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No Einstein Baby? No Sh*t, Sherlock!

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You mean Baby Einstein vids don't breed genius? Shocker! NOT.

baby boy standing in crib

Vivian Manning-Schaffel: Baby Einstein was brought to task in front of the Federal Trade Commission for what the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood describes as "engaging in deceptive acts and practices."

The result? You can get a refund on up to four DVDs by sending them back, or a coupon for some other Baby Einstein product. Here's a slice of the claim:

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends 'no screen time' for children under age two, including television or videos promoted for that age group. Despite this recommendation, companies have aggressively marketed videos for children under two, making over $1 billion from the sales of these videos. Companies such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby have capitalized on parents' desires to give their very young children a leg up on learning and development by deceptively and falsely marketing their videos as educational and beneficial for infant development.

"For example, Baby Einstein claims that with its Baby da Vinci video, 'your child will learn to identify her different body parts, and also discover her five senses ... in Spanish, English, and French!' Brainy Baby claims that 'the educational content of Brainy Baby can help give your child a learning advantage!' These claims are deceptive and false in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The claims are deceptive because no research or evidence exists to support Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby's claims that their videos are educational or beneficial for very young children. In fact, preliminary research suggests that television is a poor tool for educating very young children. They are false because research indicates that television viewing by children under three negatively affects cognitive development."

So THAT'S why my kid stands there drooling each time these DVDs are on! They halt all active brain waves!

See, with Einstein himself endorsing the product, I believed it was required to make the synapses in my baby's brain fire faster, and thus get him/her into a first-rate Ivy League university. And all I had to do to achieve this outcome was press "play" on the DVD remote.

I mean, really. The balls of these people. How dare they offer us a product that doesn't literally do what it claims? I guess I'm the real idiot. Here I was, thinking the subliminal crack embedded in these DVDs gave my kid a leg up while I took a shower in peace.

Feeling gypped out of a free ride to Harvard? Look on the bright side. Your refund of $13 to $15 per DVD (with a limit of four) is nothing compared to how much you'll save when your kid only gets into a second-tier community college.

next: How to Beat Post-Natal Insomnia
9 comments so far | Post a comment now
tennmom October 26, 2009, 6:26 PM

Darn, I didn’t buy any.
My daughters must be odd. They wouldn’t watch Sesame Street or Barney until they were about 3. At 9 and 11, they love watching…the Food Network. Yep, odd.

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Diflucan March 20, 2011, 1:24 PM

Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

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