Thursday, June 25, 2009

Prenatal education system? Did I just read that right?

OK... it's been nearly 7 years since I was last pregnant, so I've been flipping through all of our "tried and true" baby and pregnancy books. You know the ones. You've likely read them if you've ever been (or plan to be) pregnant! I've also been lurking around Babies 'R Us, and other baby-related sites and blogs. Just picking up details here and there. Making sure everything is ok. Hey -- I'm a planner. I can't help it! Of course, I'm not one of those people who believes everything she reads, but I do like to read.... and research.... and maybe overdo things just a bit!
Well, just minutes ago, while on a hunt to see what's going on with me and with the baby at 14 weeks, I discovered something that, frankly, made me laugh. Have things changed that much since my last child? 'Cause I don't remember anything like this product: BabyPlus Prenatal Education System.

Here's what their website had to say about said education system:
"BabyPlus is an audio device that introduces patterns of sound to prenatal children in the only language they understand – the maternal heartbeat. As a baby discriminates the simple rhythmic sounds of BabyPlus from those of the mother, learning begins.

Babies at birth and infancy:

•More readily nurse

•Have increased ability to self-sooth

•Are more interactive and responsive, and

•Are more relaxed and alert at birth.

And later in life, these children demonstrate
•Earlier developmental milestones
•Improved school readiness and intellectual abilities

•Greater curiosity and independence, and
•Longer attention spans."

Later on, the website actually claims that "BabyPlus children have an intellectual, social, creative, and emotional advantage from the time they are born."

Hmmmm. Maybe I'm a weirdo, but this, uh... interesting little product has made me ponder a few things.
1. If this thing does what it says it does, how did I -- or any of us, for that matter -- get through school without a prenatal education?
2. How early do we need to start kids in "school mode," anyway? Conception?
3. If rhythm is the ultimate learning tool, should we now consider doing all teaching by means of rhythm alone? You know, maybe skip language acquisition altogether?
4. If it's this easy (and this effective) to teach babies in the womb, why haven't we found better ways to teach 7th graders?! (I'd like to see them have an increased attention span!)
5. Did all the smart kids, genius types and gifted children have some sort of prenatal education that we were just left out of? If not, what made them smart!? ;)
6. Have they actually tested BabyPlus? And how, exactly would you do that? Are we talking using clones -- one in one womb and one in another womb?
7. As far as general "smarts" go, are we now ruling out, oh, you know, stuff like genetics, environment, health, parenting style, education, love and attention, etc., etc.?
8. What happened to good old music... or just talking to your baby in the womb? (That was part of the fun, as far as I can remember from the first time! As well, I distinctly remember that my baby did all the wonderful things BabyPlus claims are directly related to their product. She self-soothed, tracked voices, communicated quickly, slept through the night early.... all without a prenatal education system. What are the odds?!? Ha-ha!

What do Y'ALL think? Prenatal education: a "No" or a "Go"? :)
I guess it's just one of those things that make you go hmmmmmm.....


Kate Spike and Her KatS said...

You bring up some very interesting points, Beth. Although I never had (nor wanted) any children, I doubt that I would ever have invested in a device like this. If a parent-to-be needs a machine to educate a baby in the womb, what kind of choices will that parent make for the kid once it pops out? I guess some have already decided to let machines educate their kids when they let them sit in front of the computer all day. I wonder how long this thing has been around--how long have they followed children introduced to it while they were developing inside Mommy? Bottom line for me--I'd take a pass and stick to the oldie ways. PS--although I never wanted kids of my own, I am TOTALLY glad that my sisters had 'em! My life has been greatly enriched by my wonderful nieces and nephews and I can't wait for the arrival of the newest Alcazar!!!

Rachel said...

Great post!! I think it's all hooey :)