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Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded)

How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five
Narrated by: John Medina
Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (533 ratings)

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Summary

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 best seller 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 revolutionize parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control. Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice. 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 optimize 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 you do when emotions run hot affects how your baby turns out, because babies need to feel safe above all. TV is harmful for children under two. Your child’s ability to relate to others predicts her future math performance. Smart and happy are inseparable. Pursuing your child’s intellectual success at the expense of his happiness achieves neither. Praising effort is better than praising intelligence. The best predictor of academic performance is not IQ. It’s self-control. 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.

©2014 John J. Medina (P)2014 John J. Medina

Critic reviews

"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)
"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)
"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)

What listeners say about Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Engaging broad coverage

Very listenable, well structured - some areas, like attachment theory a bit thin from an academic perspective, glosses details, but understandable and not really misleading for lay parent audience. Nice tips on how to handle screen time, from his pro and personal experience, though some areas need updating, such as AAP's guidelines on screen time and tablet use. The 'nothing before 2 yrs' idea now revised in light of more up to date understanding :)

5 people found this helpful

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Useful, no nonsense, to the point and funny! Great book!

Useful, no nonsense, to the point and funny!
The author offer insights from both scientific research and personal parenting experience in an easy to listen to and entertaining book.

3 people found this helpful

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Obligatory reading for parents

Entertaining and informative, the book lays down the basics of rasing happy and smart kids supported by science.

3 people found this helpful

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Extremely recommendable!

Clear and concise information provided in a friendly and funny style.
For each theory or idea, the author indicates what type of studies have been performed on the subject and then continues to indicate if there is enough information to ensure a clear result for the study or if more data is needed.
A definite must for every new parent or parent to be.

2 people found this helpful

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really interesting and practical

Really like John Medina, he uses good evidence based science (or as good as possible in his field) but makes it completely approachable to understand and even quite compelling listening. from the interesting information stems practical advise about how to raise your kid

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant book

Best baby book I’ve come across so far and narration was fantastic.
Thank you so much

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent audio book for a new parent.

What did you like most about Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded)?

The narration by John Medina is the best I have heard on audible by some distance. The content is excellent as well. As a scientific minded father I wanted to know what modern science has to say on baby development and this book delivers it without bias.

1 person found this helpful

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Great step into parenting right from pregnancy

Gives good scientific overview of what works what doesn't and what is inconclusive. A great enthusiastic read from a scientific father. Definitely worth the listen

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the best book for parents

this book is an essential buy fir whoever want to raise healty clever kids.

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To much waffle

I appreciate a book has to be padded out a bit but this book is on another level with pointless stories/anecdotes. If you have a lot of time to listen it would be good but as a busy person, including dealing with a child, I need a concise book that cuts out the waffle as much as possible

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  • Erik
  • 14-08-15

The Only Baby Book I'd Recommend

If you could sum up Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded) in three words, what would they be?

Science based advice.

What other book might you compare Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded) to and why?

Honestly, this book stands alone in a cesspool of snake oil sold as pregnancy and parenting advice. Medina’s book is baby 501. It’s all science. Everything he talks about has been published in a peer reviewed journal, and replicated by at least one other study that meets that same criteria. He shuts down a lot of the expensive bullshit, like Baby Einstein, and other scams to make babies smart.

Have you listened to any of John Medina’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not. Some reviewers of the audiobook don’t like Medina’s delivery. While it’s true he lacks the polish of professional narrators, he is a lecturer and has a huge passion for his work. I think that might be off putting to some that want the narration to be like an offensive lineman in football: doing its best work when no one notices. But I personally find Medina’s vigorous reading of his own material to be really great.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This is a science based book on how to raise a baby. Pathos really doesn't play a role in it.

Any additional comments?

I’ve seen some complaints that Medina meanders too much in his book rather than saving the reader time and getting to the point. I get that some parents are too busy to hear the how and why of Medina’s rules, they want quick instruction to best build their baby’s brain. But for me, I want more than just a set of instructions I’m taking on faith. I love hearing the specifics of the studies that form Medina’s rule set.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Claire E
  • 13-09-18

Some content helpful, some not

This book did have some concrete examples and strategies, which were helpful. It also had analogies that rarely added value to understanding the concept and wisdomful nuggets such as "kids give so much more than they take. They give you patience!" He also gives examples from his own life, which again were sometimes helpful sometimes not. They turned 600 sq feet of their home into a playroom. That's all well and good if you have a giant house. For the rest of us...? I also found the narrator's voice sing-song and somewhat annoying.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ESL student
  • 30-08-17

good for parenting

very detail advice. as parenting, we should learn more for our baby. This book gives me alot of information about how to develop a happy baby, emotional contorl, punishment system and making a sleep routine. anyway just give it a try. sorry english is not my first language.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 19-09-16

Baby book for nerds

Loved the practical applications and information offered. As my wife and I read more and more baby books I truly appreciate evidence and data behind the information. Medina is entertaining throughout his reading and makes it easy to see which parts he is truly passionate about it. Smart book that I strongly recommend to those who want to understand why not every option works for every baby. Makes so much sense not just for babies but my day to day interactions with adults.

9 people found this helpful

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  • BattleD4d
  • 31-03-16

Great Content, Less Great Recording Quality

The majority of this book is very well recorded, but during the later chapters portions of the author's recording take a noticeable and jarring dip in quality.

The content of the book is magnificent; I learned a great deal about important steps that can be taken to help my child better develop into a thriving adult.

I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone about to become a new parent.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Ronald E. Newlon
  • 09-11-14

New addition is not a good audio book

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The additions to this book were recorded independently and are in a tunnel

What other book might you compare Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded) to and why?

Buy the book not the audio book

What didn’t you like about John Medina’s performance?

Too many anecdotes by women and he raises his voice too much
sounds a little like monty python

Could you see Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded) being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

no - please do not do this

Any additional comments?

I wish that I would have bough tthe book. It is a good book but a very bad audio book

29 people found this helpful

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  • Alpha Reader
  • 14-04-20

Not the same as the book

Much of the audiobook is edited and inconsistent with the same written edition and version of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CPL
  • 23-12-17

Interesting content, horrible narration. Buy the physical book

The information provided is valuable but I could barely get past the narrator’s voice and presentation! He sounds like a mildly drunk radio talk show host. I had to force myself to listen to 30 minutes each day just to get the info but it was painful. My husband heard about 15 minutes and refused to listen to anymore because of the narrator’s “used car salesman” voice. Save yourself the pain and read the physical book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Leana
  • 05-11-19

Love!

This book is so interesting. I am beyond pleased with the information it provides! Perfect for mama’s to be.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Johan
  • 17-05-15

Fantastic insights, backed by science

What made the experience of listening to Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded) the most enjoyable?

All the "brain rules" come with easy to understand examples which makes adopting the rules easier and quicker. The narration was engaging and easy to understand at x2 times the normal speed.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded)?

The empathy reflex and surrounding methods were really cool and unintuitive. Valuable lesson.

What does John Medina bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I love having the author narrate his/her own stuff. John Medina brings an engaging reading to this book and it's very enjoyable to listen to. I plowed through this book in two sittings while doing household work, much thanks to John's narration.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

3 people found this helpful