In my late night, insomnia/on-call, television viewing, I've noticed that flash cards to "teach" your baby to "read" are back in vogue again. It seems every 10 to 15 years these things pop up again.
Let me save you some money. It is all hogwash.
Yes, you can flash cards at your baby all day long and the baby will start to recognize the cards.
But it will not make your baby any smarter. It will not make your baby read any sooner. Neither will the "learning" CD's or video games.
What will make your baby smarter is talking to him or her. Real talk. About what you are doing, where you are going, what things are and what they do. "We are going to the grocery store to buy food." Once at the store, hold up, show, let the baby touch (well, maybe not the raw chicken) items and tell him what it is. "These are apples. Apples are red. Apples are a fruit."
Yes, your baby. From the moment he/she is born, talk, narrate, explain, name.
Read to your baby. Anything. Jason was in college when his daughter was a baby and he would read his textbooks out loud to her.
Research continues to show that the more you speak to your baby, the more words he or she hears, the more context you give your baby, the more neural pathways your baby creates in the brain. It is those pathways that will make your baby more able to learn (for the rest of his or her life!).
So toss out the expensive junk and start talking!
Loki sez: And don't forget the veggies!