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Bright From the Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind from Birth to Age 3
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Bright From the Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind from Birth to Age 3

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  730 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
A cutting-edge handbook for parents, from a pioneer in infant brain development, that bridges the gap between the most current neuroscience and practical parenting techniques

Dr. Jill Stamm's daughter was born almost four months premature, and doctors insisted she would never walk or talk. Now, thirty-two years later, her daughter is living proof that nearly every baby's

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 2nd 2007 by Gotham (first published 2007)
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May 11, 2011 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: mom-helps
Due to the high ratings on Amazon, I think I wanted to not like this book. Well, four stars proves I lost that battle. I usually don't understand anything that is "science backed" but somehow Stamm explains the science of the brain so clearly I didn't want to skim over any of it. I read the first 100 pages like they didn't really matter (in about 30 minutes). But once I returned to the book (the very next day) I decided to start at page 1 and actually read through the whole thing. I'm really gla ...more
Alexis Mascitti
Mar 18, 2014 Alexis Mascitti rated it it was amazing
As a pediatrician, I'm always on the look out for useful, practical guide books for motivated parents. This book makes neuroscientific and developmental concepts practical, which is sadly a rarity in the genre. In reading some of the other reviewers opinions, I noticed the frequency of "But I already knew this stuff!" and "I would do that anyway!" Well, yes, and that's a good thing - hopefully, what this book does is teach you the why for all those activities that seem to come so naturally, so t ...more
Jan 13, 2009 Kathy rated it it was amazing
This book I picked up soon after I gave birth to my daughter. It has since become my 'parenting bible'.

It gave me such an appreciation for the enormity and extreme inherent intelligence baby earthlings are born with.

The book provides practical examples of how to's, gives first hand experiences of raising physically and mentally challenged children and in turn outlines how these findings are as applicable to children blessed with no such disabilities.

A fascinating read that will heighten your res
Aug 07, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
Jill Stamm's _Bright from the Start_ is excellent in so many unexpected ways. It operates in the same vein as John Medina's _Brain Rules for Baby_ -- synthesizing vast quantities of scientific research into simple precepts and offering suggestions for how parents can use that information to help their children's development. However, Stamm does not cover the same ground as Medina. They have chosen slightly different areas to emphasize, they offer significantly different kinds of help to parents, ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Leah rated it liked it
I don't really know if I learned anything new, but this book did a good job reinforcing some basic parenting skills from a scientific perspective.

Likes: Easy to understand. While the science is there, it's not too hard (or boring) to follow.
- I really liked the personal anecdotes about her own daughters. It's nice to hear from the mom and researcher.
- The suggestions she has for simple activities to work on you kid's attention, bond and communication ( ABC's).
- She does a nice job of not making
Feb 12, 2012 Esmeralda rated it liked it
What makes this book different from other first year parenting books? Rather than list milestones, it provides information on how to facilitate growth at each stage rather than benchmark. Many of the suggestions are done by parents naturally. However, I didn't realize that I could step up purposeful play at 18 months. There are the regular slew of "studies" some suspect, others believable. It is a book that does ask some good questions I need to follow up upon. The author is highly influenced by ...more
The best thing about this book is that the author dispels myths and doesn't propagate the hype for a lot of consumer products. She uses scientific evidence to discuss why certain things encourage the brain to develop. Most of her suggestions are common sense, but I like someone spelling it out because not everything comes naturally to me. This book may also reassure parents that they're already (or can simply start) encouraging their child's development.
Jun 12, 2009 kathryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baby
As a teacher and a mom-to-be, I think this book is right on with its tone about child development. The writer had both a "normal" daughter and one with cerebral palsey, so she was particularly sensitive to developmental milestones, encouraging parents to focus on what they can do rather what the child "should" be doing. I highly recommend this one.
Feb 26, 2010 Colleen rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book, the science of infant to preschooler learning. So far it's confirming things I've sensed, such as why TV is detrimental to a developing mind, and how responding to a crying baby is good, but there is so much more. It's got a lot about the consequences in later life behavior due to early life experiences.
Mahi Wasfy
Aug 29, 2016 Mahi Wasfy rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to parents and professionals in the field of early childhood education. The evidence based information and the practical suggestions (to enhance cognitive development in young children) makes this book a unique one!
Oct 16, 2013 Diana rated it really liked it
a little boring but the information in it was great and researched-based. buyer beware, this will convince of you no screen time for your little one!
Indrani Sen
Feb 11, 2015 Indrani Sen rated it liked it
Shelves: gave-up
I started reading it soon after my niece was born. I haven't got around finishing it. I liked what I read. I may pick it up later but unlikely to go through the whole book.
Dec 27, 2015 Jacquie rated it really liked it
This is a simpler version of Superbaby.
Nov 07, 2016 Megan rated it really liked it
This was in no way revolutionary for me because I knew most of it already. Still, there are at least two things I'm changing in the way I'm dealing/thinking with my son because of this book, and I think that's about all I can ask for out of a book like this.
Oct 13, 2016 minhhai rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english, non-fictions
In short, this is the best book on nurturing infants/toddlers I have read so far: clear, focused, scientifically sound and practical.

The book focuses on how to interact with infants/toddlers from birth to 3 years old to help them develop healthy brains and lay down foundations for later developments (in school, etc), based on research on human brains. The authors advocate early support focusing on 3 main objectives: Attention (help the kids to concentrate deeply), Bonding (emotional interaction
Feb 18, 2016 Ngaire rated it liked it
Shelves: babies
Probably I shouldn't have read this right after reading Developing Young Minds and The Scientist in the Crib because it had a lot of similar material. Still worth a read though, and I really appreciated Stamm's willingness to talk about her experiences raising a special needs child and how this forced her to think outside the box in terms of what would stimulate her daughter and help her learn basic concepts.

Stamm emphasizes three core areas of development that children need in order to thrive
Jan 01, 2010 Carlie rated it liked it
This was a good book but one of a certain category that both annoy me and pat my proverbial back. The author's big tips for developing a bright mind in your child are (at least to me) quite common sense....nothing very cutting edge or astounding. It all boils down to three points: talk to and with your baby, bond deeply with your baby and give them lots of loving attention laden affection. That's it. And although on the one hand, nothing the author said or suggested or cared deeply about astonis ...more
I liked this book because it pretty much just reaffirmed everything I've already been doing. :O) Like some other reviewers have said, there's nothing in here that's new or revolutionary. The author presents a science-backed argument that many other experts have been touting for years now, so while I liked it, it wasn't a "must read" for me.

The book can be a bit heavy on the science at times, and I found myself skimming over those parts because, A) I already know most of the science, and, B) I wa
Martin Korenjak
Dec 14, 2016 Martin Korenjak rated it it was amazing
Very useful and practic.
May 29, 2009 Alice-Anne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone..esp parents
Recommended to Alice-Anne by: Natalie
I think any book about the brain and how it develops is so fascinating and this is one of them. I love being constantly amazed by how amazing are minds and bodies are.

The author, who studies the brain and has two daughters of her own (one born with cerebral palsy and one born normally), has a unique perspective about how to take what is known in the neuroscience field and shows how to apply it in everyday life. A lot of the "this is what you should to do as a parent to enhance a child's brain de
Oct 09, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it
This was an interesting and worthwhile read. I love how the author explained the science behind infant/early child brain development, and it was done in an easy to digest and understand manner. Her theory is a simple one to follow of A, B, C: Attention, Bonding and Communication. Jill Stamm also gives examples for each that are easy for anyone to follow, and explains how they help in development at multiple stages of age/growth. She describes how baby's primary caregiver is the first and best to ...more
Oct 27, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
This is a must-read for ANYONE who has contact with the birth-to-3 yr old group. It is fabulous!
One of the nicest things about this book is that Dr. Stamm speaks to the reader in such a respectful voice. She'll say things like, mothers often feel such and such and here's why you feel that way--here is the science backing up your gut feeling. She makes you feel like a wonderful parent (and don't we all try to be wonderful parents?) while at the same time showing you how to be even better.
One o
Meg Hammond
Nov 15, 2015 Meg Hammond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of info plainly explained

I was surprised by how good this book was. It's all stuff that's been said in psych 101 classes for the last 15 years but I needed a refresher. I like that Stamm uses actual scientific findings, cites articles, breaks down the pertinent pieces, and them translates them to real world applications that parents can implement. Because she takes then time to explain the science, parents are left with only the book or activity she recommends; rather, they can extrapolate
Jun 06, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
Very interesting and helpful book. It gives concrete actions/games a parent can do to assist a child in achieving the next steps in mental development literally from birth. Not only is this a great aid for parents/care givers that want to have educational play time, but would be an amazing aid to caregivers of developmentally challenged children. At the end of each chapter the author provides list of games that support the area of development she was discussing; she breaks down the games into cl ...more
Caroline Thompson
Dec 03, 2013 Caroline Thompson rated it liked it
This wasn't as well written as Brain Rules for Baby, but I do like some of the activities she suggests and that she gives reasoning behind them. I wish the activities were all together by age group at the end of the book. The only downside to the kindle version is being able to easily find them. Maybe I'm just not that adept at using all my kindle features though...

I got annoyed with her sections about her daughters and didn't think she explained the neuroscience all that well. John Medina does
May 24, 2012 Corinne rated it it was amazing
An absolutely essential book for all parents. I picked this up because I wanted to learn more about why my pre-teen students are coming to me lacking basic skills. Stamm does a great job explaining the brain's development. I was engaged and constantly babbling facts off to my partner (who started getting nervous about the baby talk!). If I do have children in the future I will definitely re-read this book, highlight, circle, and cover it in post its. It doesn't give you a strict day to day guide ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Allison rated it really liked it
Shelves: non
Stamm has a developmentally disabled daughter whose birth inspired her to start researching neurological development of infants. The book was written so that anyone can read it, and it was really interesting to see how babies’ minds work and develop, as well as what parents can do to help. This book exposed the myth of having kids listen to classical music and watch Baby Einstein-type shows, and encourages attention, touch, communication, and simple activities you can make and do around the hous ...more
Jun 04, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: educators, parents, childcare providers
This book did a great job discussing the science aspect of learning and brain development on the lay level. Author Jill Stamm did a great job aggregating the results of many scientific studies and putting together a list of activities you, as the parent or caregiver can do to help foster this development. I only wish I'd come across this book a few years ago! That being said though, the author emphasized over and over that its never too late to start your child on a healthy developmental path - ...more
Aug 03, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
This book was given to me by Collin's mom before Keaton was born. She was a S&L teacher for years and years and has alot of knowledge about working with special needs children so I really respect her opinion on things like this. I love this book and would recommend it for any mom, especially first time moms. It sits on my dresser and every so often I open it up and to see what new "activities" we could be working on with Keaton.
Dec 05, 2012 Ryan added it
I was only going to skim this book because I had already read "Brain Rules for Baby" which covers much the same ground. But I wound up reading the whole thing in part because it offers specific games and activities with which to engage with your child and also because it makes a connection between neuroscience and the Montessori education approach which was relevant for Eve. Recommended for those who want to delve into this topic.
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