In Utero Curriculum

Is it possible to increase your baby's intelligence before she even enters the world? Some parents swear by a "curriculum" for use during pregnancy created almost 20 years ago. What do you think?

Pregnant woman holding stomach

As I was scanning recent baby news, I came across an article on Indystar.com, titled Want a smarter child? Many women are trying BabyPlus. It caught my attention. Lots of parents want smart kids.

The prodcut the article refers to, the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System, delivers a series of 16 notes. Those notes almost mimic the mom's heartbeat... but not quite. The sounds are slightly different and as a result, your baby (supposedly) gets smarter. The unit costs $149 and is meant to be worn around your pregnant belly for two hours each day.

"By hearing different sounds early on, the baby is experiencing its first life lesson -- learning to discriminate in utero," writes Shari Rudavsky, the article's author. "The company says this better positions him or her to handle life once outside the womb."

Interesting. But does it actaully work?

The company says it sells 10,000 to 20,000 BabyPlus units each year. "There's nothing like us. We're not a toy. We're not a medical device. We're a curriculum," Lisa Jarrett, who helped to bring the product to a wider market, told IndyStar.com. "If it didn't do such a great job from the perspective of a parent, we would not be growing like we're growing."

"I didn't have dreams of her being the first Einstein," Erin Miller, a mom who used the system during her pregnancy, told IndyStar.com of her 9-year-old daughter. "But my babies were all amazing... and even my husband will say, 'Yeah, it's the BabyPlus.'"

Some professional disagree, like Dr. Thomas Verny, a psychiatrist at the Santa Barbara. "You're not going to get a smarter baby by making it sleep less," Dr. Verny said. "I don't believe that there is any credence to people who say that some kind of artificial stimulation like playing Mozart to the unborn child or sending some kind of silly beeps to baby is going to do any good."

What do you think? Can a product like this make your baby smarter? And if you're unsure, would you be willing to give it a try for 149 bucks and a few hours a day?

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