Parents who want to provide their babies a learning advantage these days often turn to what's been nicknamed "baby media" - videos specifically designed to stimulate very young minds.
"I don't think we've seen anything to suggest that kids younger than 18 months, even with parents' support, will learn anything from a DVD," said Rebekah A. Richert, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside.
Pre-watch a video to make sure it goes at a slow, deliberate, "Mr. Rogers"-type pace. Children learn best at that pace, and less so with what he called "Warner Brothers"-style pacing.
Watch the video with their baby, talking throughout it like a colour commentator would do for a sports event and drawing connections between ideas in the video and objects around them in the home.
Turn off the television when the video is done and let their baby play a while, possibly engaging in activities related to the video. "If they're watching a video showing them how to construct something or feed a bird, then go out and do it in real life," he suggested.