Baby Einstein DVDs May Slow Language Development? Also, Please Cite Your Sources

A new study showed that for every hour per day spent watching educational DVDs like Baby Einstein, infants understood 6-8 fewer words than those who did not watch them. Children with larger vocabularies had parents who read to them or told them stories.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against watching television by children under 24 months.

There are at least 31 news reports on the story found on Google News but none of them links to the original source -- supposedly, an article in the Journal of Pediatrics. I checked the online version of the journal twice but I was still not able to find the study in question. After performing a PubMed search, it became clear the study was actually published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine and not in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Linking to the original source of the story should be one of the gold standards of the web journalism and it was obviously not done in this case.

DVDs Don't Produce Brainy Babies. U.S. News & World Report.
Baby Einsteins: Not So Smart After All. Time.
'Baby Einstein' Videos Ineffective, Study Finds. NPR (audio).
Audio: Study hits at the heart of Baby Einstein.
Study: Babies Raised By Videos Approximately As Dumb As Expected.


  1. Do they refer, in fact, to this:
    an earlier article?

  2. I believe this is the article.
    Television and DVD/Video Viewing in Children Younger Than 2 Years
    Frederick J. Zimmerman, PhD; Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH; Andrew N. Meltzoff, PhD
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161:473-479.

  3. Whoops, never mind, that's the same one. I just confirmed it with Medgadget in that case...

  4. FYI, the paper IS in the journal of pediatrics. It's in the Oct. 07 issue but had an embargo date back in August, which is why all the stories came out in August.

  5. Committed Parent12/24/2007 12:40 PM

    This is not at all surprising. As discussed in greater detail at such places as, nothing substitutes for the simple but profound direct interaction between parent and child. Do it day after day after day and your child will do just fine!

  6. great post