Does the Your Baby Can Read Program really work?

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Hi everyone,
the first answer in non bold was written by S. ichigo apparently, he thinks he is an expert on a system he has never used, well I have used the "Your Baby Can Read" system, I do have an academic background in both Biological and Developmental psychology, and through personal experience utilizing the "Your Baby Can Read" methodology with my own child I believe it does work, you will see my rebuttals to the original answer in bold script. --Josh

Yes and no.

Yes because a baby can recognize the word on the card and then say the word.

No because the baby isn't actually "reading" in the traditional sense. The baby isn't seeing the letters as letter sounds, and is only recognizing the word's shape. The baby has been trained to associate the word 'cat" with the spoken word "cat" and the image of a cat...but he has no idea that the c says /k/, or the a says /a/, etc. He simply sees the image of the word on the card and parrots "cat", because, to him, it's the same as seeing a picture of a real cat.

What is he really trying to say? This is generally known as "sight reading" in education and it is the first step to reading, and it is reading. Please don't redefine what it means to read.

Actually there are so many definitions of what it means to read, to say that they are all wrong except some singular fictitious undefined "Traditional" definition? What, exactly, is he talking about?

Traditional? Well in that case, Lets take a Look at Merriam Webster Dictionary's primary definition of Read:

a (1)'': to receive or take in the sense of (as letters or symbols) especially by sight or touch

So we see in fact that Mr Ichigo is wrong on this count as well. The baby really is, as most of us non-self proclaimed experts can plainly see, actually reading.

He can learn to recognize the word 'cat", and the word "ball, but will never be able to read the word "bat" by recognizing the letter sounds, as a child who learned to read phonetically would, unless he was similarly trained with a card that said "bat".

How do you know? Have you ever used the system? My kid is 18 months and already reading.

He does sound it out. How do I know? I can show him any word, long or short, and if it has a B in front of it,
when I ask him what it says. He says "Ba" , that is one small example, at just 18 months there are a majority of letters that he is so familiar with.

He has been sounding out the words since he was 10 months old.

His First word was "Apple" which he started saying at around 10 months, and for a while there, any word on the cards or in a book that had an A in front of it was "Apple" to him.

If he develops the way the majority of children using the system have, he will be doing the more detailed level of reading Mr Ichigo is attempting to describe by the time he is around 2 to 3.

This is a neat trick parents can use to impress family and friends, but I would advise strongly against using it, as whole-word reading has been abandoned by the educational world as a failed experiment, and was NEVER thought to be a good idea by the most serious language and educational experts.

Is he kidding me? Sources please.... Of course he doesn't have any.

"Your Baby Can Read" is not really related to the "Whole-Word" method. In fact it is entirely different.

I studied developmental and cognitive psychology extensively in school and he is just plain wrong about that one. In History there has never been a methodology like "Your Baby Can Read". While attending University, I wrote several papers in Developmental psychology, even in language acquisition. It is a subject I had studied extensively in several classes. I knew this was an excellent system based in science as soon as I saw it. My knowledge paid off when I bought the system and followed the simple instructions. Just because no one has ever seen it before, including experts, does not mean it is impossible, and I believe there are even more experts who would agree with Dr. Titzer's Methodology, than not. --Josh

Learning to "read" this way could possibly seriously hinder a child's ability to learn phonics the right way, and could make him dependent on sight words. This would mean he could ONLY read the few dozen words he knows by sight, and that he would have a total inability to "sound out" new words. Reading becomes a very painful process of guess-work and, at best, remedial phonics lessons that can hopefully break bad habits.

Wrong again! My 18 month old son loves reading, and the "Your Baby Can Read" program has given him a love and passion for books that I have never seen in a small child. Of course I supplement his program with over 25, (especially Dr. Suess) popular and tough to tear, board books, that he can read on his own without trashing them. I read several books to him a day, It is his favorite activity, He sits with his books for over an hour at a time, just poring over them, and he brings them to me or my wife to read to him.

Parents are always eager to show that their baby shines the brightest, and the creator of the "Your Baby Can Read" program feeds on their need. Unfortunately, this program will give them something that they can show off for a little while, but will offer nothing in the way of actual advantage. They are MUCH better off simply reading and talking to their babies as much as possible, and ingraining language(s) into their little brains.

Reading and talking to your children is the most important thing you can do for their academic development, however it is not a substitute for "Your Baby Can Read". This system has supplemented my baby's education in a way no other program available on or off market can.

Mr Ichigo thinks he is an expert on "Your Baby Can Read" but actually he is just plain wrong. What he is saying is very misleading. He has obviously never used the "Your Baby Can Read" system the way I have.

My baby recognizes the words, he knows what they mean, Ergo he is "Reading" the words.

In many schools nowadays a child has to be able to read a certain amount of sight words(usually around 25) to make it into 1st grade.

My child has been learning the "Your Baby Can Read" system since he was 3 months old.

At age 18 months he can sight read many more words than 25 thanks to the "Your Baby Can Read System"

Hi everyone,

"Mr. Ichigo" here. Actually, I'm a woman, and that is not my name, but that's irrelevant. I encourage people to do their own research on this subject after reading what follows. Here are a few sites that back up what I say, and that discredit the idea that there is any advantage to a baby "reading". In short, it still may produce a fun baby trick, but won't lead to any lasting develo pmental or academic advantage. Any time a parent spends interacting with their babies and stimulating their brains is good, but don't fall for a program like this thinking that it will turn Junior into a genius, or put him above his peers. At the end of the day, 10 year old kids who used this as babies aren't going to be reading any better than they would have otherwise. Be careful consumers, and research before you buy. Thanks for reading!


Hi Mr Ichigo, or Mrs Ichigo, or whoever you might be,
perhaps it is irrelevant who you are, but it certainly is not irrelevant that you are posting under a false name. It certainly doesn't add to your credibility, that you won't even use your real name.

I on the other hand, am not using an alias.

I am the proud father of a 20 month old baby that can read.
This is in large part, owing to the fact that I started him on the "Your Baby Can Read" system at age 3 months.

You know the system contains books, flashcards, and DVDs. It is amazing how much material you get for the money.
The box weighs 21 lbs, and I bet all the DVDs combined are less than a pound, so the bulk of what you are getting is unique sliding flashcards, regular flashcards and books.

It is an entire system, based on the latest researchers, and theories in cognitive development.

The research you posted is actually irrelevant, as it only looks at children aged 5 to 7.

Your baby Can Read is designed for babies and toddlers, not children aged 5 years and older.

You stated in your post:
At the end of the day, 10 year old kids who used this as babies aren't going to be reading any better than they would have otherwise
That is quite a statement, Mr Ichigo, or Mrs Ichigo, or whoever you are. Can you please back that up?
Of course you can't, you are posing as an expert, and yet you can't offer any credentials because you are using an alias, and apparently you don't know the difference between a 5 year old child and a baby.

If we listen to you and your research, then we might as well wait until kids are 7 before teaching them to read.

I was reading full length novels, like "The Hobbit" by JRR Tolkien, and "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly by the time I was 7 or 8. Are you honestly suggesting that a child who learned to read at age 7 could compete with a child who, like myself was reading by age 3, by the time we were both 10?

The truth is that there is not much difference between teaching a kid to read at 5 versus 7, because 5 is already too late, as the following link here clearly shows:

Here is a link that directly refutes what you are trying to suggest with your irrelevent link, which includes a number of statistics that clearly show the risks waiting until your child is 7 or even 5 before teaching him to read:

If we listen to Ichigo, then I suppose we should wait until our kids are in 2nd grade before we teach them to read.

Not to much of an expert I think.
Anyway here are some links to real research that actually supports Dr. Titzer's claims about the benefits early learning.

Thank you Dr Titzer! ( ) My baby is 20 months old and he can already sight read many more words than he can say, and our pediatrician says his speech development is about 6 months ahead of the average child his age.


Welcome, all, to this mess of a page!
I highly encourage any parents interested in deciding whether this controversial system is something they want to use on their babies to put on some high boots, wade through this page, and then do some more research other places. As always, be wary of people and pages trying to sell you something, and maintain a healthy skepticism.

For the record, I never claim to be an "expert" on this particular system, though I am familiar with its method and I believe it to be flawed. I am disagreeing with the idea perpetuated by the "baby genius" industry that whatever type of stimulation they are selling is going to be that one key that gives parents their Superbaby.

I will say one final thing, before I incite a 10,000 word rebuttal; The use of an "alias" or "screen name" is hardly a new one on the internet, and it doesn't negate anything anyone says. I'm sure by now people are aware of this. For the record, it is just as easy to make up a fake name, along with a fake back story and fake credentials. People do it all the time. I prefer to keep it simple, and I encourage anyone reading any expert advice on the internet to keep in mind that the expert may or may not be who he says he is. It's a good general rule if you're going to be taking advice from the internet. Thanks for reading, and good luck.


Hi S., I will just call you S. since you have already stated that your name is not really Ichigo.

Your link is really arguing over semantics. "ie what is the definition of reading."
We have already been over this, apparently the author has never heard of the definition that is used in modern education known as "sight reading".
So according to the author sight reading is not really reading. So what?

If you are going to read the link that S. Just gave you, I would advise you to scroll down to the comments section of that link. You will see that the majority of them are parents like me, with a scientific background who have successfully used the "Your Baby Can Read" System and are raving about it, because of the miraculous results of the system.

(Note by S: I also encourage readers to read the comments. I saw one commenter that is a parent with a scientific/medical background saying good things about the product and how it anecdotally worked for his toddler. Not a majority, however. I also saw many people who are skeptical, and many who are against it entirely. Another thoughtful article on the subject may be found here:
For further reading, I recommend the classic book, Why Johnny Can't Read. A great resource for anyone wanting to learn about the process of reading instruction.)

Thank you Dr Titzer( )

And by the way S. if you don't want a long rebuttal from me, then don't post falsehoods on a subject which on which you have no direct experience, and which I am passionate about.

My baby is 20 months old and he can sight read well over 50 words, so lets stop arguing on whether or not "Sight Reading" is actually a form of reading or not, because it is really an irrelevent tangent.

Thank you


Hi S. I tried to straighten this page out, by arranging everything chronologically so it could be a bit easier to follow. I was careful not to omit anything or alter any language.

Thank you for clarifying, When I stated "Vast Majority" What I meant was Vast Majority of people who were claiming to have actually used the Your Baby Can Read System with their own children. I just looked at the comments again, and while there are plenty of skeptics, I did not see a single skeptic who had actually claimed to have used the system. On the other hand, the vast majority of individuals posting who have used the system with their own child, claimed that it was beneficial.

Also I saw the other link which you posted; again this link falsely equivocates Dr Titzer's Program with the whole word method, which it clearly is not. I notice that it does not have any comments. I have also noticed that every negative article about "Your Baby Can Read" on the internet that I have seen, which does have comments, of the people claiming to have used the system, the vast majority, like me, have seen miraculous results with their children.

One could use an analogy when Comparing Dr. Titzer's system to the whole word method.

If the whole word method is like addition then Dr Titzer's "Your Baby Can Read" might be like algebra.

Now, if you look at algebra closely you will see that it has plenty of addition in it, but to equivocate it with addition would still be a misnomer.

The "Your Baby Can Read" system incorperates aspects of the "whole word method", but there is much more to it than that.


I will say one final thing, because I think if there is one thing that anyone can take away from this, it's that the program and the methodology behind it is controversial and that there is no clear answer. Here is a summary, as I understand it:

Pertaining to the actual question posed...Does it work? Well, I will say that it is clear that if what you are looking to do is be able to show your toddler flashcards and have him repeat the word written on the card, then yes, it will accomplish that. Though the fine print on the advertisement is similar to the fine print on weight loss plan ads which say that the average results are somewhat less impressive than what is demonstrated in the ad itself.

The other implied claims, specifically that a toddler using this program will have a lasting academic advantage...I will amend my original answer to a "yes and no", and here's why.

I will say "No", because when a child is given a head start in a subject, be it math, science, or reading, that head start disappears and his ability tends to even out in grammar school when instruction in school is given to all students at the same time. Those who started out ahead will have an easier time in the beginning, but when instruction catches up to them, they will be at the same level as everyone else, unless he gets individualized instruction from another source.

I will say "Yes", because if you look at it as something that will engage the mind and stimulate the senses, then of course it will do that. In that sense it performs a similar function as any visual and mental stimulation, which we parents know is very important. Anything that helps that brain work and make those connections is a good thing. It is important to note that reading, be it phonetic decoding or sight-word reading, is not the ONLY visual/mental stimulation or even the best one. Physical activity, playing with blocks, being read to, all of the normal activities attentive parents engage in with their toddlers. All of these help. What the Baby-Genius industry counts on is people buying the idea that the program or video they sell will be the BEST stimulation money can buy, and that simply isn't true.

So going back again to the original question, if taken as read...Yes. If you use that program with your toddler, he will probably repeat back to you the words that are on the card. Any further guarantee that your toddler will grow up to have an advantage in school, or that he will be reading (or understanding) adult-level novels when he's 5 years old, shouldn't be inferred.

With that, I hope to end this debate, apparently not with an agreement, but at least amicably. Thanks for reading.


Well S,
In Conclusion I would like to say that, I love the Your Baby Can Read System, and I do believe that it has helped me immensely in providing a simple and detailed platform by which I can lay the groundwork for my child's developing language skills. I want to reiterate that while it is a simple, viable, effective and economical supplement to reading and interacting with your child, it is by no means a substitute for the most important things, and I agree with S. that Reading, talking and interacting with your child, are by far the most important things you can do for your child's early education, and even if the reader does not acquire the system for his or her child, I want to emphasize that the reader can and should start reading toddler board books to their child on a daily basis as early as age 3 months, and I would encourage everyone with a baby to do this for their child's language development.

It was a pleasure debating with you S., and I respect your integrity in debate even if I do not agree with all of your views, and I am pleased that we are able to conclude on good terms. This looks like a good place to end this debate amicably, Thank you S. and everyone.
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