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Zero to Five

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Zero to Five

70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science (and What I’ve Learned So Far)


"The coolest—and easiest—book for new parents" (Parents magazine)

You could listen to dozens of books on brain development, parenting styles, and positive discipline. You could spend hours searching online for baby/toddler/preschooler sleep, feeding kids, screen time, and “my kid is hitting me.”

Or you could flip open Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science.

Friendly and practical, Zero to Five draws on tried-and-true research from experts, covering an impressive range of the topics most important to parents today.

With the premise that science isn’t perfect, but it’s the best guide we’ve got, Zero to Five draws on scientific research and studies from experts such as Dimitri Christakis (screen time), Diana Baumrind (parenting styles), Adele Diamond (neuroscience and executive function), Carol Dweck (growth mindset), Alison Gopnik (child psychology), John Gottman (marriage and conflict resolution), Megan McClelland (executive function), Patricia Kuhl (language acquisition and brain development), Ellyn Satter (feeding children), Dan Siegel (emotions), Paul Torrance (creative thinking), Grover Whitehurst (literacy and reading comprehension), and more.

Then Cutchlow makes it all readable, for that 2-minute break you’ve got during the day.

This parenting book is for you
…if you like to research all the options so you can find the best (same here)
…if you are feeling scared, anxious, or unsure of yourself as a parent (who isn’t?)
…if you have never spent more than a few minutes around a newborn before (I hadn’t)
…if you like the idea of using science as a filter for the crazy amount of parenting advice out there
…if you want practical, how-to ideas for applying the research -- not just what to do, but ideas for how to do it or how to say it
…if you want to do things differently than your parents did, even though you love them
…if you want word-for-word examples for dealing with specific discipline scenarios (hitting, biting, not sharing, talking back, refusing requests, not listening, and more)
…if you are wondering how to handle television and screen time
…if you are interested in positive discipline or positive parenting
...if you are a dad (or you are with a partner) who probably wouldn't read parenting books
…if you are a grandparent wanting to be up with the latest knowledge about raising kids
...if you are studying for your CDA, or working in early childhood education, and want a reference
...if you work with families and want to recommend or provide evidence-based resources to them
…if you want to feel like you’re enjoying parenting, not just surviving it

Who is using Zero to Five?
Besides, of course, parents, I've heard from:
Pediatricians. Many keep their copy in the exam room. Some private-practice pediatricians give a copy of Zero to Five to all new parents.
Parent educators. "The best I've seen in a long time." "My go-to source."
Parenting support groups. Seattle’s largest network,, uses Zero to Five as part of the weekly curriculum, in a "brain development break."
Child-care providers.
Agencies that train child-care providers. One agency created a training based on Zero to Five.
Home visitors.
Family therapists and psychologists. "Your book is a big part of my practice." "I recommend it all the time."
Childbirth-class teachers. Early-learning advocates. Graduate students in child development.

Zero to Five is your quick and easy guide to the best practices in parenting.

Learn more at

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“Bound to become a modern-day parenting classic”


“The coolest–and easiest–book for new parents.”

Parents Magazine



Mini manifesto: Let’s spend more time on the floor with our kids. Let’s trade strollers for the newborn carriers, and car trips for walks. Let’s spend more time looking into each other’s eyes and less time staring into our screens.
Give positive feedback. Use more ‘Good’ and ‘Right’ than ‘Don’t,’ ‘Stop,’ and ‘Bad.’
Praise effort, strategies, or actions -- not talent.

About the author

Tracy Cutchlow is a journalist and the editor of the bestselling books Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby. Her writing on parenting has appeared in publications from the Huffington Post to the Washington Post. She lives in Seattle with her husband and daughter. Find bonus parenting tips at


“An important new voice in positive parenting.”

Dr. Jane Nelsen, author and co-author of Positive Discipline Parenting Tools

“True to the science.”

Alice Callahan, PhD, The Science of Mom

“Smart, joyful, encouraging, helpful. A great gift or go-to for any new parent.”

KJ Dell’Antonia, former editor of the New York Times Motherlode blog and author of How to Be a Happier Parent

“This is a perfect gift for a new parent, as it synthesizes the best information simply and provides encouragement.”

Library Journal

“Regularly referring to research that supports her suggestions, Cutchlow covers topics that range from preparation for the baby’s arrival through discipline and includes contemporary concerns, such as screen time and meditation. Current understandings of brain development and executive function are recurring themes. In her conclusion, Cutchlow advances the reassuring idea that, even when parents make mistakes, “one bad day isn’t going to define your child—or you—forever.”

Publishers Weekly

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