I cannot be the only parent who’s seen those Your Baby Can Read! TV commercials and thought it might be a cool party trick if my baby could show off mad reading skillz. However, I was skeptical enough to keep my credit card in the wallet.
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Now the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the same group that went after Baby Einstein, has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that “Your Baby Can Read” uses deceptive marketing to get parents to buy its materials, which include flashcards and DVDs. The complaint goes so far as to say that not only is YBCR false and misleading, but the program “poses significant health and safety risks to infants” who are made to sit in front of the TV as part of the program. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for kids under age 2.
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According to an earlier NBC News investigation, early childhood development experts universally agree that while babies can memorize words, their brains are simply not developed enough to actually read until around age 4 or 5. Not surprisingly, the creator of YBCR, Dr. Robert Titzer, disagrees, saying his own children could read better than he could by age 4 because of the program.
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Have you purchased Your Baby Can Read? What do you think—bogus or brilliant?