“Your Baby Can Read” Does Not, In Fact, Teach Baby To Read

If you have young children, it’s pretty likely that you’ve run across the “Your Baby Can Read” commercials on various cartoon channels.  The chubby, cherbic, diaper clad baby pointing to cards with words that he then says in his tiny voice, or the young preschooler who curls up in a rocking chair, reading out loud from Moby Dick, instantly makes parents look at their own children, wondering if we should be practicing flash cards versus letting them watch an episode of “Maisy.”

But like most “as seen on TV” products, I always assumed it was a scam.  Now, it’s been outed as one, and irate customers are being gathered in a class action lawsuit against the makers.

Via ClassAction.org:

The Your Baby Can Read Systems were advertised through television and radio infomercials, as well as public appearances by a doctor backing the product’s claims. According to advertisements, the early language development systems could do the following: 

  • Teach a three-month-old baby to read by nine months old
  • Enable a five-year-old to read junior high school level books
  • Teach infants with Down’s syndrome how to read
  • Teach an infant how to read at a young age to prevent learning disabilities such as dyslexia

You Baby Can, LLC claimed that studies performed by the scientific community supported the use of the Can Read Systems.  

According to a Your Baby Can Read class action lawsuit, however, scientific evidences does not support the company’s claims that the Can Read System can effectively develop an infant’s ability to read. The complaint states that scientists who have tested the product’s claims have found that infants using the systems are not reading, but rather memorizing shapes of the letters presented before them. These doctors and scientists claim that there is no evidence that the Can Read Systems’ memorization process increases a child’s ability to read and comprehend, according to the class action lawsuit.


First Baby Einstein doesn’t make little child genuises, now Your Baby Can Read doesn’t help make them read?  Looks like one of these days we parents are just going to have to teach our kids ourselves.

photo by wikimedia commons


Simon A.
Simon A.3 years ago

I got this blog site through my friends and when I searched this really there were informative articles at the place. stroller

Ann J.
Ann J.5 years ago

It's too bad articles like this are written about something that is so amazing. What really gets me is when scientists or an educator has the audacity to say this product does not teach babies to read. By them saying this proves they have never used it, never seen a child who has used it and read freestyle or random words in front of them. By the response from this article it's obvious that every person on here has had success using ybcr. I certainly have. It's article like this that will put people off from buying it for their child and will therefore miss out on something wonderful. Robin, you're article has no value.

Stacey S.

Products like this is how I learned how to read. It's how my siblings learned to read. Its how my mom learned to read. Its how HER mom learned to read. I remember my first day in kindergarten, I was shocked to meet people who didn't know how to read because even my baby brother could. When I was in 2nd grade, they ran out of reading tests that could challenge me. When I was in 8th grade we took a test that was supposed to give us number scores, representing what grade level our reading abilities (including comprehension) were at, and the month of that grade. Instead of a number, I got PHS. For "Post High School." This stuff works. If your kid can't read after this, you're probably doing it wrong. You can't just buy it and expect it to work on its own. You still have to put time into it.

Joshua S.
Joshua S.5 years ago

Thank you, Dr Titzer and http://yourbabycanread.com/index.php/
Buying this system is best thing I ever did for my child's education.

Add my name name to the long list of parents with
babies who can read thanks to this new system:

This System works!

My Baby Can Read, and he is 18 months old.
“The Kids aren't reading the words, they are just memorizing the words?”
That is like saying:
“The Kids aren't eating the food they are just swallowing the food.” It simply Does not make sense. Why are they trying to redifine what it means to read? In modern education it is referred to as "Sight Reading" and is considered to be the first step in reading.

I purchased the "Your Baby can Read" system while my wife was pregnant and following instructions, started him on the program promptly on the day he turned 3 months. I of course have also been reading books to him every day since before he was even 3 months and started him on board books since he was old enough to focus.

I originally purchased the deluxe 5 part set from Amazon, but now days you can get it on the yourbabycanread website for like $150 or something, an excellent deal for the extensive materials you will receive. I had watched the infomercials for years and told myself I would get the system for my kid if I ever had one.

It is also my formal undergraduate training in Biological and developmental psychology, that allowed me to understand just how different the "Your Baby can Read"

Charan L.
Charan L.6 years ago

How about using a book that actually works. There are more than one, but ours is The Reading Lesson, a very popular book. See info on www.readinglesson.com or Amazon.
Charan Langton - Author of The Reading Lesson - Teach your child to read in 20 Easy lessons

Dorothy N.
Dorothy N6 years ago

Well, my mother used to read to me for hours, moving a finger under each word as she spoke it, and I was reading at 4, prior to knowing my alphabet, but I thank FSM I didn't have to watch the same video over and over again, and I'll bet Mother would have felt the same, lol.

Seriously, it rather concerns me that there's such a rush on to get very small children and infants 'working in a structured and progressive manner' so quickly, when they're just beginning to learn about the world and themselves and their place in it - and how to develop independence along with tastes of their own.

And I wonder what effect this has on the individuality the corporate world has been teaching us to disregard.

Ruler Allure W.
Ruler Allure W.6 years ago

This program really works! We started our son at three months then eventually moved to sight words. He is 2 years old now and has a vocabulary of about 600 words. This program is a great START in your child's learning process. Here is a Youtube link of RulerAllure doing 100 words! Go to his page to see his learning process from three months til now!


Ruler Allure W.
Ruler Allure W.6 years ago

This program really works! We started our son at three months then eventually moved to sight words. He is 2 years old now and has a vocabulary of about 600 words. This program is a great START in your child's learning process. Here is a Youtube link of RulerAllure doing 100 words! Go to his page to see his learning process from three months til now!


Lee G.
Lee G.6 years ago

Shame on you, Robin Marty, for writing about something you don't even know anything about. You have no legitimacy with this particular subject, as you've brought your own bias into your writing. Take a brief moment of your time to read what many of the parents on this board are saying. If it were bogus you wouldn't be reading about how many people back up Dr. Titzer's work. So, while I'm here, I'll throw in mine, too. Both of my children were able to read, at 26 months, AT LEAST at the fifth grade level (words in isolation - instructional level, per Jerry Johns Basic Reading Inventory), and my daughter was reading at the 6th grade level in comprehension (instructional level, Johns BRI) one month after her fourth birthday. (My son has yet to turn four and has not been tested on comprehension.) I did EXACTLY what Dr. Titzer told parents to do in his first DVD, which is what a person has to do (beyond actually having the children view the DVD) if they want to teach their infants/toddlers how to read. Anyone NOT following the instructions to the letter runs the risk of getting mixed results. Anyway, it's bad enough that bitter individuals in this world find it necessary to file frivolous lawsuits. But, it's infuriating when ANYone in the media makes a report on such lawsuits without doing any homework first.

Charles A.
Charles A.6 years ago

short and sweet ill put it like this. i started my son on your baby can read at three months...i was skeptical as well and leery to spend the money, however i decided to give it a chance. my son is 18 months old and can literally sound out words he has never seen before. i have nieces and nephews as well as friends with children his age and none are near him intellectually. i would recommend this program to anyone...stick with it and actually practice it with them instead of sitting them in front of the tv and expecting it to magically work and you will have the same results i do.