Brain Rules for Baby by Dr. John Medina

Dr. John Medina, known for his New York Times Bestseller, Brain Rules, has a book for parents to help them raise a smart and happy child from age zero to five. Brain Rules for Baby explains how a child’s brain works and how you can use it to its full potential. Through engaging writing, scientific explanations and research, Dr. Medina gives you facts which helps you figure out how to raise your child optimally and with empathy. While most of this book is not ground breaking science, it differs from other parenting books in that it provides real facts and research rather than just advice.

The book is divided into the following sections:

  • Pregnancy – the 4 things that affect the baby are mom’s weight, nutrition, stress, and exercise.
  • Relationshipsa happy marriage means a happy baby
  • Smart Baby – survival before learning for a baby so if a baby feels threatened or unsafe, learning will not happen
  • Smart Baby Soil – “praise effort, not IQ”
  • Happy Baby – Emotions are important to the brain, good relationships make us happy
  • Happy baby Soil – How a parent reacts and deals with a toddler’s emotions determines how well adjusted of an adult they will be
  • Moral Baby – moral behavior develops over time and requires guidance
  • Practical Tips – summary of tips from all sections
I love Dr. Medina’s conclusion, “A family based on every suggestion in this book is fantasy.  The real-world experience of parenting ranges from waves of exhaustion to oceans of love and ripples of laughter.” 

As a developmental molecular biologist, Dr Medina focused his research and study on the genes involved in brain development. Being a scientist, Brain Rules for Babies is very scientific in nature so if you are  not into learning about the why behind parenting advice then this is not necessarily the book for you.  On the other hand, if you are into reading parenting books then this is a great option!