‘Baby Einstein’ Dumbs Down Toddlers

Videos that claim to jumpstart learning do the opposite
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 7, 2007 12:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – The popular “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby” video series, intended to fast-track young geniuses, actually have negative educational effects, a new study concludes. Infants who watch them have smaller vocabularies than other children, the Los Angeles Times reports, For every hour per day that 8- to 16-month-olds watched the programs, they knew six to eight fewer words  than babies who didn't watch.

Researchers found 32% of babies are shown these videos, even though pediatricians oppose TV for children under two, and plug reading to tots instead. “I would rather babies watch ‘American Idol’,” he added, pointing out that at least parents would be more likely to watch with them, which does have developmental value.