The Bottom Line for Baby, Tina Payne Bryson


This week’s conversation is with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., the trusted, down-to-earth parenting expert many of us have grown to trust over the years due to her pragmatic, research-based approach and advice.

Tina has researched and written the reference book every new parent needs to combat the anxiety from competing advice from family and friends. In The Bottom Line for Baby, Tina boils down the actual scientific research in short, 2-4 page spreads. She covers many topics including vaccines, co-sleeping, germs, and circumcision. Sometimes the science is clear and sometimes it isn’t, but this book arms you with the data you need to know whether your gut instinct about your own child is the direction you should go. She also arms you with the science to defend allowing your child to play in the dirt when you have well-meaning relatives who think you’re letting your kid get too dirty.

The Bottom Line for Baby is the book every new parent needs during this era of information overload for parents. It’ll be my go-to new baby gift for many years to come.

Big Ideas

  • An exhausted parent can flip to that subject and within just a few minutes, have the latest science on that topic and then be given a bottom line about what to do.
  • I’ll just give you a sneak preview, it’s really good for kids to be exposed to germs.
  • So we should just love each other and understand that people have different webs for the decisions they make.
  • I do want parents to say, “You know what, this isn’t working for my family, but it’s allowing me to be a better parent in another way.” And to have that more positive self talk around, or that framework around the decisions we make.


tina payne bryson, sunshine parenting

Audrey: This is just so necessary right now because I think like you said, especially when you’re a new parent, you just want to do things right. And right now what’s right is so confusing. So to be able to have this reference book, it is going to be my go-to baby gift from now on. I wish I had had it too.

Audrey: You’ve summarized instead of us having to go out and find all the science, which is so, so great.

Audrey: I heard you talk about it in another setting and you were saying about also just kind of going with your gut.

sunshine parenting, tina payne bryson

Tina: Just how much we are so hard on ourselves and how we can be so hard on other people, especially around these super controversial topics like vaccination, sleep training, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, you know, those are all such hot button issues for people.

Tina: I hope this is how it’s experienced, is that parents will walk away with the idea that knowledge is power. ‘I am now informed on the latest science on this topic and now Tina has just empowered me to trust my baby and to trust my instincts and to do what’s right for our family, regardless of what everybody else says.’

Tina: Every decision we make is not done in a vacuum. The decisions we make are part of a web.

sunshine parenting, tina payne bryson

Tina: And there are many, many ways to be a great parent. And if that’s not something that works for you and your baby and your family, you can let that go and ignore people who criticize you.

Audrey: So just to be nicer to yourself and it’s okay.

Audrey: And you can also pivot. Do you know what I mean? If something isn’t working, like if you’re trying one way because your neighbor or somebody said, ‘this is the way you have to do it’, and then it doesn’t work for you. There’s no reason you can’t say, ‘well, you know what? I tried that, and it’s not right for me.’

Tina: I think you get perspective, as you have more kids, as you’re around more kids that there really are very few, have too’s.

Tina: So giving in and changing your mind and holding the boundary are three different things. And the first one’s not so good, the other two are perfectly acceptable. I want my kids to change their minds about things. I want them to be open when they have new information. So I want to model that too.

Watch a Video of Audrey & Tina’s Conversation

Listen to Audrey & Tina’s Previous Conversations

Ep: 136: Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. on Showing Up for our Kids During COVID-19

Ep. 121: The Power of Showing Up with Dr. Tina Payne Bryson

Ep. 95: Raising a Yes Brain Child with Tina Payne Bryson

More Resources about The Bottom Line for Baby


Tina Payne Bryson, PH.D.

The Bottom Line for Baby

Tina’s Instagram

Publisher’s Weekly Review

Tina’s short-run podcast series with Dr. Phil Boucher (pediatrician)

Dr. Phil Boucher (pediatrician)

Tina’s video blogs, with content to support parents through the pandemic

Gold Arrow Teacher Academy

About the Author: Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice in Southern California. She is the co-author (with Daniel J. Siegel) of two New York Times best sellers, The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline, as well as The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up. Dr. Bryson keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world, and she frequently consults with schools, businesses, and other organizations. An LCSW, Dr. Bryson is a graduate of Baylor University with a Ph.D. from USC. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.

One Simple Thing

Consider doing a September Reset.

Take some time to prioritize things you want to do differently.

My Favorite

This week I’m sharing a favorite that I’ve shared before. This pandemic has left many of us with a lot less time to listen to podcast. Laura Vanderkam’s Before Breakfast, Laura VanderkamBefore Breakfast Podcast is a quick daily podcast with helpful tips for productivity.

Before Breakfast Podcast: Tips from Happy Campers Book!

I’m a big fan of Laura Vanderkam’s other books and advice, as well. You can listen to our chat about her excellent book, Off the Clock, here:
Ep. 56: Off the Clock with Laura Vanderkam