But now a survey by researchers at the University of Washington, just published in The Journal of Pediatrics, has found that for every hour of baby-video viewing per day, children ages 8 to 16 months knew six to eight fewer words than those who watched no videos.... But the alarming finding from the University of Washington survey applied only to baby videos. Television time, in contrast, seemed to have no effect, good or bad, on babies this young.
I can't think of any plausible reason that watching videos would retard children's verbal development, but watching t.v. would not. If anything, babies watching videos are likely watching videos geared specifically toward their needs and interests, like Baby Einstein, while babies watching t.v. are likely watching whatever animated nonsense happens to be on at the time.
Conflict of interest watch: Unlike most of my peers with kids the same age, Natalie watches videos sometimes. She especially like Teletubbies (English and Hebrew), Barney, Sesame Street 1-2-3 Count With Me (prefers the Hebrew version), and Yuval Ha'mibulbal, an Israeli video. Nevertheless, she's extremely verbal, and in three languages.