Raising Baby

Monday, September 13th, 2010 • 6 Comments on Raising Baby

Whenever I see the ads for the shiny, noisy, plastic baby crap that my baby supposedly needs, I feel a momentary pang of guilt for denying my child the joys of those obnoxious, over-priced, easily breakable, freaking loud toys. I hate all that baby crap. I hate things that make noise. I hate practical, necessary items (highchairs, pack and plays) that are covered in cutesy rainbow patterns that make my house look like a children’s playroom. I hate the stupid mechanical music boxes in stupid garish-colored “educational” toys that play horrible kiddie music.  I hate Barney and Elmo.

So, I feel guilty that my poor little baby has so few of those must-haves (according to Toys R Us, Fisher-Price, PlaySkool, etc.). Am I stunting his development by refusing to buy the toy keyboard with 14 different animal noises and nursery rhymes, played at a volume louder than the television?  Will he be delayed educationally because I haven’t bought the entire Baby Einstein DVD collection?  Is he going to hate me when he discovers all his little baby friends have the giant mechanical dinosaur that walks and roars and all he has is a stuffed monkey?

Then I take a deep breath and think about Thomas Jefferson.  Little Tommy didn’t have any of that stuff and he did okay in the brains department.  And I wonder what Albert Einstein would make of the Baby Einstein line of products?  I think he’d laugh.  It does seem kind of silly when I think about the fact that this world has turned out a lot of amazing, brilliant people who never even heard of LeapFrog. Then I go back to playing with my adorable baby, who coos and laughs as he runs a piece of ribbon through his fingers or trashes the Restoration Hardware catalog.

Posted by Kristina in Baby, Pregnancy and Baby
  • Nikki says:

    A GIANT MECHANICAL DINOSAUR????? WHERE DO I GET ONE?!

  • danielle says:

    nikki..that mind sound weird but i can lend you mine:))))

    and to get this straight..i m really talking about a gigant mechanical dinosaur…:-))

  • I do remember reading a bunch of studies (way back when, when I was getting my psych degree) that found that children with LESS guiding-style toys actually did better.

    So, for example, a toy that could ONLY be used as a cash register actually produced less brain activities that a box, which could be a cash register, a space helmet, a drum and a million other things. By letting the kids make up their own scenarios, they tended to create more brain activity, come up with more creative ideas and in the end, be more apt problem solvers.

    Cool, huh? Mud pies galore!

  • Kristina says:

    Shanna, that’s just awesome. Thank you for soothing my maternal guilt. Today I let the kid play with a wooden coaster, a paper towel tube, the lids from his bottles, a couple of plant leaves (as long as he didn’t try to eat them), a piece of ribbon, water flowing from the sink faucet and a bed pillow. That’s a pretty typical day with mama, actually.

  • JT says:

    Baby Einstein:  Read an article years ago.  States baby get as much educational value our of these videos as watching TV snow.  Babies learn from interaction.  They learn to develope words by watch a mouth move and feeling how the air flows out of the mouth when making sounds.  So you’re golden.  Of course these video are better than flashy commercials and Jason slasher movies.  The report also said that 15-minutes or so does no harm, so parents should feel comfortable taking a “break” one or twice a week.  smile

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