What to Read Next

Your Baby Can Read company folds amid false advertising claims

Sheryl Nadler
Shine On
July 17, 2012

If you've ever bought a DVD that promises to teach your infant how to read before their years, or promises to produce a baby genius, you may be disappointed. If recent events are any indicator, it seems babies can't actually read, no matter how many DVD's they watch.

The makers of Your Baby Can Read, a DVD that promised to teach babies to read through a series of educational videos, is going out of business, citing the high cost of fighting legal battles brought on by consumers disputing their claims. The company, however, stands by their products, claiming they do work, reports the LA Times.

You may have seen the late night infomercials for Your Baby Can Read!. They show happy babies and toddlers apparently reading words from the program's cue cards and video programs. The program was also available in Canada through the website Shopnorthern.com for $149.99, and appeared on the Canadian websites of stores like Costco and Walmart.

Also see: Detergent pods mistaken as candy can harm children, warns Health Canada

The television and online ads claimed that toddlers and infants can learn to read before going to school, "when the brain is creating thousands of synapses, or connections," and pressured parents to "seize this small window of opportunity." Parents who purchased the product were encouraged to have their baby watch a 30-minute video two times daily.

Don Giesbrecht, president and CEO of the Ottawa-based Canadian Child Care Federation, says it's a stretch to believe you can plop a baby in front of the television and expect them to absorb everything being thrown at them, without any help or interaction from a parent or caregiver.

"I don't think they're dangerous," he says of videos that promise to teach children beyond their years. "I just don't think they can live up to the expectations that they're saying they can. The research doesn't support it."

Giesbrecht emphasizes the point that research shows children learn through play, manipulating their own environments, socialization and interaction with others. A child building a tower of blocks may simply seem like a child building a tower of blocks, but it is a complex relationship that involves learning about math, balance and many other important concepts.

Also see: Study finds many similarities among Canadian moms

"Putting a child in front of a TV and expecting them learn something, just by having them sit there? It's not going to happen," he says. "Will a child sit down in front of a TV and through repetition and through pure enjoyment clap their hands, sing a song, smile, giggle, that sort of thing — yes. But if the parent or the caregiver is actively involved in that process, it will happen for sure."

He believes children are much more likely to learn from interactive play and socialization than passively watching "brain enhancing" videos, or even by sitting down with a parent who uses flash cards.

Yet still, Geisbrecht says many parents want to believe that children are capable of more developmentally than we give them credit for, or that their own children are born extra intelligent as compared to the average child.

Watch the touching video below about how the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto held a prom night for its young patients.

Success is in Your Hands

A great career as a motorcycle technician is within reach. Click here to learn more.

Get paid to E*TRADE

Sign up today and claim your reward.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan option, but there's another plan you should consider.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Curly Hair?

Mixed Chicks haircare eliminates frizz and defines curls with no sticky residue. Available at our online store or in store locations near you.

Looking for the perfect car at the perfect price?

Compare top makes and models. So you can step on the dealer lot with confidence. Get the right car without all the drama.

Got the Need for Speed?

Get on the fast track to a great career. Click here to learn more about training at MMI

Sign up for the Webcast

Ready to tackle tax season? Learn 3 ways to boost deductions with CPA, Gene Marks.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

All-new collection of homes in Glen Burnie, MD

Holly Ridge is a stunning community by the Chesapeake. Enjoy a diverse selection of luxury single-family home floor plans priced from the upper $300s.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

#1 Site For Lesson Plans and Worksheets!

Save time lesson planning, and find creative ways to engage your students! Lesson Planet has more teacher-reviewed resources than any other site.