She was about 7 months when she spoke her first word, & if I remember right, she had about 8 or 10 by one year - I wrote it down, but I forgot where - oops.
We actually stayed with physical word cards for a very long time. Until K was about 3.5 years, she would not even look at a flashcard that did not have a picture on the other side! From age 3.5 to 4, we started to do more word only cards, & only in the last 6 months have we transitioned right over to Little Reader. We will still rarely do cards, but not often. We still do home made, laminated books occasionally, but more often to help teach or prepare K for things like her recent trip to the dentist, which, thanks to all the preparation with her personalized "My Visit to the Dentist" book, went very well. The biggest reason we switched is that she was getting to the point that she was sounding words out & had so many sight words that her vocabulary was tested at age 4.5 at a 4th grade level. I felt that it was better to just stick with longer sentences on Little Reader or getting her to read us stories. Even on Little Reader, besides finishing up a series of phonics files, most of what I pick to show her is more geography, science & French words because we are starting to focus more on learning a 2nd language.
When we got the Little Reader program, it was just in it's initial beta testing stage. The didn't have the semesters yet, so we just made our own play lists. By the time the semesters were finished, K was too far along in her reading, so I just used some of their files & still created my own play lists & more & more I find that I need to create my own files to keep her challenged & entertained
The other thing I would like to add is that it is really important to use pictures to help teach comprehension. I think it is easier to teach to word meaning & develop comprehension at the same time rather than have a child that can parrot back words but doesn't understand what they are reading. Because K insisted on having the pictures too, we accidentally helped her to have really good comprehension of what she reads. She reads directions all the time - it is her job to read directions in her math book & follow through & she does a great job of it.