Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby Einstein World Music

If you're not familiar with Baby Einstein, it's a company with a huge line of dvd's, cd's, books and other toys that are designed to be engaging for children from the time of their birth forward.

Prior to having Charlie, I'd only seen a Baby Einstein video a couple of times, and I have to admit; I was a little bored, so that was that. Well, of course I was...they are not aimed at entertaining 26 year-old women! Poor Henry. However, when I was offered the anniversary-edition of Baby Mozart by Baby Einstein and Mom Central, I decided it was a good time to try again with an open mind.

As I had mentioned in my review of that DVD, Henry wasn't as excited about it as he would, say, The Incredibles, but I looked over and found Charlie absolutely enthralled. As he was the target audience, I felt like it was a success.

Since receiving Baby Mozart and the Baby Einstein lullaby CD in that blog tour, I've purchased several other DVDs including Baby Beethoven and Baby Wordsworth (featuring Marley Matlin). All Charlie has to see is the opening scene of the caterpillar* bopping across the screen and he's bright-eyed and smiling, no matter how upset he had been before..separation anxiety has made leaving him for the simplest of tasks (rinsing diapers?!) full of tears.

The images are engaging without being overstimulating, and I feel like I can hold him and watch it together, or there are times that I'm able to help Henry with something, or even cook dinner. While I know that the purpose is to facilitate parent-child interaction, the reality is that it's just as invaluable to have something that allows you to complete basic household tasks without a melt-down, while you still feel like you're letting them watch something that's not detrimental.

In fact, rumor has it that the Easter Bunny will be delivering a copy of the Baby's First Signs DVD to Charlie's basket in a couple weeks.

The new World Music DVD arrived in my mailbox at the perfect time. I was just heading up the stairs to make dinner for my family along with my friend and her two boys as her husband was out of town. The four kids range in age from 9 months to 5.5 years and all four of them were absolutely silent. This just does not usually happen; four boys in one room generally leads to a volume level that would rival a battle-zone.

I think that what made this one even better than the others is that it used a lot of live-action images with the music so that you could get glimpses of the culture that went along with the music you're hearing. Music has always been a big part of my life, and I whole-heartedly agree with Susan McClain's (VP and GM of The Baby Einstein Company) statement that "From Africa to Australia, music is a common thread that ties us all together. With this new line, our goal is to begin a lifelong appreciation for the world."

Today, the second part of our gift from Baby Einstein came in the mail; the World Music CD. As I put Charlie in his crib tonight, I replaced his current selection of World Traveler; Hawaiian Breeze with the World Music CD and he started smiling when he heard the opening notes...well, he could have been laughing at my over-animated dancing, but I'm pretty sure he recognized the music as he's seen the DVD a couple times now.

I am really happy with the whole line of Baby Einstein so far and will continue to build our library.
*I was searching YouTube for a clip of the caterpillar and came across a mom who'd made a Baby Einstein caterpillar cake...guess I know what Charlie's first birthday will bring!

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