Rebekah A. Richert, Ph.D. the leading author of the study, and her colleagues at the University of California, Riverside, analyzed vocabulary and general development in 96 toddlers aged 12 to 24 months. Their parents and other caregivers were asked about their toddler's development and the use of educational programs designed for children. During the study one group of children was watching an educational video to watch at home.
The findings showed that children, who watched baby DVD's for six weeks during the study, did not learn any words shown in educational videos and had no improvements in general language development. Also the children, who were exposed to educational DVD's from an early age, had worse vocabulary knowledge than other children.
Baby DVD's are claimed to improve language development in children. Nowadays, parents use educational videos as early as their babies are five months old. Children, who are younger than 24 months old watch TV for an average two hours a day.
Researchers are concerned that educational media may not be so good for babies' development. They say that the link between poor language development and early baby DVD's watching may be explained by the fact that parents may not spent enough time with their babies to encourage baby talk. Specialists say that communication with parents and other caregivers plays more important role in children's development. There are many ways to encourage baby vocabulary such as reading baby books, singing songs and telling the stories.
Scientists say that the further studies are needed to find out how parents can use baby DVD's effectively without impairing their children's development.