Your Baby's Brain: How to Use Science to Raise a Smart, Successful Child—Tips for Parents to Shape Young Minds (Paperback)
Winner of the 2019 National Parenting Product Award • Ranked #1 by BookAuthority for 2019 Best New Parenting Books
"This will give your child the greatest opportunity to reach her fullest potential, both emotionally and intellectually.”
—Goldie Hawn, Academy Award and Golden Globe–winning actress, and founder of the Hawn foundation
"A must-read for all parents.”
—Arianna Huffington, founder & CEO of Thrive Global and founder of The Huffington Post
Your child’s DNA is not destiny; you are at the helm, guiding their course. With this book, you can learn how to:
- Harness your power as a parent
- Use science to guide and nurture your child so they can achieve all of their dreams
- Shape your child's brain in early years and set a healthy foundation that will enrich the rest of their lives
- Avoid parenting pitfalls that will set your child's intellectual and social development back by years
The truth is, nature and nurture are in a delicate dance—if one goes too fast, the other one falls. Science tells us that early childhood experiences have the capacity to structure and alter the brain. That means you didn’t just supply your child’s DNA—you’re still shaping it. And it’s only by wielding this power that your child will activate their full potential. You are truly a gene therapist; manipulating and guiding your child’s genetic makeup based on the experiences you create for them.
Contrary to what modern parenting trends have told us, parenting is much simpler than we dared to imagine. Great parenting comes down to one mission: to be prepped and present for the windows of your child’s development so that you can take full advantage of these formative periods and help your child become a smart, successful, self-sufficient adult. It doesn’t require formal training or a fancy degree—all it takes is getting involved. Once parents learn how to flip the right gene “switches,” they can expand the limits of their child’s potential and lay the emotional and intellectual groundwork that allows them to seize opportunities for success fearlessly, naturally, and enthusiastically.
With a PhD. in education and a second in psychology, and forty years of experience as an educator, Dr. Gross combines an understanding of childhood development with practical and realistic tools to teach parents how to best take advantage of their child’s developmental windows. Your Baby's Brain translates the results from scientific studies about expanding consciousness and performance into day-to-day interaction between parents and children.
About the Author
Gail Gross, PhD, EdD, Med, is a nationally recognized family, child development, and human behavior expert, author, and lecturer who is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior, and development issues. Dr. Gross has contributed to broadcast, print, and online media including her TV talk show, Let’s Talk with Dr. Gail Gross on PBS, the Today Show, The Doctors, the New York Times, and more. She has earned accolades from distinguished leaders such as the Dalai Lama, who presented her with the first Spirit of Freedom award in 1998, and Houston Women’s Magazine named her One of Houston’s Most Influential Women of 2016. She resides in Houston, Texas.
“Give your child the greatest opportunity to reach her fullest potential, both emotionally and intellectually. In How To Build Your Baby’s Brain, Dr. Gross gives new meaning to every cuddle, every hug, every touch, with explanations of how they effect a baby’s brain development. This is must reading for parents and grandparents and settles the old argument of nature vs. nurture with enough neuroscience to explain the gene factor and helpful advice for the nurturing.”
—Pat Mitchell, media executive, producer, curator of TEDWomen
“‘Every touch, sight, smell, and interaction . . . impacts the wiring of your child’s brain.’ In the face of such a formidable statement, how very lucky we are to have Gail’s beautiful, wise, important book to guide us toward being the best that we can be for our children. Ultimately, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain is not only about helping kids grow, it is about building a better world. As always, Gail builds her case and teaches us with rigor, intelligence, and above all, her trademark compassion.”
—Mariska Hargitay, Golden Globe and Emmy Award–winning actress
“In How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, Dr. Gail Gross tells us about the neuroscience of early childhood development, teaching parents not only the stages of brain growth, but also how they can give their children the greatest opportunity to reach their full potential, both emotionally and intellectually. A must-read for all parents.”
—Arianna Huffington, founder & CEO of Thrive Global and founder of The Huffington Post
“Though your genes are a blueprint, they’re only a two-dimensional look at what will be a three-dimensional child. And now we know that the old argument between the influence of nature versus nurture has been settled, pointing to a 50/50 split of equal impact. Though nature supplies your genes, it is the experiences your child has that determine which genes are expressed and which are suppressed. In a sense, your child’s brain develops in reaction to the stimulation it receives, and every cuddle, every hug, every touch, will affect her brain development. As Dr. David Rice stated, ‘biology is not destiny.’ How to Build Your Baby’s Brain is about the neuroscience of early childhood development, teaching parents not only the stages of brain growth, but also how to positively affect them. This will give your child the greatest opportunity to reach her fullest potential, both emotionally and intellectually.”
—Goldie Hawn, Academy Award and Golden Globe–winning actress, and founder of the Hawn foundation
“Dr. Gross teaches you how your baby’s growing brain is a work in progress, and how you can be part in helping your child attain their fullest potential. The science is there. Make this your manual for giving your child or grandchild the greatest gift you can offer them, the gift of higher intelligence.”
—Alberto Villoldo, PhD, bestselling author of One Spirit Medicine
“A ‘loving, nurturing, present parent’ is the most important element in the development of a child’s brain, says Dr. Gail Gross. A must-read for all new parents.”
—Marlene Malek, vice chairman of Friends of Cancer Research
“We all want our children to reach their maximum potential. But we are not all aware that we already possess the power to do so. With her signature brilliance and heart, Dr. Gail Gross proves in relatable terms how YOU can shape your child’s brain—and future.”
—Lyn Davis Lear, MFT, PhD, psychologist, film producer, Sundance Board of Trustee, social and political activist and philanthropist
“Dr. Gail Gross has written another outstanding book, How to Build your Baby’s Brain. When you find out you are having your first child, you experience both happiness and fright. The frightening part is that you have the responsibility of raising this child. You as a parent have that power. You build your child’s brain by stimulation—cuddling, reading, singing, etc. Bond and nurture your child; your time with them is powerful. Take control and mold this baby into a healthy, happy child who is ready to take on the world. How to Build Your Baby’s Brain will point out the tools you need to do this. Know in your hear that you have these tools.”
—C. R. “Bob” Bell, Vice Admiral (retired) United States Navy
“Gail Gross is a genius in taking complex issues and making them easy to understand. Every young couple—as well as grandparents—should read How to Build Your Baby’s Brain. It is powerful in teaching us how to be a major influence on our child’s brain development.”
—Michael B. Yanney, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Burlington Capital
“Even the most loving and well-meaning parents can inadvertently make mistakes because they don’t understand how a child’s brain grows and develops in those formative first years. In this pioneering book, child development and parenting expert Dr. Gail M. Gross explains steps you can take to boost your child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. This practical approach to nurturing young minds is a must-read for every new parent.”
—Lynda Resnick, American entrepreneur and businesswoman, owner of The Wonderful Company
“We all want the children in our lives to grow into happy, successful adults. In her new book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, Gail offers clinically proven guidance and actionable advice for boosting your child’s positive mental and physical trajectory.”
—Renee Parsons, businesswoman and philanthropist, founder of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
“Dr. Gail Gross insightfully and persuasively affirms parents’ ability to affect the mental, emotional and psychological identify of their children: they become who they are largely through the experiences we share with them. This is a welcome and timely reminder of the gravity and importance of our children’s formative years: a must-read for all present and prospective parents.
Rich, stimulating experience and loving, compassionate relationships are the foundation to becoming all you can be. With important new data and incisive wisdom, Dr. Gail Gross is our guide to being a fulfilled parent of a child who is eager to learn and filled with wonder about the world and their place in it.
In these days when we connect to each other through devices and data, Dr. Gail Gross reminds us of the vital importance of emotional bonding, physical connection, and quality time in raising a child that is healthy and happy in body, mind, and spirt. There is much compassionate wisdom in these pages, and I encourage you to experience it.”
—Tara Guber, president and founder of Yoga Ed
“How to Build Your Baby’s Brain is a how-to guide on best practices for parents to ensure a baby’s optimal brain health. An engrossing read.”
—Michelle King Robson, founder of EmpowHER, and CEO of Safeface cosmetics and founder of HER Inc.
“Dr. Gail Gross has written a book with a keen observation that escapes many mothers but is an absolute. Bonding cannot be done by proxy; Mom has only one chance . . . the key to early childhood development is being there.”
—Ambassador Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn
“In 1980, my husband and I started our family of four children, and began the life-long journey of parenting. For me, an integral part of being a mother was being our children’s first teacher. Every day was a day to explore together the world around us. I read the latest, most cutting-edge books on parenting and child development but found nothing to support or explain what I was observing in our children’s development. How to Build Your Baby’s Brain was exactly the book I was looking for and yearned to read. I can personally attest to the tremendous benefits you will find in your own child’s growth and future development—even through their adulthood—by applying the principles and techniques found in Dr. Gail Gross’s book. What I was learning by trial-and-error and without understanding why some things worked and others didn’t, you will discover in this book. I highly recommend that every parent, teacher, and grandparent read this brilliant work and utilize what you will learn to maximize the potential of the little ones you love and cherish. You will find that you can and will profoundly contribute to their bright future. You will be building your baby’s brain!”
—Renée Brinkerhoff, founder and driver, Valkyrie Racing and Valkyrie Gives
“Knowing Dr. Gail Gross as well as I do, knowing how passionate she is about her profession and reaching out to help people, knowing the tremendous amount of love she has in her heart, and not to say the least about her exceptional intelligence, I strongly urge every parent and parent-to-be of a newborn to read every word she has written in How to Build Your Baby’s Brain. It can have a very positive impact on your child’s future.”
—Ronald M. Simon, Founder of RSI Home Products, RSI communities, and The Simon Foundation for Education and Housing
“Dr. Gross has an innate ability to take highly complex subjects, in this case raising our children, and break them down to their most accessible roots. Her writing will
both inform and inspire you to take a deeper look into the relationship between parent and child.
What I find particularly remarkable about her writing is how well she blends the science with compassion, a sweet spot that is rare to find in highly personal topics such as this. I wish I had this book when I was raising my kids, but I will be sure to pass it along the day they have kids of their own.”
—Sheryl Lowe, founder & CEO of Sheryl Lowe Jewelry
“Once again, Dr. Gail Gross has provided us with invaluable information that will enhance and improve lives. Every parent should read this scientific, yet approachable book about how our children will thrive when we learn how their brains develop and respond. As in her past writings, Dr. Gross communicates what can be a highly complicated subject, in understandable and loving terms.”
—Ann Rubenstein Tisch, founder and president of The Young Women’s Network, and founder of seventeen schools around the country
“The importance of early childhood experiences in the development of an individual has been well established. In our busy world, we often look outward towards the latest new gadget or technological advancement to help in our child’s growth. Dr. Gross’s book is a welcome invitation back into the home, providing parents a practical outline to reengage with their child and foster emotional and social development. How To Build Your Baby’s Brain is a great book for the new and seasoned parent alike.”
—Dr. Jeff Meyrowitz, MD, pediatrician
“How to Build Your Baby’s Brain is bursting with the key insights for parents to ensure they give their child the best start possible in life, and it gives readers a wealth of practical information they can start applying today in the vital quest to optimize their child’s future.
Dr. Gail Gross, the author of this authoritative book, is a human behavior expert and family and child development specialist. She serves as a discerning and compassionate guide on the journey to understanding the developing brain by sharing insights from her own commitment to parenting and knowledge gained throughout her career.
With patience and wisdom, Dr. Gross helps parents unlock the importance of genetics, the impact of environment, and the key role of bonding in triggering the blossoming of their child’s brain. She encourages parents to ‘optimize the window
of opportunity’ so their children can develop the emotional skills that contribute to social and intellectual growth. And she cheers readers on so they can be perfectly positioned to make the difference in their children’s lives that only they can make.
I am honored to call Dr. Gross my friend, and grateful to have her in my life. She understands the intricacy of our human existence and the scientific principles that can generate the results we seek. This book is a magnificent testimony to her devotion and service to others, and a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if they could be doing more to support their child’s developing brain.”
—Melani Walton, cofounder of the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation
“We’re obsessed with the latest gadgets to make us better. Turns out the most advanced gadget is still the human brain. Dr. Gail Gross just delivered to us the manual.”
—Deborah Duncan, senior producer/host of Great Day Houston, KHOU-TV CBS
“How to Build Your Baby’s Brain is a beautifully written must-read for parents interested in truly understanding their responsibility and power in shaping their children’s developing brains.”
—Glenda Greenwald, founder and president of the Aspen Brain Institute
“Gail’s book has given Extraordinary Clarity of the Miracle of Life. Each page gives the Wisdom and understanding of how early nurturing is essential to life’s long growth. I’m in total awe of this book. I found it to be so insightful. And on every page, I felt Gail’s heart and passion. How to Build Your Baby’s Brain takes an in-depth look at the turmoil of our world today. And, it should be a part of our education, as parenting is the most important job we will ever have. I’m honored to be included in this extraordinary journey.”
—Tova Borgnine, American-Norwegian businesswoman, founder of Beauty By Tova
“Dr. Gail Gross is a dynamo! How to Build Your Baby’s Brain is a gateway to the deepest understanding of your child’s intelligence and well-being. It helps you to teach your children the right things at the right time. Dr. Gross integrates the intellectual, the spiritual, and the psyche into a harmonious whole.
This book will benefit everyone. It lives up to its title and I intend to share it with all of my friends and their children. I could go on and on but I hope everyone will just take my advice and read it!”
—Lauren King, interior designer and wife of Richard King, the director of King World Productions
“What if all the pre-pre-K schooling, the extra tutors, the special education toys, the latest electronic teaching machines, and best children television programming aren’t delivering what parents are promised? Or what they want? Worse, what if all the investment of that time and turns out to be counter-productive? Dr. Gail Gross, in her latest book, argues about a more effective and more productive way for parents to begin their parenting relationship. Her latest effort yields solid research-based recommendations for parents who truly are seeking the best way to bring up their children . . . as well as getting better results than promised by today’s trend to earlier and more extensive educational immersion. As a parent of two grown boys, I wish Dr. Gross’s book had been available many years ago when we had our first child, but for today’s parents just starting out, it offers a welcomed and revealing commentary on some of the best documented child rearing techniques.”
—Lloyd M. Bentsen III, president, Bentsen Financial Corp.