The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year Info

Which weight loss plan works best? What are the best books on health and nutrition - What is the best free weight loss app? Discover the best Health, Fitness & Dieting books and ebooks. Check our what others have to say about Alice Green Callahan books. Read over #reviewcount# reviews on The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year before downloading. Read&Download The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year by Alice Green Callahan Online


The Science of Mom blogger makes sense of research
studies for new mothers.

It seems like every time a new mother
turns on her computer, radio, or television, she is greeted with news
of yet another scientific study about infancy. Ignoring good information
isn’t the right course, but just how does one tell the difference
between solid studies, preliminary results, and snake oil?

In
this friendly guide through the science of infancy, Science of
Mom
blogger and PhD scientist Alice Callahan explains how
non-scientist mothers can learn the difference between hype and
evidence. Readers of Alice’s blog have come to trust her balanced
approach, which explains the science that lies behind headlines. The
Science of Mom
is a fascinating, eye-opening, and extremely
informative exploration of the topics that generate discussion and
debate in the media and among parents. From breastfeeding to vaccines to
sleep, Alice’s advice will help you make smart choices so that you can
relax and enjoy your baby.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year:

5

Aug 19, 2015

Your baby needs iron-rich foods! Like meat and egg yolks!

Full review:

Why aren't there more books like this one? I discovered Expecting Better: How to Fight the Pregnancy Establishment with Facts fairly late in pregnancy, and similar to that book, this one is written by someone with a background in science who was frustrated by the lack of good research-based advice about infant care. Furthermore, the research-based advice out there often cherry-picks among studies, or is based on a single study Your baby needs iron-rich foods! Like meat and egg yolks!

Full review:

Why aren't there more books like this one? I discovered Expecting Better: How to Fight the Pregnancy Establishment with Facts fairly late in pregnancy, and similar to that book, this one is written by someone with a background in science who was frustrated by the lack of good research-based advice about infant care. Furthermore, the research-based advice out there often cherry-picks among studies, or is based on a single study in a field where more research is necessary, and as a result, is not very reliable. Author Alice Callahan went straight to the studies and based her conclusions on the studies deemed most reliable - those with big sample sizes, good controls, etc. She also openly acknowledges areas where the research is incomplete or inconclusive. It's a huge breath of fresh air.

The book has chapters on vitamin K and eye drops for newborns, sleep, vaccines, breastfeeding, and solid foods, among others. If your baby is older than 6 months, you've probably already handled most of the decisions discussed in the book, but you might still find it very interesting (and it's a quick and easy read).

For me, the most interesting chapters were those about solid foods. The other stuff I had mostly figured out through a discerning read of everything ever written on the internet (ha ha), but I learned a lot from the chapters on solids, and would probably do some things differently if I were starting my baby on solids again. I'm also going to make some changes now, as we only recently started. For one thing, it seems like babies in developed countries like the US can safely start solids any time between 4-6 months, and there may be advantages to starting earlier if your baby shows signs of readiness (which mine did... I'd probably start at 5 months, about 3 weeks earlier than we actually did).

I am also going to shift the emphasis to iron and zinc-rich foods, especially egg yolks and red meat, and I'm going to make sure she gets a serving of fortified cereal daily. I'm actually a little shocked that no one (and nothing I read) emphasized the critical need for iron in breastfed babies starting around 6 months. Some sources mentioned iron, but in a way that allowed me to think, "Yup, we all need iron," and push a few green veggies -- when the need is MUCH greater than that and green veggies are NOT the best source (especially when consumed with yoghurt, which my baby loves but isn't a great idea as a complement to iron-rich foods, since the calcium can inhibit iron absorption).

Anyway, I'm not going to rewrite the book here -- but I highly recommend it to new and expecting parents. And (hint), I really hope she writes another book addressing even more issues and decisions that we have to make. ...more
5

Nov 30, 2015

Over the past three years I've read pretty much every popular parenting book on the market, and I just finished this one (albeit a little late given that my son just turned one) and I am SO BUMMED that it wasn't available last year because it would have saved me SO MANY hours of googling trying to find unbiased, evidence-based parenting advice, as well as relieved a lot of anxiety/guilt about our choices as parents, and likely saved us from making a few well-intentioned mistakes (hello, iron Over the past three years I've read pretty much every popular parenting book on the market, and I just finished this one (albeit a little late given that my son just turned one) and I am SO BUMMED that it wasn't available last year because it would have saved me SO MANY hours of googling trying to find unbiased, evidence-based parenting advice, as well as relieved a lot of anxiety/guilt about our choices as parents, and likely saved us from making a few well-intentioned mistakes (hello, iron deficiency!).

This book is balanced, non-judgmental, compassionate, and incredibly informative (I honestly am in shock at how much I learned b/c I thought I'd read it all by now!). It's not exhaustive but it covers all the big questions that there's a lot of conflicting (read: not always reliable) advice floating around about on the internet (breastfeeding vs. formula, where baby should sleep, when/how to start solids and what foods to feed, vaccines, etc.), and it covers them all with a fair, honest, and fact-based approach that I really, really appreciated.

In short, if you read only one parenting book, this should be it! And if, like me, you read them all, you will really appreciate how ridiculously well-researched and fact-focused this book is. I really can't recommend it enough! ...more
4

Jul 29, 2015

Callahan dives right into the most hot-button areas of parenting, from vaccinations to breastfeeding to co-sleeping, and distills the available evidence from research studies into a readable format. Where the research is clear, she takes a strong stance; where it is mixed, she explains benefits and risk factors and leaves the reader to decide. She does a great job of continually reminding the reader that different families do different things with just as much success, and that no research Callahan dives right into the most hot-button areas of parenting, from vaccinations to breastfeeding to co-sleeping, and distills the available evidence from research studies into a readable format. Where the research is clear, she takes a strong stance; where it is mixed, she explains benefits and risk factors and leaves the reader to decide. She does a great job of continually reminding the reader that different families do different things with just as much success, and that no research studies will ever be perfectly crafted to prescribe exactly what your child needs.

My nitpicks with the book are relatively small. Her personal examples are primarily from her own life, her friends and family, and her blog readers, so they're fairly limited. I would have liked to see at least a passing reference to adoptive moms like myself, particularly in the section on breastfeeding, and the information related to formula feeding in other chapters (e.g., cosleeping, solid foods) was weak and had an offhand tone, like, "...and formula feeders would do something similar but also different." I was disappointed on the limited amount of research presented related to baby-led weaning; she seemed generally pretty dismissive of it, but provided minimal evidence to back up that attitude.

Being an evidence-minded person myself who is constantly reading parenting research, I didn't find a ton that was new to me in this book, but I felt that it was a solid and well-written introduction to the aspects of raising an infant for which parents are most likely to encounter contradictory, incendiary, and weakly supported advice if they turn to the Internet at large for information. I would definitely recommend this for any new parent or parent-to-be overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. ...more
5

Sep 05, 2015

As a pediatrician in solo rural practice for 25 years I am always on the lookout for information that will make what I read about in evidence based scientific literature approachable, digestible, and understandable to the parents of my patients. The Science of Mom does this well. It is for the intellectually curious families that , as smart as they are might be, find the amount of information found on the Internet on some hot topics that they will have to make decisions on (sooner rather than As a pediatrician in solo rural practice for 25 years I am always on the lookout for information that will make what I read about in evidence based scientific literature approachable, digestible, and understandable to the parents of my patients. The Science of Mom does this well. It is for the intellectually curious families that , as smart as they are might be, find the amount of information found on the Internet on some hot topics that they will have to make decisions on (sooner rather than later ) during their baby's first minutes of life through the first birthday daunting.
Dr Callahan echoes the anticipatory guidance I give my patients' families and is totally in line with my read of the current medical literature and standard of pediatric care in the USA in 2015. ...more
5

Feb 20, 2018

I love this book. Callahan does lit reviews about parenting topics, presents what the data says, does a bit of explaining, and then talks about what she decided to do. Some of it I just skipped over because it had already happened / I didn't have a choice (cord clamping), or I had already made a decision (vaccines), but some of it is extremely useful, like the nutrition science. I wish I had known about nutritional needs in babies before I started feeding my first! I'm definitely going to make I love this book. Callahan does lit reviews about parenting topics, presents what the data says, does a bit of explaining, and then talks about what she decided to do. Some of it I just skipped over because it had already happened / I didn't have a choice (cord clamping), or I had already made a decision (vaccines), but some of it is extremely useful, like the nutrition science. I wish I had known about nutritional needs in babies before I started feeding my first! I'm definitely going to make some changes in the way I approach solids.

I'll be keeping this book on hand for a bit for reference. But, it probably won't be relevant longer than about 9 months, at which point I will pass it on to a newer mom. ...more
4

Mar 21, 2019

If people saying I did this and I/my kids turned out fine makes you want to impale your ear drums on knitting needles, then this is the kind of book you'd want to guide you in parenting. It is data-based and seems faithful to the scientific method throughout. I wish I'd read it earlier in my child's life to have benefitted more from it (turns out there is no right order in which to introduce vegetables). I learned a lot and overall it's helped me relax about making parenting decision because for If people saying I did this and I/my kids turned out fine makes you want to impale your ear drums on knitting needles, then this is the kind of book you'd want to guide you in parenting. It is data-based and seems faithful to the scientific method throughout. I wish I'd read it earlier in my child's life to have benefitted more from it (turns out there is no right order in which to introduce vegetables). I learned a lot and overall it's helped me relax about making parenting decision because for the vast majority of baby stuff, there's a lot of good practice with a lot of variance but very rarely is there a BEST, superior course of action. Except vaccines. There the science is very, very, very clear cut. Vaccinate your kids and stop free-loading off mine being vaccinated. Learning more about how effective and how safe they are made me enraged that there are people out there who don't. Vaccinate your kids. ...more
4

Feb 09, 2017

A lot of parenting books want to shame you. Like, they DISCREET shame you, but you're still sitting there reading along, like, "I don't even CARE that my kid isn't sleeping through the night, so why do I suddenly feel like a monster for this very fact?"

Thank the good Lord and cupcakes, this book doesn't do that.

It looks massive upon first glance, but the actual book itself is a pretty quick read; and faster, even, if you're a giant nerd like me & joyously soak up the info, page after page. I A lot of parenting books want to shame you. Like, they DISCREET shame you, but you're still sitting there reading along, like, "I don't even CARE that my kid isn't sleeping through the night, so why do I suddenly feel like a monster for this very fact?"

Thank the good Lord and cupcakes, this book doesn't do that.

It looks massive upon first glance, but the actual book itself is a pretty quick read; and faster, even, if you're a giant nerd like me & joyously soak up the info, page after page. I loved that it read completely unbiased, regardless of what side of the traditional "parent battles" you side on. It's friendly, it's relatable, and it's a book I wish I'd stumbled upon when my little dude was brand-newer. ...more
5

Mar 23, 2016

Emily Oster's Expecting Better was probably my favourite pregnancy and parenting book I read while I was expecting, as it was a data-focused look at some of the most pressing pregnancy questions. After the birth of my daughter, I found myself wishing she had tackled the postpartum child-rearing phase as well. The amount of information available to new parents is overwhelming: cross-generational friends and family advice, countless books with varying degrees of expertise, pediatricians and family Emily Oster's Expecting Better was probably my favourite pregnancy and parenting book I read while I was expecting, as it was a data-focused look at some of the most pressing pregnancy questions. After the birth of my daughter, I found myself wishing she had tackled the postpartum child-rearing phase as well. The amount of information available to new parents is overwhelming: cross-generational friends and family advice, countless books with varying degrees of expertise, pediatricians and family doctors, mommy boards, and good ol' Dr. Google. Not only is there a huge volume of information, but so much of it is, frankly, garbage.

Luckily I stumbled across Alice Callahan Science of Mom blog when looking for information on solid feeding (a topic which has some of the most conflicting information out there, which is hugely frustrating). That led me to her book, which is a great no-nonsense, rational, and evidence-based guide to some of the most prominent topics in infant care. Callahan not only sorts through the science on topics like infant feeding, sleep, and vaccination, but she also provides a guide on how to understand and seek out good science (which is so important in a culture that is decidedly lacking in scientific literary). I probably would have found the book more useful had I read it earlier (as my baby is already almost 6 months old and most of the topics deal with earlier infancy), but it was still an interesting and informative read. It confirmed a lot of the information I had already gleaned for myself, provided me with some more useful advice and interesting facts, and helped me feel confident in the decisions my husband and I have made as parents (as from the beginning we have tried to base our parenting decisions on evidence rather than anecdotes or fear-mongering).

Now I just have to hope that someone has written a science-based toddler book. ...more
5

Nov 26, 2017

If you read one parenting book, this should be it. all parenting books are rife with bias, but this one is extremely open about what the biases are and really tries to be open, honest, and admit that no information or recommendation is perfect. for example, i am a strong believer in bottle feeding my baby and although the author is clearly biased to believe in breast feeding, she still presents the actual data and research in such a way that a parent can clearly make their own informed choices If you read one parenting book, this should be it. all parenting books are rife with bias, but this one is extremely open about what the biases are and really tries to be open, honest, and admit that no information or recommendation is perfect. for example, i am a strong believer in bottle feeding my baby and although the author is clearly biased to believe in breast feeding, she still presents the actual data and research in such a way that a parent can clearly make their own informed choices instead of just shaming. the beginning is a bit dry but you SHOULD read it because it goes through a brief but good explanation of how data is collected, what science can and cannot show, anx how the same study can be interpreted different ways. i wish all parenting books were this transparent! ...more
5

Dec 18, 2018

It's rare that a book appeal to both sides of my brain equally. I delighted in Alice Callahan's open-minded, coolheaded look at the studies and statistics that illuminate some of the most controversial aspects of early child-rearing (feeding, sleeping, vaccinations). But I also appreciated her empathic, nonjudgemental framing of these issues: her attitude is that if something works for your family, isn't harming your child, and you've educated yourself about the risks involved, go forth and be It's rare that a book appeal to both sides of my brain equally. I delighted in Alice Callahan's open-minded, coolheaded look at the studies and statistics that illuminate some of the most controversial aspects of early child-rearing (feeding, sleeping, vaccinations). But I also appreciated her empathic, nonjudgemental framing of these issues: her attitude is that if something works for your family, isn't harming your child, and you've educated yourself about the risks involved, go forth and be merry. But if you are at your wits' end or on the fence, consider the following. Most of this material has been echoed in other books I've read, all but the last chapter on the introduction of solid foods, which was fascinating and mostly runs counter to the trends and recommendations du jour. A nice sequel to Emily Oster's Expecting Better. ...more
5

Sep 21, 2017

Very useful EVIDENCE BASED guide for baby's first year. Will refer back to it at different stages.
4

Oct 10, 2016

Easy to read and understand. Good background on how to interpret science, especially in the absence of adequate and/or unequivocal evidence. The chapters on solid foods were especially helpful to me since that's on the horizon for my family. Worth a read and to keep on hand as a reference.
5

Mar 14, 2016

Great book. Learned at least six new things, and appreciated discussion of scientific process, how to distinguish meaningful research, and how evolution may have gotten us to a state requiring so much medical intervention. Will definitely refer to when baby starts solid foods. Frustrated by section on eye antibiotic ointment; I feel like no sources answer my questions adequately.
4

Jul 30, 2017

My wife and I (expecting parents) were so glad that we laid our hands on this book. The provides a sort of synthesis of research literature on the birthing and parenting process for infants. I really enjoyed the way the author provides a well-rounded review of studies pertaining to each area of child birth and growth.
**SPOILERS**
Below are some of our key takeaways from the book (please bear in mind that the author does not always recommend one method over the other, so this is our takeaway from My wife and I (expecting parents) were so glad that we laid our hands on this book. The provides a sort of synthesis of research literature on the birthing and parenting process for infants. I really enjoyed the way the author provides a well-rounded review of studies pertaining to each area of child birth and growth.
**SPOILERS**
Below are some of our key takeaways from the book (please bear in mind that the author does not always recommend one method over the other, so this is our takeaway from the book, and others may disagree).

1. Don't cut the umbilical cord until it stops pulsating; or wait for at least until 60 seconds have passed.
2. Child should be given Vitamin K shot (intramuscular), preferably during breast feeding stage.
3. Eye drops (Erythromycin) should be administered.
4. Baby should be allowed to breast crawl immediately after birth. Baby can be bathed/cleaned after he feeds and is ready for a nap.
5. Preferable if mothers don't bathe for 24 hours, so baby can use senses such as smell to feed.
6. Don't overstimulate your baby after it's born. Follow the baby's lead; be sensitive and caring.
7. Talk to your baby regularly and touch gently.
8. Breast milk is best but formula is good too.
9. No bed sharing/co-sleeping all night. Take extreme care during the first four months to avoid SIDS.
10. No feeding on chair or couch at night.
11. Beware of pillows and blankets when baby is in bed. Place baby in crib after feeding.
12. Room sharing recommended up to 6 months.
13. No stuff toys in crib.
14. Don't cover baby's head. Recommended house temperature (if possible) - 67 to 79 F
Baby Sleep:
15. Newborn babies sleep 16 to 18 hours of the day
16. Breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to breastfeed frequently during the first few weeks of life.
17. At night, keep house lights dim and environment quiet.
18. During day, let baby be part of the activity of the house. Keep baby in a well-lit room during the day.
19. Create a soothing ritual
20. Put baby in bed while he is sleepy but awake. You can quietly soothe the baby by sitting next to him and talking to him, patting him, etc. Offer support to the baby, but don't jump in to take over every time the baby cries.
21. When baby wakes in the night, wait a few minutes before responding.
22. Offer baby a lovey.
23. Every baby is different and responds differently, observe your baby to see what works best for him.
24. Be consistent with sleep training

Vaccination
25. Vaccinate baby ON SCHEDULE!

Food
26. Don't feed baby cow's milk until 1 year old
27. Start solids between 4 to 6 months. (rice, barley, oats, meat, veg - all cooked and fruits)
28. A good indication on when to start solids is when your baby can sit up right with no neck support. Also, try to see how baby reacts to solid food, if it disagrees with him, try later.
28. Follow up breast feeding with solids such as wheat, eggs, peanut, tree nut, and fish
29. Introduce new foods one at a time, symptoms of allergy can be seen in a few hours such as swollen and/or itchy eyes and mouth, nasal congestion, diarrhea, vomiting.
30. Let baby decide how much he wants to eat. Don't force or cajole.
31. Choking risks:
- Always supervised feeding with baby sitting up right (until 4 years of age)
- No feeding in car
- Cut break down grapes, pop corn, hard candy, etc.
- learn the difference between gagging and choking

Food to eat
32. Meat is good for your baby.
- cooked liver once or twice a week
- Feed cooked egg yolk/beef/clams/turkey/chicken/fish, etc. when they start solid foods every day
- at least 4 egg yolks a week, preferablyOmega 3 + DHA fortified eggs
- Can also include dairy products as snacks

33. Infant fortified cereal is also good
- cereals fortified with iron, zinc, vitamin C
- fortified cereals are a good substitute for meat when not available or traveling

34. Feed good sources of Vitamin C such as kiwi, citrus fruit, berries, pineapple, mango, etc.
35. Cereals, fruits and veggies are all good
36. Variety of food is good for your baby - sometimes baby may take 6 or 7 tries of a food to enjoy it.
37. Cook veggies are better than uncooked
38. AVOID HONEY up to 12 months
39. No need to give sugary drinks. If giving baby juice, mix it with water and give it in a cup.
40. No need to add salt to food until year 1.
41. Finally, try one food item at a time to see how your baby reacts, especially to see if your baby has any allergic reaction.
...more
3

Apr 04, 2019

I would recommend that parents ideally read this book before birth. Unfortunately, I came to it a bit a later so many of the chapters were no longer relevant to me. What I did read, though, was interesting and very well researched. The author has a PhD in Nutritional Biology, and the chapters on feeding were especially informative. The writing style is a little on the dry side but also compassionate and warm.
5

Mar 25, 2018

This book had me from the very beginning. It starts off with a good overview of the scientific method, different types of scientific studies, and clear objectives for its evidence-based review of infant health topics throughout the rest of the book. On topics ranging from cord clamping and vaccines to feeding and sleep, the author then points back repeatedly to the opening chapter to demonstrate why the evidence for recommendation X is or isn't strong.

The book isn't terribly long and I highly This book had me from the very beginning. It starts off with a good overview of the scientific method, different types of scientific studies, and clear objectives for its evidence-based review of infant health topics throughout the rest of the book. On topics ranging from cord clamping and vaccines to feeding and sleep, the author then points back repeatedly to the opening chapter to demonstrate why the evidence for recommendation X is or isn't strong.

The book isn't terribly long and I highly recommend it for a succinct, evidence-based review of many decisions that will face new parents to be. ...more
5

Jan 26, 2018

Can't recommend this enough. I loved Expecting Better because it was science based advice with a helping of "but here's the other side and why there is a debate". This is the same for the baby's first year. It gives you the foundation of science for all of the big things like feeding and sleeping, with other sciencey books to continue your reading, and still gives you room to layer on your own belief systems. A warning, where there isn't any science to support a trendy baby rearing technique, Can't recommend this enough. I loved Expecting Better because it was science based advice with a helping of "but here's the other side and why there is a debate". This is the same for the baby's first year. It gives you the foundation of science for all of the big things like feeding and sleeping, with other sciencey books to continue your reading, and still gives you room to layer on your own belief systems. A warning, where there isn't any science to support a trendy baby rearing technique, she doesn't really discuss it. So for sleep training, there is no (good) science (yet?) to back up the claims of distress that people usually use to disavow sleep training. So she tells you this and moves swiftly on to the science that does exist. I loved it but I can imagine that it might leave others wanting more. She does however give a list of further reading and as always with good science books, there are footnotes and references throughout. ...more
4

Apr 25, 2018

I really liked this book. I have been frustrated trying to find parenting books. Most are condescending, opinionated without being informative, and/or poorly written. This is the first parenting book that I have really enjoyed.

Alice Callahan has a PhD and post-doc in fetal physiology (she also used to be a lab technician at the National Zoo! How cool is that!). She backs up all of her claims--there are extensive footnotes and appendices at the end of the book. She is clear and concise, with I really liked this book. I have been frustrated trying to find parenting books. Most are condescending, opinionated without being informative, and/or poorly written. This is the first parenting book that I have really enjoyed.

Alice Callahan has a PhD and post-doc in fetal physiology (she also used to be a lab technician at the National Zoo! How cool is that!). She backs up all of her claims--there are extensive footnotes and appendices at the end of the book. She is clear and concise, with occasional concrete guidance. And while she doesn't minimize how difficult parenting can be, she makes some of it sound like a lot of fun. Her voice is precise, but mellow. She seems like someone I would enjoy having in my life.

Without being didactic, she has changed the way that I will approach certain aspects of parenting. I am going to be very careful to watch how my baby responds to eating. I will be responsive to her needs. When she is ready, I will try to introduce her to new foods. I hope this is at four months. One new food at a time, so I can see if she has any allergies. I will spoon-feed if she is not up to feeding herself. And I will start off feeding her pureed fish, beef, and egg yolks. Maybe I will pick up edible insects at the food co-op. This is completely different from what I planned, and it may not go this way. But this certainly isn't what I was thinking of before I read the book.

Readers like me may be annoyed that certain chapters had be included. She has a section on the value of vaccines, with appendices debunking various vaccine myths. It bothers me so much that we are a point in history where people are avoiding vaccines for their children. Clearly, the chapters are necessary. Callahan does have the necessary story-telling chops to explain why vaccines are so necessary, but she also has enough information new to me that I was not bored reading the chapters. All in all, a really good book. ...more
5

Dec 12, 2017

As a first-time mom, this has literally brought the science and clarity to so many mommy wars on going out there. Quality research is key. Anecdotal evidence and one research study, though have merits in itself and are powerfully persuasive, rank fairly low as quality evidence in research. Unfortunately, they are also used by the loudest voices out there bombarding first-time mommies like myself. This book teaches moms to look for big things like the following to make your decisions 1.) As a first-time mom, this has literally brought the science and clarity to so many mommy wars on going out there. Quality research is key. Anecdotal evidence and one research study, though have merits in itself and are powerfully persuasive, rank fairly low as quality evidence in research. Unfortunately, they are also used by the loudest voices out there bombarding first-time mommies like myself. This book teaches moms to look for big things like the following to make your decisions 1.) Scientific Consensus- has it been tested hundreds of times, by hundreds of scientists, for a period of time, with quality research and arrived at a consensus? 2.) Is it peer-reviewed? 3.) is there a systematic review/meta-analyses to the given question? Finally, this book tackles a few controversial baby topics out there. Dr. Callahan clearly presents where the science is clear and where the science is still in the process of clarifying itself on the topic, presenting what the research only says so far and respectfully leaving the decision to parent/baby. If you approach mommy advices with a healthy degree of skepticism and asks for solid evidence-backed claims instead, this book is for you. ...more
5

Dec 01, 2017

In the 1970's Dr. Spock advised that babies should be put to sleep on their stomachs so that they didn't spit up and choke. This recommendation was based on neither science nor research and it's believed that this advice lead to the deaths of 70,000 infants. That's the power of bad advice and as a parent you'll receive a stunning array. Before you take any advice, however, you should inquire- where is your research? Alice Callahan, herself sporting a PhD in Nutrition, who later went on to study In the 1970's Dr. Spock advised that babies should be put to sleep on their stomachs so that they didn't spit up and choke. This recommendation was based on neither science nor research and it's believed that this advice lead to the deaths of 70,000 infants. That's the power of bad advice and as a parent you'll receive a stunning array. Before you take any advice, however, you should inquire- where is your research? Alice Callahan, herself sporting a PhD in Nutrition, who later went on to study fetal physiology has a lot of answers. She looks at vaccines, when to start solid foods (and how best to avoid setting your child up for celiac disease or food allergies), the co-sleeping debate, infant sleep, and common newborn procedures. My only caveat with this book is that when she looks at the increased risks of SIDS amongst bedsharing families, she fails to point out that SIDS is a catch all term for any unexpected infant deaths and this includes accidental suffocation. In this sense, the increased risk of SIDS in bedsharing families is not SIDs as we understand it (with no explanation), but rather accidental suffocation. ...more
4

Oct 04, 2019

I wish I could meet this author as I think we’d get along splendidly. She approaches questions with the same openness, rigor, detailed investigation, and evidence-based reasoning that I do. Parents have a lot of medically oriented decisions to make in a child’s first year of life and instead of vague info and contradictory recommendations, it was refreshing to see the data laid out and think through which decisions if any are best supported by the medical and scientific evidence. She also I wish I could meet this author as I think we’d get along splendidly. She approaches questions with the same openness, rigor, detailed investigation, and evidence-based reasoning that I do. Parents have a lot of medically oriented decisions to make in a child’s first year of life and instead of vague info and contradictory recommendations, it was refreshing to see the data laid out and think through which decisions if any are best supported by the medical and scientific evidence. She also provides a historical context to the issues that is not only interesting but is valuable to the decision process. Topics covered include vitamin K shots, antibiotic eye ointments, breastfeeding vs formula, vaccines, sleep schedules, introduction of solid food, and diet. Well worth the read even if you’re versed in these areas already. ...more
5

Dec 28, 2018

We have yet to tackle many of the issues mentioned in the book (solid foods, full night's rest, etc.), so I might change my rating slightly later on, but for now I'd say this is the perfect follow up to Emily Oster's "Expecting Better". Once again, the information given here is based on studies, and most of the information seems to be quite solid.

The book deals with nutrition, sleep, health, etc. So don't expect advice on getting your baby to crawl/walk/keep quiet in public/etc.

As a side note, We have yet to tackle many of the issues mentioned in the book (solid foods, full night's rest, etc.), so I might change my rating slightly later on, but for now I'd say this is the perfect follow up to Emily Oster's "Expecting Better". Once again, the information given here is based on studies, and most of the information seems to be quite solid.

The book deals with nutrition, sleep, health, etc. So don't expect advice on getting your baby to crawl/walk/keep quiet in public/etc.

As a side note, I found it sad that an entire chapter and so many of the appendices had to be dedicated to vaccines, which you'd think would be an obvious choice. ...more
4

Jan 08, 2020

I really dislike the title of this book because many/all of the topics discussed are as relevant to my husband as to myself. Regardless, it is a well researched and well written book.

I think that fans if Emily Oster's books would also enjoy this, as it has a similar emphasis on using science and research to make parenting decisions. To back up this claim, there are 50 pages of endnotes!

I appreciated the author's treatment of the vaccination issue as well- she lays out a good history and I really dislike the title of this book because many/all of the topics discussed are as relevant to my husband as to myself. Regardless, it is a well researched and well written book.

I think that fans if Emily Oster's books would also enjoy this, as it has a similar emphasis on using science and research to make parenting decisions. To back up this claim, there are 50 pages of endnotes!

I appreciated the author's treatment of the vaccination issue as well- she lays out a good history and helpful research, but without judgement of anti-vaxxers. I hope her non-judgemental writing could bring some people around. ...more
4

Jan 31, 2017

I was looking for a book on parenting that had a lot to offer when it came to good data/scientific research and I believe The Science of Mom offers just that. I would say more than half of the books deals with questions parents might have from pre-birth to 4 months of age. Since my daughter is currently 4 months old I found the information interesting , but unfortunately I couldn't put some of it in practice. The book is full of resources when it comes to vaccines, bed sharing, sleeping I was looking for a book on parenting that had a lot to offer when it came to good data/scientific research and I believe The Science of Mom offers just that. I would say more than half of the books deals with questions parents might have from pre-birth to 4 months of age. Since my daughter is currently 4 months old I found the information interesting , but unfortunately I couldn't put some of it in practice. The book is full of resources when it comes to vaccines, bed sharing, sleeping practices, feeding etc. and I think it does well at being objective and ending where the current peer reviewed research leads. I'd definitely recommend this book to parents. ...more
5

Dec 26, 2017

I have read a lot of parenting and pregnancy related books since I found out I was pregnant about a year and a half ago, and this was the best. Filled with detailed yet concise summaries on important topics, it was incredibly helpful. I especially found the sections in nutrition and starting solid foods incredibly helpful. Also easy and fun to read, which is quite a feat for a sciency parenting book. In this era of anti-intellectualism, I find myself wishing there were more candid and I have read a lot of parenting and pregnancy related books since I found out I was pregnant about a year and a half ago, and this was the best. Filled with detailed yet concise summaries on important topics, it was incredibly helpful. I especially found the sections in nutrition and starting solid foods incredibly helpful. Also easy and fun to read, which is quite a feat for a sciency parenting book. In this era of anti-intellectualism, I find myself wishing there were more candid and straightforward books like this on other topics (World history? Climate change? American government?)....the world needs books like this right now. ...more

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