Einstein and Mozart
Today, we have the first guest post from occupational therapist, Tarryn Poulton, from Niggly Noo. I attended Tarryn’s workshop on brain development a couple weeks ago and was really impressed by her no nonsense views of toys for babies. Well, she’s going to share some of her thoughts on that subject here for you, today’s being Baby Einstein and playing Mozart for your baby. As regular readers know, I totally forgot to do the Mozart thing. But I do own some Baby Einstein vids on the iPad. Having watched them, I’m not sure why they would make my baby an Einstein. Anyway, I’m sort of in the market for a Baby Steve Jobs. So far, Baby does seem to want to play with my iPhone a lot. She keeps accidentally logging me out of things for which I’ve forgotten the password to get back in. That is pretty smart.
Watching Baby Einstein makes your baby anything but an Einstein
Harsh, but true. In our quest to raise baby geniuses we try just about anything and everything, from watching Baby Einstein DVD’s to playing Mozart to our unborn babies. For those of you who, like me, did neither of these things, rest assured your haven’t disadvantaged your baby in any way.
Recent research has shown that babies who watched Baby Einstein DVD’s scored poorly on language assessments. Also, infants under the age of ten months cannot voluntarily direct their attention, so they are likely to be enthralled with the attention-grabbing, fast-paced TV. It’s likely to keep them quiet and entertained for a while, but watching TV also may result in them having difficulty transitioning their attention independently when they are older. Moral of the story: TV under 2 has no benefit for babies at all.
So, what about playing Mozart then? Will that increase our babies’ IQ? This notion that listening to Mozart increases IQ is commonly called “The Mozart Effect”. In 1993 Scientist did a study with University students. They played one of Mozart’s sonatas immediately prior to the students completing a complex spatial reasoning task and found that after listening to the music, there was an 8-9 point increase on their Stanford-Binet IQ scale.
Sounds too good to be true, and it is. The experiment has been replicated a number of times with mixed success, suggesting that the research is not reliable. Also, the effects are short lasting and the results were attributed to an improvement in the students’ mood. It also has not been tested on infants at all, let alone our unborn babies.
So, Mozart may make your Baby smile, but don’t hold your breath for it creating your genius baby. The good news, Julia, is that Baby is still in with a chance of getting “the best start” in life – with or without Mozart, baby-led weaning and formula.
Yea! That’s good to know, Tarryn. Thank you!