Developmental video favorite, Baby Einstein, a division of Walt Disney, is offering exchanges or refunds for videos bought over the last five years.
Most parents have bought at least one Baby Einstein video over the last few years hoping to enhance their baby’s intellectual development. The Baby Einstein company claimed that the 30 minutes or so watching their videos would facilitate the development of our little ones’ physical and cognitive development, particularly during the first year (ages 0 – 12 months).
How could we pass up the opportunity not only to enrich our children’s minds, but have 30 minutes of distraction free time? I certainly remember placing my twin’s bouncers in front of the TV so they could enjoy the bright colors,
shapes and classical music of developmental videos such as Baby Van Gogh, Baby Galileo and Baby Mozart. I also recall the excitement we felt when my husband found a box set of Baby Einstein videos on sale!
Turns out that research done over subsequent years shows that Baby Einstein’s claims weren’t entirely true. Their videos did provide enjoyment and stimulation, but not the significant physical and cognitive development that they claimed. So much so that as a result of a 2006 Federal Trade Commission complaint by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Disney reportedly stopped asserting that Baby Einstein videos were educational for infants. Apparently succumbing to the pressure of a class action lawsuit, Disney is now offering to exchange or refund your Baby Einstein videos through March 2010. For more information, visit the [The Baby Einstein™ DVD Upgrade / Moneyback Guarantee](http://www.babyeinstein.com/(S(3qnoffi1whnnnt55h2ljk355%29%29/parentsguide/satisfaction/upgrade_us.html) page.
As a parent, I’d like to think that my children got some benefit out of the investment my husband and I put into these videos. Perhaps Baby Einstein videos didn’t make our children into geniuses, but I can’t help but feel that the they received some stimulation from the well put together visual displays. Whether or not Baby Van Gogh played a role, our daughter has a great affinity and talent for art. And, our son has developed a strong analytical aptitude for building things. Maybe it has something to do with being exposed to shapes and colors at a young age and may be not.
Child development sources discuss the importance of exposing children to stimulating experiences within the first three years of their lives. Although Baby Einstein videos may not have played as significant a role in the process as they claimed, we actually like the videos and will not be rushing to get any refunds.