A podcast for parents featuring tips from fellow parents and the latest insights from childhood experts. Addresses pregnant women and parents of kids 0-5 and hosted by mom and early childhood development expert, Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez. You got this, mom!

The Parenting Brief features host Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez talking to guests with different areas of childhood development expertise. Jessica is raising two little kids and has been in the field of Family and Child Development for over 20 years, working towards normalizing the challenging work of parenting and making it easier to ask the hard questions.

Jessica is also the Program Director for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) at the Arizona Department of Health Services. She oversees the Home Visiting Programs through Strong Families AZ, which connects families with skilled and caring home visitors.


We cover topics that new and seasoned parents face—like talking, sleeping, walking, and feeding—to help you make intentional decisions in your journey as a parent.

Picky Eater and Holiday Foods, Episode 22

Holidays mean making memories over meals. But for your toddler, holidays can mean strange foods they refuse to eat. Alan Brown, the Women, Infant’s and Children’s Training Manager in Arizona’s Department of Health Services Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity, shares tips on how to appease picky eaters and keep the holidays a joyful experience for all.

Traffic Safety Tips for Kids, Episode 21

When it’s the perfect outside play weather, it’s also the perfect time to review traffic safety. Jessica sits down with Nadji Kirby of Safe Kids Worldwide to pass on some safety tips for parents of young children, from holding hands in parking lots to boarding public transportation to safely cross the street.

All About Vaccinations, Episode 20

Roll up your sleeves as Jessica welcomes Dr. Andrea Houfek, a retired pediatrician and Board President of The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI), to discuss vaccines. From protecting against illness to allowing kids to attend school safely, learn about why vaccines are an important part of your child’s healthcare and the recommended vaccine schedule.

Well Child Visits, Episode 19

Did you know doctor’s appointments are just as important for healthy children as they are for sick kids? Pediatrician Dr. Jason Vargas stops by the podcast to explain what exactly doctors look for during these well child visits, how they can catch early health concerns and what parents should ask the pediatrician.

Buckle Up! Car Seat Safety, Episode 18

Worried about going down the wrong path when choosing a car seat? Jessica is joined by Yomaira Castillo, Injury Prevention Manager at Arizona Department of Health Services, to explain what to look for in a car seat and proper installation.

Health Disparities and Stillbirth, Episode 17

Health disparities put Black mothers at a higher risk of stillbirth and other pregnancy complications. Stephaney Moody, Health Equity Coordinator at Healthy Birth Day, stops by the podcast to discuss these inequities and helps explain some of the ways moms can advocate for themselves and their unborn children in the doctor’s office and throughout their pregnancy.

Your Postpartum Health, Episode 16

You focus a lot on your baby’s well-being, but what about your own mental and physical health? Heidi Christensen, the Maternal Health Innovation Program Manager at the Arizona Department of Health Services, explains why it’s important to take care of yourself too after giving birth, the warning signs to look out for and when to call the doctor

Back to School Hearing and Vision Screenings, Episode 15

As school starts again, you might hear about hearing and vision screenings for your preschoolers or kindergarteners. Why do they matter? Ashley Neves, Sensory Screening Program Manager at the Arizona Department of Health Services, breaks things down for Jessica.

Early Intervention for Autism, Episode 14

Knowing and catching signs of autism early on can help children get the care they need to develop properly. Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center chief science officer Christopher Smith, Ph.D. sits down with Jessica to explain the importance of early detection and what to watch for young children.

How to Count Your Baby’s Kicks, Episode 13

One, two, three, podcast! Jessica talks to Emily Price, executive director of Healthy Birth Day Inc., about the importance of counting your baby’s kicks while pregnant and how to make it a fun part of your pregnancy routine.

It’s Tummy Time!, Episode 12

Tummy time helps babies develop vital motor skills and build up their muscle strength. It’s also not very fun for a lot of babies. Jessica talks to Rebecca Parlakian of ZERO TO THREE to get tummy time tips on how to make the important activity less stressful for both you and your little one.

The 4th Trimester, Episode 11

You know what to expect during pregnancy, but what happens in the weeks immediately after birth? Jessica welcomes 4th trimester planning expert Elizabeth Wood to discuss how to take care of your baby and yourself – physically and emotionally – during this life-changing period.

Cool Tips for Summertime Heat, Episode 10

Jessica chats with Matt Roach, Epidemiology Program Manager for the Climate and Health, Drinking Water, and Environmental Public Health Tracking Programs at ADHS about the danger of hot temperatures, the signs of heat exhaustion, and how to prepare your kids for hot weather.

Sun Safety Checklist, Episode 9

As we get ready for summer fun, skin protection is top of mind. To help you prepare your children for outdoor adventures, Jessica chats with Sergio Perez, SunWise Program Manager at ADHS. They give you a checklist of sun safety measures to help you protect your kid from the sun’s rays.

Lead Poisoning: Signs, Risks, and Prevention, Episode 8

Lead poisoning and exposure through everyday household items is a serious problem for children and can impact their development. Jessica welcomes Ginny De La Cruz, a lead poisoning prevention expert, to discuss how to create a safe household environment for your kids.

How To Practice Positive Parenting, Episode 7

Conflict with your kids is inevitable—from bedtime, to tantrums, to healthy habits. Resolving that conflict in a proactive and positive way is a skill, and sometimes an art. Jessica welcomes Dr. Randy Ahn, Implementation Consultant at the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) to discuss how to practice this skill as a parent.

Screen Time Solutions, Episode 6

Jessica and media expert Dr. Michael Robb offer advice on managing screen time for toddlers, from setting limits to avoiding tantrums. Screen time doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing solution to entertaining your kid. Learn how to incorporate it in a healthy and thoughtful way.

Time for Table Foods?, Episode 5

Jessica is joined by nutrition expert Alan Brown to discuss introducing table foods into your baby’s diet. Get step-by-step tips to help you introduce solid foods safely, and learn how to spot possible allergies and food sensitivities.

Newborn Screenings: What to Expect, Episode 4

Jessica takes her audience through the newborn screening process step by step with Fran Altamaire, case management coordinator for the Office of Newborn Screening-Follow up at the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Baby Talk, Episode 3

Jessica is joined by Kat Willard, Senior Director of Family Support and Literacy at First Things First, who shares creative ways to have intentional conversations with your little one.

Sleep—Every Parent’s Dream, Episode 2

Jessica covers tips and tricks for implementing the ABCs of safe sleep with Yomaira Diaz Castillo, Injury Prevention Manager at the Arizona Department of Health.

Breastfeeding? Answers!, Episode 1

Host, expert, and mom Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez gets some advice for breastfeeding moms from Anne Whitmire, WIC Breastfeeding and Training Administrator at the Arizona Department of Health Services.