The Baby Brain Book

Check one off the to do list. I’ve finished the baby brain book. The book is Brain Rules for Baby : How to Raise a Smart  and Happy Child from Zero to Five. Smart? Happy? Sign me up.

Of course, this means it has taken me about 2 months to ignore the advice of the first book I read and gravitate toward something that claims to help make my child smarter. That’s ok, I’m probably going to flip flop on a hundred things over the next few years.

The book also brought up something that I notice quite a bit in the child rearing arena, conflicting information. You may know of examples. This book conflicted with the Parenting, Inc. book I read earlier. The example from these books is their views on baby signing. Parenting Inc. was against, Baby Brain is for (along with a few of our readers).

It can be frustrating, but you take each viewpoint and make your own decisions. You have to remember their motivations, and take them into consideration. Parenting, Inc. is making the point that baby stuff is business and not to take the companies’ viewpoints at face value because they are more concerned about selling you stuff. This book is relaying actual research on the subject.

Anyway, I actually really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and reinforced some of my beliefs I started out with; things like the best toy for a child is a cardboard box, crayons and 2 hours, or the importance of praising effort over “smartness”. It also reminded you that there is nothing you can do to make your child graduate from Harvard. What I mean by that is you can take away all the barriers and provide the best, most stimulating environment, but there is still a maximum affect each one of us has; there are some things you just can’t control.

The problem I have is that there is so much information that you have already forgotten much of it by the end of the book. Luckly, since he’s a brain guy, he knows this, and provides nice synopses at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book. I may not pick up the book to read all over, but I’ll definitely read the snippets again.

Here’s a few of tips I liked best:

  • The brain seeks safety above all
  • What is obvious to you is obvious to you
  • Babies are born with their own temperament
  • Empathy makes good friends
  • Labeling emotions calms big feelings
  • Discipline + warm heart = moral kid
  • Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

The best part, it’s a item done off the to do list. Now, can we get the call?

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One response

  1. We are fans of signing, and here’s why:

    Our oldest was a very late talker. We now know this is because he didn’t go to any sort of group daycare. We only taught him a few signs at first, but once he got the hang of it, his communication with us improved dramatically, and he took to new signs faster. Of course, now he’s 8 and won’t shut up if his life depended on it. (Be careful what you wish for.) We started the signs around 18 months of age, and we now know this is late to do so. Somewhere we have the book, “Signing with Your Baby”, that was recommended to us back then. If we can find it, we’d be happy to let you borrow it. If not, I still recommend it, and the library may have it.

    Since then, we’ve had two more children that HAVE been at a very good daycare since 8 weeks old. This is a center that follows best practices in early childhood education. They start using signs when very young toddlers start on table food (around 8 months old). Our youngest two children could sign many things to us quickly, and the words came much faster. Once they could say whatever they wanted to say, they quit using the signs. The 8-year old, however, is still fascinated by sign language.

    Reading about the whole temperment thing is also interesting. We’ve done a temperment evaluation for our oldest.

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