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Turning Baby Into Baby Einstein

Do educational products for babies really give babies an advantage?

Marketing to Parents and Babies continued...

Colombo says there's nothing wrong with moms and dads using some harmless merchandise to keep kids occupied for a short amount of time. "Parents need a break, too," he says, adding that caregivers who care about their kids' intellectual development are probably already doing many of the right things. He reminds parents that there is no equation for producing an exceptional child.

As for the kids, they're usually good about telling their caregivers when they need a break from developmental toys and other media, says Leslie Cohen, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Texas in Austin.

The child will often fuss, look away, act bored, or focus attention on other things. In this case, it is important to switch to other activities and not force him or her to be interested.

"Babies are natural learners," says Cohen. "Let them be your guide."

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Reviewed on November 12, 2003

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