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Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five Hardcover – October 12, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 348 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Dr. Medina hits the nail on the head with 'Brain Rules for Baby.' We are always looking for ways to make our kids smarter, better, happier. Medina gives such practical, usable advice and tips."
- Nina L. Shapiro, MD, UCLA School of Medicine

"An engaging and fun-to-read translation of the best research on child development and effective parenting. I gave Dr. Medina's book to my own son."
- Ginger Maloney, Ph.D, The Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy

"John Medina uses a very readable and refreshing style to present parenting strategies in the context of factual scientific information."
- Jadene Wong, M.D., Stanford University School of Medicine

"If you've no room for another brain-development title, weed an old one to make room for this. Covering such topics as pregnancy, relationships, and "moral" babies, the book will educate even the most learned parents. Medina's humorous, conversational style make this an absolute please to read."
- Library Journal

"We recommend this book to all of our new-parent groups. With a gift for storytelling, Dr. Medina marries the science with practical advice that helps make sense of it all. Sleep-deprived parents still find time to read Brain Rules for Baby and love it."
- Laura Kussick, Executive Director, Program for Early Parent Support
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist and research consultant. He is the author of the long-running New York Times bestseller, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. He is an affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also the director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University. Medina lives in Seattle, WA, with his wife and two boys.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pear Press; 1st edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979777755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979777752
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (348 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Parents and caregivers strive daily to understand and support the development of their infant or young child. They feel that by having the infant listen to classical music while in the womb or providing a baby with toys and DVD's dedicated to making them academic all stars, they are setting their children up for future success. They feel helpless when a child seems to be crying uncontrollably or anxious when their youngster does not seem to develop at the same pace as that of a friend's child. Almost all struggle with the cognitive thought processes and emotional development of a child and feel helpless when they are not sure how to respond to certain scenarios. Enter John J. Medina's book "Brain Rules for Baby, How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five" as a guidebook for success.
Doctor John Medina, a famed developmental molecular biologist, tackles many of the issues that parents face dealing with the raising of small children. He lists five separate areas for discussion: pregnancy, relationship with the spouse, smart baby, happy baby, and moral baby and has identified twenty-two brain rules that parents should understand and follow if they desire to raise a healthy and well-adjusted child. Though it may seem daunting to read a book written by a scientist, Medina keeps the technical vernacular to a minimum and utilizes many stories from Internet blogs and his own experiences as a father of two boys.
The book begins with a look at the development of the child in the womb, with a preponderance of the information covering the physical and emotional development of the child. Medina dispels many of the myths associated with the purchase of brain enhancement devices and provides a general description of how a baby steps through the processes of development.
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Format: Paperback
As expecting parents, we've been barraged by information and advice regarding how we should parent a child, both in pregnancy and after birth. Navigating through all of the slush to get at some good, hard facts about how babies actually "work" quite simply takes more time than we have to spend. In an ideal world, we'd love to get our hands on the original studies and gain a complete understanding of what academics, physicians, and research institutions know, don't know, and don't quite know yet about infant and child development. But without that option, we found Brain Rules for Baby to be exactly the sort of book we were looking for. Medina draws on research from diverse fields and distills the findings into concise, practical conclusions that are often accompanied by short personal illustrations and funny anecdotes. He then expounds on not only what the research means, but also what it doesn't mean - which to us was just as important. There are a lot of truths floating out there that need confirmation, but also a lot of myths that need breaking. We highly recommend this book to parents, grandparents, childcare workers, or anyone else who has or will have a significant role in a baby's life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to understand what I can do to help the mental development of my four month old daughter. I was looking for information such as the type of play or toys that would be most stimulating for her. The book didn't provide me with many new and implementable ideas (e.g., the small section on play is irrelevant until she is fully communicating). The best thing I took away was 'absolutely no TV before the age of two'.

What I liked:
1. The book is well researched and enjoyable to read. The author provides references and strikes a good balance between mentioning details of the studies and maintaining readability for the average parent.

2. I liked the very high-level organization of the book: What makes a baby smart? What makes him happy? What makes him 'moral'? A lot of emphasis is usually put on smarts, and recently a little more on 'Emotional Intelligence', but highlighting and addressing all three aspects was valuable.

3. The book debunks some myths that can save you time and money and your baby from some boredom (e.g., no 'Baby Einstein' / 'Baby Mozart')

What I didn't like:
1. The proof reading quality of the Kindle edition is embarrassing. There are numerous punctuation mistakes (e.g., 80% of the open quote marks are never closed) and some spelling errors. Not only is the book less readable as a result, it also feels very low quality. Is the book not worth a proper proofing?

2. The author seems to have had a hard time organizing the content. The top level breakdown (smart/happy/moral) works, as does the next level (genetics vs. upbringing), but further sub-sections are inconsistent and have overlaps.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a doctor, not easily impressed with books about rasing kids and stuff, considering that most of these books are written by authors with no experience on the subject except for their own, with their own kids.

This book is outstanding; the author is based on serious studies about brain development, and guides the reader through very consistent points of view about what is likely to be good for your child and what's just meant to be a money-making strategy ( for instance, those flashing cards or "iq raising" dvds).

I loved the way he puts the topics: he refrains from writing his own opinion. He prefers scientific evidence instead, based on multicentric studies, historical observations , nutritional evidences. At the same time, the book is not radical or narrow minded, it gives space for each parent to choose their own education, but guided by those principles.

And the best part of all, he proves , quoting many scientific researches, that the most important thing for the brain development of any child is their parent's love, support, and learning to have friends and self-control. Not being forced to being a "know-it-all" child.

A must have for every parent. Excellent!
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