Monday, April 20th, 2009
Blaby is Ideal for Naive New Hipster Parents
The Blaby is an elastic wrap for a pregnant mother’s belly that has three speakers for blasting music at an unborn child… with an MP3 player.
Why would you ever do such a thing? Well, first, the inventor is an industrial design university student and this thing is in prototype phase, but he’s looking for a company to take interest.
I wonder if an infamous piece of research known as “the Mozart Effect.” is responsible.
In short, college students who listened to a sonata by Mozart for 10 minutes directly prior to taking a standard test on abstract spatial reasoning scored 8 to 9 points higher than college students who listened to repetitive relaxation music or no music at all. This effect did not extend beyond the 15 minutes they were tested.
It sounds like classical music had a calming or meditative effect on adults that helped them focus just prior to being tested. Or maybe the sonata was a fast and uplifting piece that altered mood. No surprises there.
But today companies market the Mozart Effect as a wonder trick for raising little Einsteins. Maybe you own a few CDs or DVDs from a certain other company that every parent knows the name of? Yeah, I bought a 5-CD pack my first go-around. I wish I’d bought real symphony recordings instead of classical xylophone. Oh well.
So, why do companies sell this stuff? Because parents want to believe.
Show me a single piece of research published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal that indicates there’s something to playing music for unborn babies.
The best I’ve heard is a guess that music can relax babies in the womb. Wait, what? I thought the womb was a wonderland and once born we play hearbeat “womb music” to soothe crying babies.
Ohhhh, you just want your unborn baby to stop kicking you. Hey ladies, suck it up and take it like a mother. The kid needs his exercise because coming out of you will be no small feat.
The Blaby isn’t the first in-the-womb sound machine to come along. Greg at Daddytypes has written prolifically about a competing product. My sentiments are best summed up by quoting him on womb boomboxes:
“…a near-perfect example of using totally unsupported, pseudo-scientific claptrap to sell bogus-yet-hopefully-harmless, overpriced pieces of crap to unsuspecting, well-intentioned expectant parents.” –Greg @ DT
This is your blog litmus test. When you see products like this one mentioned elsewhere, are they praised, plainly reported or skeptically questioned? Count me as an unbeliever.