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Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-22-2005, 02:47 PM   #1
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Another good "toy"...for babies

We got a set of "Baby Einstein" videos for Gabe a while back. They're 'tuned' for different age ranges and introduce science, math, languages, art and music mixed in with lots of eye catching CGI graphics and infants/small kids talking.

Gabe seems to like them. He's watching "baby bach" right now, which keeps him busy for ~15-20 minutes at a time, which lets me catch up on posting! I dont know if its just a 'big bright' thing for him or if he's really able to identify anything thats going on. I understand some babies dont establish good medium range visual acuity until they're 4-6 months old.

On the other hand, this is playing on a 10' screen on the wall through my projector and he's getting dolby digital surround sound of the bach soundtrack...

I guess we'll never know if this sort of thing actually does stimulate the brain or help establish thinking and learning patterns as we have no 'control'.

If it doesnt look like its doing anything, I'll just substitute some anthony hopkins movies.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-22-2005, 05:57 PM   #2
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

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I guess we'll never know if this sort of thing actually does stimulate the brain or help establish thinking and learning patterns as we have no 'control'.
fMRI could accomplish this for you Testing for effectiveness however would seem to require a control.

If you can talk the wife into getting you a fMRI, I want to come over and play too.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 10:03 AM   #3
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

With reference to brain simulation for baby, I read somewhere the color of the room and playing classical music may provide some simulation.

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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 12:25 PM   #4
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

Thats the thread in these video's. A lot of colorful computer generated graphics...balls rolling around, geometric shapes spinning, intermixed with stuffed animals, balloons, small kids laughing and playing with stuff or saying words. With classical music playing in the background. The math-y ones that come later have kids playing with certain numbers of balls and noting the number of them while the number shows on the screen. Or words and their equivalents in spanish and french. Animations of noted works of art.

Sort of like sesame street for the 21st century. I'm already sick of the first one, but any time we want to give Gabe a little stimulation and keep him busy for a half hour (LIKE RIGHT NOW), he'll sit in his little rocker I put right next to the projector and watch. His eyes move around in more or less the direction of the action on screen, so I know he's watching it, and whenever the big stuffed chickens "bok bok bok" across the screen he smiles 9/10 times. I guess thats his "big bird"...

Marshac...when I can afford a home brain MRI machine, trust that I will have a line of beer guzzling buddies waiting to play with it. You'll get an invite. BYOB and BBFM. Note: this will never happen due to the implications of the first line in this paragraph.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 12:32 PM   #5
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

Oh yeah, and if anyone decides to snoop through these, overstock has the single dvd's for decent prices, and costco has the entire 15 disk boxed set for ~$150 which is the cheapest per disk price I could find. They also have books, music cd's and other educational stuff.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 01:06 PM   #6
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

Oh, man, I can't believe you fell for the Baby Einstein swill. Pure marketing crap. Einstein means "smart" to you, right?

These videos do two things:

1) Teaches the kid to stare passively at a TV instead of exploring his environment.

2) Teaches the kid that short-term varied stimulation is fun. In other words, it teaches him not to concentrate on anything too long.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 01:15 PM   #7
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

Well, I guess he'll continue to take after his dad then
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 01:52 PM   #8
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

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Marshac...when I can afford a home brain MRI machine, trust that I will have a line of beer guzzling buddies waiting to play with it. *You'll get an invite. *BYOB and BBFM. *Note: this will never happen due to the implications of the first line in this paragraph.
BYOB takes on a whole new meaning.... bring your own brain.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 02:02 PM   #9
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

Amazingly, thats exactly what I meant (along with BBFM...bring brain for me). I didnt expect anyone to pick up on that, but I guess we're smarter than the average bear...
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 04:53 PM   #10
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

I guess the Baby Einstein tapes are working for you already!
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 06:25 PM   #11
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

Wabs just mad because I got my SIDS monitor working and he threw his out on the lawn
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 06:35 PM   #12
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

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Wabs just mad because I got my SIDS monitor working and he threw his out on the lawn
Serious question- how can you monitor for SIDS? Isn't it "Sudden" and lethal (hence the D)?
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 07:32 PM   #13
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

SIDS is a catch-all name for when babies stop breathing. The root causes are many. Sometimes its a bedding problem (loose comforter or pillow over the face, face down on a soft mattress). Sometimes its a medical condition of a variety of sorts.

The monitor I've got is a pad that goes under the mattress and detects movement. Even breathing is detected. If no movement for 20 seconds, you get an alarm.

Since my wife is a respiratory care specialist and re-trains annually for how to handle respiratory problems with babies, between knowing right off that there's a problem and having an expert within 10' of him...I think we're covered.

The device is finicky though. I think some mattresses screw it up and it has to lay between a hard surface and the bottom of the mattress. I think a really big crib will screw it up if the baby gets far enough away from the sensor pad as well.

I got it to work in our smaller "port-o-crib", and also have it currently working in his pack-and-play. I found a nice spot to balance the pad on top of the battery box thats right under the middle of the mattress.

NOW...if I can just get my wife to stop taking him out of the pack-and-play at 5am and walking down the hallway to the other end of the house with the sensor still armed...
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 07:45 PM   #14
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

How long do you need to worry about SIDS for?

While I was a lifeguard, I had to receive 'special' CPR training.... I was always afraid of having to give CPR to a baby since it seemed like the process would 'break' the baby.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 09:00 PM   #15
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

Generally six months for the smothering version, after that they can move their own heads well enough and are coordinated enough to generally not smother in a pillow.

I'll keep using it until its more of a problem than I think its solving.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 09:05 PM   #16
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

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Wabs just mad because I got my SIDS monitor working and he threw his out on the lawn
Yeah, it didn't work for us because our kid would continually inch-worm into a corner where the monitor couldn't detect her.

It should work fine for kids who don't like corners. But just wait till he figures out he can set it off by seeking a comfy corner. His practical joker gene will fully engage.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 10:25 PM   #17
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

TH, I know how you love studies, so I dug this one up for you:

Early Television Exposure and Subsequent Attentional Problems in Children

http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/tvapril.pdf

Current pediatric guidelines recommend no TV before the kid is two-years old. That seems a bit extreme to me, since TV is a fact of life for most of us.

We let our kid watch an occasional Baby Einstein before she was one, but we always tried to make it a bonding/interactive experience for her (she'd plop into one of our laps and we'd "discuss" the images).

Between 1 and 2, we'd limit TV to about 2 hours per week, and her favorites were Miffy and Maisy. She seems to learn a lot from these seemingly inane shows. They basically run 20 minutes, and are broken into 4 5-minute stories with a plot and situations she can relate to. She has surprised us with what she has picked up from these shows -- she is an enthusiastic puddle stomper, swimmer, digger of treasure, and flyer of imaginary kites because of this stuff

Let me know if you'd like me to brag about where she is relative to "normal" developmental milestones. I'm fascinated by this stuff, and I find bragging hard to resist
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-23-2005, 11:56 PM   #18
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

I dont want him face down in a tv set either. We'll work it out as we go along.

Developmental milestones? Gabe disabled the defective cruise control in my Expedition this evening, then he fed the dogs and put up a half dozen posts on some ER board.

Well, he was mostly awake in his baby bjorn watching me do those things...
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-26-2005, 09:53 AM   #19
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

I love baby einstein. I can sit and watch it for hours. Sometimes when the kids weren't even around. I'm just bummed I didn't know about it back in my recreational chemicals days. Our kids would always jump at the part where the snake puppet goes "blah!" Teletubbies too. I love when the narrator says what's about to happen and the teletubbies listen to him. I've made the bet that a few minutes of TV each day isn't bad, but you never know. Some of my kids friends seem to watch hours of the stuff when they're not even six.

Wait a couple of years till Gabe really wants to watch wiggles and we-sing. That'll make you poke out your eardrums. On the other hand classical music lasts forever, I quite like raffi, and can handle barney pretty well. I've got our kids into bluegrass and some of the disney sountracks like lion king appeal pretty universally. I miss my metallica, but you have to make sacrifices for the kids.
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies
Old 03-26-2005, 10:35 AM   #20
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Re: Another good "toy"...for babies

LOL I had the same thought re:recreational chemicals...
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