Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science

Pear Press
1 rating

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

I'm Tracy Cutchlow, a mom, a recovering perfectionist, and an award-winning journalist. This is the book I wanted as a new parent: the best information, in the least time. 

Zero to Five is now an international bestseller. I hope you like it, too.

NOTE: This is a PDF with full-page color photos. Please read on a laptop or tablet.

Like a chat over tea with your best friend who researches everything

The truth? I was scared. In my pre-baby life, I was extremely competent. High-profile projects that win awards. 500-mile bike rides. Paying off my mortgage early. You throw it at me and I can do it. 

Having a baby threw me for a serious loop, from the very first moment. That's when my lovely notion of a natural birth in a tub of water with a gentle but fierce midwife gave way to a "baby's heart can't handle the contractions" C-section in the hospital. 

At each stage since then -- infant, toddler, preschooler, kindergartner -- major things have thrown me for a loop. I've sought and found the answers I needed. The answers were out there, just so buried under a pile of crap. 

Well, you're not going to go through all that. Not if I can help it. I put it all here in one book for you.

The amount of parenting advice out there is overwhelming. You know because you’ve read it all. Same here. I’ll point you in the right directions. There are specific things -- backed by research -- that make being a parent easier, lighter, less unintentionally harming, more connected. These don’t always come naturally to us because of the way we were raised and the culture we live in.

But when they're laid out in a friendly way, with examples, we can do them. I won’t leave you hanging with “Sign language is great for babies; here are a few signs.” I say “Here’s how researchers teach babies sign language, and here’s my experience with it.” I won’t say “Stay calm and your child will be more calm” but “Here’s the best three-part framework I’ve found for staying calm.” 

You want to give your child the best possible start. I know how that feels. I've got your back.

Zero to Five covers what you care about

  • baby sleep / toddler sleep / preschooler sleep: getting more of it
  • how to handle hitting, biting, not sharing, defiance, not listening, and other tough times in a way that doesn't shame or escalate
  • how much screen time is too much
  • getting healthy food into children without bribes and rewards
  • what we need to know about neuroscience and executive function
  • fostering a growth mindset, creativity, and resilience
  • making friends and keeping our relationships strong
  • how to handle big emotions
  • ways to apply that research in actual situations, not made-up scenarios that don't reflect the messiness of real life.
  • ...and much, much more.

These are the things I wanted to know. I'd edited the bestselling brain-development books Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby, but sitting there in the moment with my daughter, I had questions. Mainly: 

"How, exactly?"

So, because I couldn't add "recovering" to the front of my "perfectionist" at the time, I set to work. I gathered up findings from Alison Gopnik, Adele Diamond, Carol Dweck, Dan Siegel, Diana Baumrind, Jane Nelsen, John Gottman, Sandy Blackard, Patricia Kuhl, and other names you might know.

I made this book for me, really, but also for you. It's practical. It's got bite-sized text you'll actually have time to read. With full-page photographs and bold colors, it doesn't feel like homework. 

Cool + easy. 

What parents say

"Brilliant, practical resource that bolsters my parenting confidence." -- Kate M.

"Tracy Cutchlow's writing style makes you feel like you're having a cup of coffee with the best friend you can imagine: someone who gets you, believes in you, and has a great sense of humor. She gives you so much hope and such practical tips, all in a format that's super easy to access and read." -- L.A. Garner

"This is easily the most worthwhile parenting book I have purchased thus far." -- David T.

What the pros say

"I have worked in childcare for 12 years and now have two children of my own. I have done the parent support groups, parent ed though a co-op preschool and taken many, many, trainings on child development. This book sums up all those classes/lectures/groups into one!!!" -- A.

Zero to Five is used by pediatricians. Parent educators. Parenting support groups. Childcare providers. Home visitors. Childbirth-class teachers. Graduate students in child development. Early-learning advocates. Family therapists and psychologists. They say: 

  • "The best I've seen in a long time." 
  • "My go-to source." 
  • "Your book is a big part of my practice." 
  • "I recommend it all the time."

If you've read this far, there's only one thing to do. 

Scroll to the top and click "I want this." 



Also available in hardcover and paperback


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Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science

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