Your Baby Can Read Ads Accused of Being ‘False’ and ‘Misleading’

Although more than 1 million units of the popular Your Baby Can Read product have been sold with majority of favorable reviews, the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood filed a complaint Tuesday with the Federal Trade Commission citing ads for Your Baby Can Read are false and deceptive.

Your Baby Can Read consists of videos, flash cards and books. The product was developed by Robert Tizer, educator with a Ph.D in human performance with Indian University. The Web site for the product claims the best time for children to learn to read is between birth and 4 years-old, “In fact, studies prove that the earlier a child learns to read, the better they perform in school and later in life. Early readers have more self-esteem and are more likely to stay in school,” the site says.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood claims the above assertions– among others– are inaccurate.

The marketing claims “are designed to take advantage of parents’ natural desire to provide every possible advantage for their young children,” the complaint says. “The claims are false and misleading because the product does not teach babies to read.”

However, a site that objectively reviews products wrote in an appraisal, “It’s easy to find academic researchers and educators who dispute Titzer’s claims. Despite these criticisms … many parents say the expensive program works — not necessarily for all infants and toddlers, but certainly for some.”

Read the full article….

Tell Us: Have you used Your Baby Can Read with your little one? If so, did it work?

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  1. by Kirsten Acuna

    On April 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I’ve seen the ads for “Your Baby Can Read,” and have often wondered myself whether or not this product lives up to its expectations. I did an independent study in high school my senior year on whether educational baby toys such as the “Baby Einstein” brand are really worth parents extra dollars. Although, I do believe educational toys can play some positive role in children’s learning, I think this must be coupled with other reinforcements to contribute to cognitive acquisition of language.

    Despite the articles’ claims by experts, as a child and family studies minor, children are very perceptive and are constantly learning from the time of birth. According to a course I’ve taken on Play, Development, and Early Education, children are capable of making a quadrillion synaptic connections in the brain. By the time they are three, half of the neural connections that could have been made are gone forever. This is why we’re told that it’s best for children to learn another language while young. They are capable of making synaptic connections more easily.

    This doesn’t mean children are necessarily learning how to read–they could simply be recognizing the cards or words they see in class and associating it with a word. It’s very VERY near impossible to try and gage what a child is taking away from educational toys and devices such as “Your Baby Can Read” at a young age. From a course on Child Development through Play, I’ve gained children are best able to learn language through accessing reading comprehension in a fun and interactive way–so there’s nothing saying this tool may not be helpful.

    I’m not surprised some parents report this tool as successful; however, this could be parents simply reporting that their children are ACTUALLY learning how to read when they’re picking up tools from other external stimuli. There are many variables to take into consideration here. If parents are acting out repetitive actions with their children to reinforce the videos and flashcards then children may be picking things up from that or other lessons from a nanny or through parallel play from social interaction with children. Often times, parents are more likely to be willing to BELIEVE X is the cause of Y even if that may not necessarily be the case. I’m highly hesitant and wary to believe testimonial on the Facebook page for the product as, sadly, the company could have simply paid people to say these things. I hate to be a skeptic, but anyone who charges over $200 for this product–which can be easily duplicated by anyone with a weekend of spare time, should cause raise for concern and raised eyebrows.

  2. by KalleyC

    On April 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I have received so much pressure from family and friends for NOT buying this program. Something didn’t sit right with me from the beginning. Not to say “I told you so” to my family, but my daughter is picking up so much just by me talking to her and pointing out things around the house or street. I’m glad that I saved my money.

  3. by bridgette

    On April 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    works for me…even if my twins cant pick up a book and read it cover to cover my children have watched it several times a day everyday for a year and have a vocabulary of over 30 words each, they understand complex directions and many colors- im not saying parenting skills has nothin to do with it but a majority of what they learned did come from the dvds because i didnt teach them all of that! and they are only 14 months. i guess to tell a difference you actually have to USE it!

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