Does “Your Baby Can Read” Really Work?

I am sure most, if not all, of you mothers have heard of  the Your Baby Can Read videos and books.  And most of you have some sort of opinion about it whether it is positive, negative, or indifferent.  Some of you may even have a cousin or a friend who has used it and their 2-year-old now reads chapter books (or so they say).

Does Your Baby Can Read Really Work? | 2GroovyMoms.com

Well, this is my story.  I love Your Baby Can Read for my daughter.  I started using the DVD’s with my daughter when she was 6 months old.  Like most mothers, I did not want my daughter watching mindless meaningless television. I heard about these videos that are designed for babies and designed to encourage interaction.  These videos not only were interactive, but they actually exposed my child to animals and objects that she might not have seen before.  Therefore, it provided her exposure that we working moms sometimes forget is important.   Not to mention that the videos gave my daughter early learning opportunities while I was at work.

Along with Your Baby Can Read, I also read books to her all the time.  At first I did not even realize that she was truly learning until she was eight months old and read her first word — “ball”.  Shortly after that, she said and read more words and over the next couple of months she really began to be verbal and use sign language.

When I first began using the videos my thoughts were if she does not learn a single word it was still money well-spent. I mean she loved watching the videos and dancing to the songs.  But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she learned over 100 sight words using these tools and at 3 years old she is now able to read simple sentences with the sight words (sentences such as “Wave your hand”).

I always thought it was funny to hear some of the negative feedback that people who never tried it would say. While at the same time still being in awe with my daughter when she would randomly read a word while out shopping or reading books.  People would say, “They are not learning to read; they are just memorizing.”   Yes, they are technically memorizing, but that is what any child does with sight words. When children enter Pre-K, they are given a list of sight words they must learn (“and”, “a”, “red” are just a few words on that list).  How are they learning these words? By memorizing!

Some say if the child is not able to sound out a word and understand its meaning then it is not reading. Well, with sight words you are not following the same principles of phonics; therefore, you are not sounding them out.  They are learned by sight or, in my book, memorized.

I have also heard that you should not teach your child phonics before the the age of four because by the time they reach 4 they will have forgotten the sounds each letter makes. Well, I disagree with that one because my daughter has not forgotten and she knows all of the letters and their sounds.

Most of these objections I have heard during training for early childhood language and literacy and I am, by far, not an expert, but I know what works for me and my child.  I do not know if Your Baby Can Read will have any impact on my child’s reading by the time she is in third grade, but I do know that with my constant teaching and guidance she will be a great reader, and hopefully she will continue to love to read.

34 comments

    • SummersGroovyMom says:

      Well, to be honest I don’t think my daughter paid much attention to the DVD I would just have it on so she wouldn’t have to listen to regular tv. But when they would began to sing she would then focus on it. I spent a lot of time with the books which she loved, and she also enjoyed the flash cards not those you see in the video but another set with pictures on them.

  1. Joanna Sormunen says:

    I think it sounds a good program. The only thing that I’m worried about is when parents push their children too hard but that is not the program’s fault. In my opinion (as professional and mom) it’s good to teach sight words at any age, it’s good to work on your child’s literacy and it’s good to show your child that you care and that reading is important. But it’s even better if it’s fun, like it sounds your daughter is having.

  2. SexyMoxieMama says:

    I think it is important to expose your child to words, sounds, and books at any age. The key is to not force it. Babies all learn at different paces, one child will not necissarily follow the same path to learning as another. Thanks for posting.

  3. Kim says:

    I can definitely speak from experience on this, and I would say “different strokes for different folks”. YBCR absolutely worked for my daughter, it seem like from birth she was interested in watching television, so she loved watching the DVD’s. Since she could hold a book, she’s always enjoyed looking through books and flash cards, staring at them as if she were studying them. It took my daughter a while before she would talk, around 2 1/2 when she began to verbalize, she knew all her sight words and was reading books by age 4. On the other hand with my son, he’s never been a big TV watcher. Sitting him in front of the TV to watch the DVD while I tended to other things did not work for him like it did with my daughter. So did more flash cards with him but all he wanted to do was take them from me to chew on. He destroyed all of the books, did not study them. Now at 3 1/2 he only knows maybe half of the sight words my daughter knew at 2 and he’s not even trying nor interested in reading.
    So, I’m not sure if it’s a matter of boy vs girl or first born (daughter) vs second born (son). Even with trying to tune in to your childs learning pattern or what have you, and using the different options to cater to his/her pattern sometimes YBCR works and sometimes it just doesn’t.

  4. Yona Williams says:

    Loved watching your video…too cute. I think it’s amazing that lil’ ones can read or memorize sight words like that at their age. Being able to concentrate to remember all of the things they are learning is amazing! Great video to quiet the doubters!

    • SummersGroovyMom says:

      You are welcome! Even if you only use it for entertainment, the songs are great and it was worth it for us.

  5. Mama's Happy Hive says:

    I had a teacher tell me once that some of the young children in her class did not know how to turn the pages on a book. I found that to be SO sad! I think it is important to spend time with even young babies in learning about books/reading. This is an interesting program that I have never heard about before… until now. :)

    • SummersGroovyMom says:

      It's funny because I have heard that as well, and how a child will still hold books upside down because of lack of exposure. I totally agree and believe in reading to babies and children, continuing to do so until they rather read to themselves. Thank you for your comment!

  6. Megan @ C'mon Get Crafty says:

    We have the system and used it with my son, though not religiously. Still, he’s now almost four and one of the smartest in his daycare (per his teachers) when it comes to knowing his letters and numbers, and he interacts with the videos really really well. I’m planning to use it again for #2, due in July!

    • SummersGroovyMom says:

      Thank you for your comment Megan. I definitely believe the system reinforces what we are already teaching our children, while remaining fun for them as well. I will definitely use it again!

  7. Shayla Epps says:

    This is one of the systems we have used to teach our daughter to read as well. I would recommend it for infants. I like that you can use the flash cards and sight word books even if you do not want to use the DVDs that much.

    • SummersGroovyMom says:

      I definitely agree because at a really you age my daughter really did not watch the DVD’s she did more listening to them until the songs came on. But I used the books daily along with some of her favorite bedtime stories.

  8. Michelle says:

    We are constantly reading books to our daughter. She loves to turn the pages of books and is just now starting to point at pictures. I can’t wait until she’s starts saying real words. I haven’t heard of the video you mentioned but will be sure to look into it.

  9. LaDonna Dennis says:

    Wow, I’ve not heard of this before but it sounds amazing! If I still had little ones at home I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Who wouldn’t want to give their children an extra push!

  10. umeandthekids says:

    Wow this sounds like such a fantastic tool in helping even the youngest children to read. I previously worked in a primary school and know the benefits of reading with children at all ages.

  11. The CORNversation says:

    I also started my first daughter on YBCR at 6 months. I was given negative feedback from a few people in the beginning but I too understood that reading begins with memorization. These dvd’s built her vocabulary. So combined with Leap Frog phonetics, flash cards, and daily reading – she is now 4 years old and the top reader in her class. I also have to credit her school – we were always in sync but I can attest that her learning started at home.

    • SummersGroovyMom says:

      Awesome! I am glad you decided to stick with it. I love the Leap Frog combined with the YBCR it made everything I was trying to do so much easier. She receives learning from all areas mom, school, and the television. Books, puzzles, flashcards and more.

  12. Elayna Fernandez-Bare says:

    What an adorable video and how proud you must be. I will definitely give YBCR a try. I wasn’t aware of it with my first two, but my baby is now 8 months and this is the perfect time to introduce her to it. :)

    • SummersGroovyMom says:

      Thank you! I agree now is the appropriate time to introduce your daughter to YBCR. I hope she loves it as much as my daughter does.

  13. Katherine G From La La Land Mommy says:

    My kids are older so when I first heard of my baby can read they were already in school. However I did do something similar to this. We had flashcards and I would stick them to the wall and ever so often my kids would go over and ask what the letters or words were and The Husband or I would tell them and then before long they were reading the words themselves. We also did it. If they were interested in a book we would take the words write them down and go over them.

  14. Adria J. Cimino says:

    Wow! That sounds really interesting… I’ve been using flash cards and reading certain books over and over. My daughter now is starting to “read along” but of course it is memorization. But that’s OK… It still is working toward real reading!

  15. Jessica says:

    Sounds like an interesting program!

    Thank you for sharing on #smallvictoriessundaylinky. Pinned to the Pinterest board. Hope you link up next week!

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