Photo: Nathan Livings (flickr)
You’ve probably heard that so called smart baby videos claiming to enhance language and number skills are pretty much worthless when it comes to actually making babies smarter.
But if that’s true, why do so many people buy them? Am I missing something?
Good question. And the answer is no, you’re not missing something. Several studies over the past few years have demonstrated that smart baby videos alone aren’t as effective as we’re led to believe.
For example, a study testing the benefits of a smart baby language DVD examined its effects on 72 infants.
ome watched the DVD with or without a parent. Others did not watch the video and were taught the same 25 words by a parent.
Do The DVDs Work?
The infants in the group who learned from their parents without the video did the best.
The babies who watched the video with a parent didn’t do terribly worse, but they definitely didn’t learn more.
The clear implication is that infants learn best from live interactions with their parents.
Save Your Money!
Other studies have found that smart baby videos actually seem to slow language development.
So why do so many parents buy smart baby videos if they don’t do what they promise? Possibly because the companies that make them are good at marketing their products to parents willing to spend money on anything claiming to make their kids smarter.
But scientifically speaking, those parents are better off saving their money and spending more time with their kids.