Luckily, I found out about the Your Baby Can Read early language development system. Created by Dr.Robert Titzer, the program consists of DVDs and word cards designed to help babies and toddlers learn to read. According to Titzer, there is a natural window of opportunity for learning language that begins at age three months. At this age, it is easier for children to understand and learn a language at a high level. By four years, this window begins to close.
There are five DVDs in the program. My 16 month old son just started Volume one after watching the starter DVD for a month. I'd never been able to get him to watch an educational video before because he gets bored and tires easily. I was amazed, then, when he sat through the entire 20 minute video and really seemed like he was interested. Basically, how the DVDs work is that they show a simple written word such as "Clap" as somebody says it aloud. Then, through other children, animals, songs, and poems, the word is demonstrated and your child is encouraged to interact (such as clapping himself.) Simple, yet effective. My son loves watching the DVD and now when I read him a book, I notice that he's much more attentive. He points to the words and the pictures on the pages and then babbles. So far, I'm impressed and I'm looking forward to seeing his progress as he works his way through the rest of the DVDs in the set.
Check out the Your Baby Can Read website for more info and also to watch videos of babies reading - amazing!