With the recent press about the study conducted by University of Washington, it's very easy to villainize Baby Einstein and its devotees. But when you consider that ten years ago Baby Einstein was started by a mother (out of her home) who wanted to bring arts and languages to babies, it's hard to fault the original intentions.
That said, it's easy to fault the marketing machine and merchandising monster that followed after the Disney acquisition of The Baby Einstein Company. Susan Gregory Thomas' Buy, Buy Baby is an excellent read about the history of not just Baby Einstein, but also the movement to market to children and babies. While it's a great read that opened our eyes to marketing movements that happened during our own childhood years (Strawberry Shortcake, for one), we couldn't help feel a bit depressed after putting it down.
But even with the commercialization of childhood that Thomas presents, our ongoing search for neat things for parents and their little ones, make us realize that it's a pretty great time to be a parent . It's incredibly uplifting to see so many mothers and fathers running web-based businesses or selling individual items out of their Etsy storefronts. All of these independent vendors that are making us all realize how special a homemade item can be.
 Blogging has made so much of this possible. Just seeing the number of blogs out there which inspire parents to spend more time with their children gives us hope.