Do Those Baby Reading Kits Really Work? Probably Not

You’ve no doubt seen the Your Baby Can Read! infomercials and been amazed at the tiny tykes featured in the promos using the “early language development system.” But according to a recent Today show report, those babes may not be reading at all. In fact, it seems that a better name for the system of DVDs, word cards and lift-the-flap books might be “Your Baby Can Memorize!”

The Today show reached out to 10 leading child development experts to investigate the company’s claims that its products can teach young tots to read, and all disputed the claims. The reason: With few exceptions, most kids’ brains just aren’t wired to learn to read until they’re older (like 4 or -- gasp! -- 5).

“They memorize what’s on those cue cards … it’s not reading,” Dr. Nonie Lesaux, a child development expert at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, told Today.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Robert Titzer, the creator of the products, disagreed. “They’re all wrong,” he said of the experts Today consulted, although he didn’t dispute the fact that the program starts with memorization.

The thing is, according to the Today show experts, you don’t need a fancy system to give your kid a head start when it comes to reading. Turns out, reading (and talking about) any old book will do. So, sorry Dr. Titzer, but I’m sticking with Dr. Seuss.

Do you think baby reading programs are worth the money? Chime in below!

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