Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five
John Medina
Family and Parenting
Call Number
649.1 MED -[FAM]

What’s the single most important thing you can do during pregnancy? What does watching TV do to a child’s brain? What’s the best way to handle temper tantrums? Scientists know.

In his New York Times bestseller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina showed us how our brains really work and why we ought to redesign our workplaces and schools. Now, in Brain Rules for Baby, he shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. This book is destined to revolutionise parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control.

Through fascinating and funny stories, Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and dad, unravels how a child’s brain develops and what you can do to optimise it. You will view your children and how to raise them in a whole new light. You’ll learn:

  • Where nature ends and nurture begins
  • Why men should do more household chores
  • What to do when emotions run
  • The importance of your child’s ability to relate to others
  • Smart and happy are inseparable in the brain
  • The best predictor of academic performance
  • The only parenting style proven to produce great kids

What you do right now before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and through the first five years will affect your children for the rest of their lives. Brain Rules for Baby is an indispensable guide.


John Medina has done it again. He has followed up his successful Brain Rules with a similar book for babies, or rather, parents and parents-to-be. Once again, he has chosen tried and tested research, and presented them in an eminently clear and almost conversational style. Busy readers will appreciate that, throughout the book, key points are summarised and pull quotes are also used to highlight important facts.

Long-time readers of parenting books may not be surprised by much of the scientific findings. However, they would be hard pressed to find all that information in a single book elsewhere. Perhaps what would be surprising is the list of myths Medina debunks along the way (e.g. the Mozart effect).

This is not your typical parenting book or pregnancy manual. Readers will have to look elsewhere for developmental milestones and specific instructions on handling a myriad of situations. What we have instead are broad strokes that scientists have found effective in raising smart and happy children. And as Medina mentions, the brain rules here are not guarantees. Life is simply too complicated for science to make such blanket assurances.

Note: As with his previous book, Brain Rules, supplementary material can be found at

Brain Rules For Baby is available at the National Library, find out if Brain Rules For Baby is available at the public library nearest to you.

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