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Wednesday, April 16th, 2008...7:50 pm

#26: Baby Einstein


The Best Parent is better than you because they sincerely believe their child will be the next Einstein or Mozart, but with more style and better hair. This is why, if they do let their child near a TV set, they will only play “educational” videos with the name of a legitimate scientific or cultural genius in the title.

The fact is: these DVDs are mostly under-produced puppet shows, eye curdling animated sequences, or, in the case of Baby Einstein, long, lurid shots of colorful playthings. In fact, Baby Einstein is the closest one will come to porn for babies. There is no plot, no character development, no production values. It’s just pure visual titillation. Like “Girls Gone Wild” for toddler toys.

Indeed, in a recent Best Parent Ever poll, respondents found Baby Einstein DVDs to be only slightly more educational than baby back ribs. What more proof is needed of these product’s true value?

So why is it so important for the Best Parent to set the bar so absurdly high for their poopy-diapered brainiacs? Wouldn’t it be better to instead show them something like “Baby Joe Blow” videos, in which the crummy puppets and animated critters instruct children to learn a few letters and numbers, and then be happy with where they are in life?

That’s not enough for the Best Parent, for whom aspiration is an addiction that is never quite satisfied. For no matter how much the Best Parent is better than you, there will always be some other Best Parent better than them. It is nearly impossible to win as a Best Parent, and it’s important for them to pass along this sense of existential shortfall to their brood at the youngest age possible. Thus the almost impossible aspirations: Baby Einstein, Baby Mozart, Baby Genius. Failure is almost guaranteed, and the Best Parent Circle of Life is complete.

So take that, young Albert Einstein, who was himself no “Baby Einstein!” The Best Parent is better than him, and they are better than you. It doesn’t take a genius to figure THAT out.

For more “helpful” parenting tips, join the BPE Discussion Board!


  • My parents gave me math wrap-ups when I was a kid–long before kids home video industry.

    http://www.learningwrapups.com/wrapsOverview.asp. Does anyone remember these?

  • Do you know that Eistein used to fail at school, well it is true that all parents want a genius but most parents are being duped.

  • This blog is racist. If you don’t believe me just imagine what the equivalent for blacks would sound like.

    “The black parent is better than you because they sincerely believe their child will be the next 2Pac or Michael Jordan, but with more education and better hair.”

  • I bought a few Baby Einstein things and quickly realised that they sucked! I feel ashamed…

  • I fully disagree with the comments here. I never intended to allow my child to watch the baby Einstein videos, but grandma chose to do so one day. My child was enthralled. I never just placed him in front of the t.v. but if you sit with your child and interact they are great. My child learned animals, and sounds, stars, moon, and planets, what a barn and tractor are, not only from the videos, but we reinforced it with books and talking. My child is very intelligent, and is way above the curve of learning in his age group. I would like to think that the videos were stimulating, and encouraged his thought and imagination processes. Perhaps those are the issues you have, maybe you want dead, drone children who follow directions, don’t ask questions, and do exactly what they are told???

  • Mom loves Baby Einstein videos.

    Baby Noah had my daughter at 18 months old able to recognize various animals, including Caribou.

    Mom also loves Natural Killers videos and GeoKids by National Geographic. The Leap Frog movies are great, too.


  • We borrowed a handful of Baby Einstein DVD’s from my friend and they held my(then 11 month old) sons attention for all of about 10 seconds before he crawled back over to his books. Dullest drivle he’d ever seen! On the other hand old episodes of the muppets enthrall him and his 4th spontaneous word was ‘tatatata’ at 9 months whilst tapping at the cover of the teletubbies DVD!

    The best thing for turning your kid into the next Einstein, Newton or Mozart is free play, variety and interaction…not some silly video with annoying voice overs.

  • Amused Onlooker
    June 4th, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Steve, I forgot about those things until you posted them! We used them in school. I might have to get them. Because we all know my 1 year old should be doing multiplication by now.
    I agree that Baby Einstein is quite possibly the most mind-numbing experience ever. We will watch some stuff on the Disney Channel, like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. What ever happened to the good old days of Zoobilee Zoo?

  • Kids watching the toys playing by themselves makes me sad. Think about how much happier the kid would be if the MOM would sit down and play with the kid.

  • For the hardworking parent who uses the TV as a 30-40 minute *babysitter* while they prepare dinner or other necessary household chores, I sure prefer them to use a video such as Baby Einstein as opposed to the other crap currently available on channels like Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network.

    How sad some miss the point entirely.

  • Baby Einstein DVD’s are the best thing I have ever seen. My 13 month old loves them and I have not found anything that keeps her entertained like they do. I don’t think it will make my baby smarter, I just like having a little quite time for Mommy! If Baby Joe Blow kept her entertained long enough for me to pee in private, then Baby Joe Blow it is. I am not into all the hype, I just have first hand experience with the videos and know that they are like “baby crack” for my daughter.

    Additionally, after only watching the First Signs dvd by Baby Einstein for only a mere month, my baby is doing about 10 different signs. Communication, and frustration, have greatly improved between me and my child. For example, the other night she was crying for a bottle. Her dad was making one but apparently not quick enough. I could not calm her down. suddenly, I showed her the sign for “daddy” and “milk”. I pointed to the door and told her that daddy was making milk and would be in soon. She immediately stopped crying and waited quietly until he returned with the bottle.

    So, say what you want about Baby Einstein, you can’t change my mind, or my daughter’s!

  • Check this out, there is a company selling a series of DVD’s to help the little ones to learn how to read.
    They have a really cool web site and i think they are giving away tickets to the San Diego Zoo.


    It is pretty neat.

  • I have my set. I teach my baby while watching the dvds. He loves the dvds and like to watch for 10 mins.

    I purchase from this website. Great price too.


  • Pissedmomma, you’re just pissed because all the baby einstein you’re feeding your lil brat isn’t going to change their future as a complete douche bag idiot, like their momma. lol.

  • My son loves the Baby Einstein videos. He learns from them, a lot. So they are in fact educational.

    He learns sign language, and colors, and shapes, and numbers, vocabulary, music, and on and on. And we reinforce those lessons with one-on-one playtime, and by watching the videos with him and repeating the things he says.

    I am concerned when I read about possible attention disorders later in life being linked to infant tv watching, but I think that in my son’s case all he needs is a lot of outdoor physical activity, which he gets in large doses nearly every day.

    It’s all about balance. Kids need lots of physical, mental and emotional nourishment every day. Give them what they need and they’ll be OK.