It is incredible how much baby stuff is on the market today. You can get just about anything, from mental stimulators for your baby, such as the baby Einstein products. You can get clothes, either for him or for her. You can even get shoes and bonnets, both for boys and girls. And that’s before you get into toys, and strollers, and furniture, blankets, food, bottles, diapers, formula… the list goes on and on. So what comes to your mind when you hear baby stuff?
Most people start with clothing. Baby clothing is made to accentuate the cuteness that already exists in nearly every baby. So you’ve got looks for everything, from princess to cowboy, with just about anything in between. A baby is an adorable thing, and baby stuff tends to play to that strong suit with remarkable aptness. Cute coats, hats, and mittens are the icing on your baby cake, so to speak.
Your baby will also want some mental stimulation. It’s impressive, but when a baby is first born, their hearing is much better than their sight. So a newborn baby knows the sound of its mother’s voice, but not the sight of mom. In fact, unless mom is 12-18 inches from the baby’s face, odds are the baby can’t make anything out other than an indistinct shape. The reason for this is that there is no light for the eyes to work with in the womb, so while they may be developed, they are unused for the nine months of pregnancy. Ears on the other hand can pick up sounds, such as the mother’s heart beat for months before the baby is born.
What does this mean for your baby stuff? Simply put, it means that for newborns, it is better to have a toy that makes sounds than a toy that is visually impressive. This is one of the reasons that baby toys are so brightly colored, if they were not, the baby wouldn’t be able to make them out. Even so, a baby is far more likely to be captivated by a sound than a sight, even up to 1 year of age, their sight is still much less acute than their hearing.
Studies have indicated that certain sounds may actually aid in a baby’s cognitive development. In the most famous such example, the experimenters played Mozart to a group of infants and young children. In the study, those that listened to the classical music performed better on cognitive tests than the control group, which did not listen to the music. It is too soon to tell for certain whether the music really had an impact or whether the difference was just statistical noise, but many parents have jumped on the Mozart bandwagon and started playing classical music for their children.
There are a host of products specifically targeting the parent who wants baby stuff that will make their child smarter. The Baby Einstein products do little else than claim to help your child be smarter. The mere possibility is often enough to sell the stuff, as anxious parents are looking for that competitive edge earlier and earlier in life.