-conscious about talking to a 6 month old, just stay the course. Your baby is probably listening and may show you with a smile, nod, or squeal, the many different ways they understand your language.
From the Video Theme to the Real World Scene
Whenever there is an opportunity to link what you have seen on the DVD to other experiences in baby’s life, make that connection. For example, if you watched a DVD about animals, you might say, “Oh, look. There’s a BIG fish on the screen. Do we have another fish in our house?” And off you go to look at your gold fish. This kind of activity shows baby that something we see in one place can be seen in other places too.
Bring it to Life
If children or puppets on the DVD are jumping or dancing, you can hold your little one and dance along to show baby how it feels. You can also play infant sized musical instruments to accompany the DVD Orchestra. Or, try using puppets or baby’s favorite stuffed animals to mimic the action in the DVD. You may get giggles from your little one. Babies usually want to do what they see and you can make that happen.
Make it Personal
Try making connections between what happens on screen with what happens in baby’s life. If you have a DVD that contains sign language, try some of the simpler signs with your baby. If you see how the puppets always do silly stuff, bring a puppet to mealtime to help you serve the food or provide additional encouragement to complete the meal.
Make it a Family Affair
Consider using DVD time as a way to interact with the whole family. If baby has an older sibling(s) around you can invite them watch the DVD with you. Encourage your older child to point out the names of the animals, say the colors, or even make animal sounds. They will probably love playing with baby and will be excited about showing off how much they know!