Baby Einstein products, especially the Music Festival series (Baby Bach, Beethoven and Mozart) are designed based on the premise of the “Mozart Effect”, which inconclusively states that children who are exposed to classical music have increased cognitive development that will assist them in the school years and beyond. This was marketed as a way for parents to give their children a leg up on the competition. The other premise of Baby Einstein is that it be used to foster interaction between parent and child. In general I think this portion gets neglected but that’s every parent’s prerogative.
Baby Einstein Skepticism
The first time I saw Baby Einstein was as my she was using it video as a primarily as a babysitter while she took care of things around the house. The brief clips I saw were simple toys, hand animated or manipulated to classical music. Needless to say I was a bit skeptical about the worth of the entire series.
Since I’ve had my own little one, I’ve had more opportunity to explore Baby Einstein videos on 123Movies. There are two distinct series of videos; content oriented, suitable for 9 months amp; up and the Music Festival videos, suitable from birth on up… which includes Baby Mozart. Being exposed to Baby Newton first and then Baby Mozart, I’m definitely not impressed with their presentation of classical music in these music festivals.
Toys, Toys and More Toys
The main gist of Baby Mozart is familiar objects (primarily toys) manipulated to Mozart’s classical music with repetition being key to developing an infant’s cognitive skills. The toys included are different train sets, a seal climbing/sliding toy, a variety of perpetual energy gadgets, stuffed animals (both animated and not) and several more. Additionally there are scenes where items are manipulated buy a mysterious female hand, like puzzles or a ring stacker. And there is one scene that includes a baby at the very end of the video – this is the only actual person (besides the mystery hand) in the video. Interspersed throughout are puppet shows where the puppets (now well know as Baby Einstein characters) perform. My son’s favorite is the “Blah” scene where a dragon puppet comes out and says “blah.” He thinks this is absolutely hilarious. There is also scenes where several puppets interact making only small noises, not with words.
Baby Mozart Music
The box states “All our DVD’s are set to music specially reorchestrated for little ears.” There are 5-6 different Mozart songs playing over the course of 30 minutes – there may be more songs as I don’t have an exact list. Some songs are from an orchestra and others synthesized, but all are decent on the ears (both baby and mommy’s). The only exception here would be the Alphabet song (didn’t know that was Mozart did you?). In the middle of the video, we get the Alphabet song which seems to be synthesized using animal sounds as the notes. The song doesn’t last long, but it’s still rather annoying.
Shunned at first… then accepted
This was a Christmas gift when my son was 14 months old and he had very little interest in it at the time. Given a choice he would always pick Baby Newton or a cartoon video over Baby Mozart. It just didn’t hold his attention so it was cast away to the video cabinet. I don’t really blame him as it was way too repetitive for what he was used to. Every so often over the past year we would bring it out again, but it just wasn’t an interest. Now at the age of two, my son has re-awoken to this video and seems to enjoy it. I think this is first because of the “Blah” guy and he has an understanding of what the toys are doing. He is at the point where he likes watching videos over and over, so this one has gotten a lot of play. Also, he likes music of all sorts, and this is a nice calming video for him to watch before bedtime.
As stated above Baby Einstein is meant to encourage parent/child interaction. This is how we watch videos in our home (with the exception of the ones needed for shower taking of course). I find it very difficult to follow along with the Baby Mozart video, like I can with other shows. To begin with, minus a few, there is no real excitement to the objects in the scenes, making it difficult as a parent to get excited about them. Additionally, the scenes spend so much time on certain toys from every aspect of the toy, like the seal climb ‘n slide toy or the trains. There is only so many times you can discuss the same toy. Then they must revisit the toy five times even after you are bored with it.
A Little About the DVD
Baby Einstein Videos generally retail between $15-$20 each and can be found anywhere videos or baby stuff is sold. The DVD contains additional special features such as different language tracks (French, English and Spanish), discovery cards (flash cards of vocabulary), puppet shows (a replay of the puppet shows in the video) and the toy chest (clips of the toys used in the video).
Overall my son does like it and the music is decent but the way the video is set up doesn’t have much logic to it and thus make it difficult to watch. There are better Baby Einstein videos out, that teaches basic concepts.