I have received a lot of questions lately on how I got my kids to read so early. The honest answer is they wanted to and just absorbed the information. When my oldest was about 18 months, I noticed her reading a few words here and there so I bought Your Baby Can Read to see what it was all about. Fortunately, my daughter loved these videos and would sit perfectly still and watch when I turned them on. They recommend 2 videos a day, so we would do 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. The program also came with flashcard and flap books which we did on occasion. Before she turned 2, she knew all of those words and so we moved on!
I knew she had memorized the words from the videos, but wasn't exactly sure what she "knew" until she randomly would start reading signs when we were driving and talk about things around the kitchen while she was having a snack that I knew something had clicked. Your Baby Can Read was a great place for us to start.
I did use this program with my second daughter as well. I started her quite a bit earlier (around 13 months) and I don't think that was quite as affective. We tried it for a couple of months, then stopped until she was a little older. She didn't have quite the interest as my first, but she still caught on. She didn't watch the videos as often and would never sit still for an entire video, so we just had to break it up. She is now 2 1/2 and can read simple sentences, so I know it has worked!
Every kid is different and I have had a couple of friends who this program didn't work for, but for us, it worked!
On a side note...
Once they knew all of the words from the Your Baby Can Read program, we introduced them to a few others they loved. Sight Words, Bob Books, as well as phonics books including Dora, Diego and Biscuit. Hope this helps!