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What is ParentData?

ParentData is a guide for parents, people who want to be parents, or anyone who likes to do their research before making a decision. With hundreds of articles, Q&As, and interviews, ParentData aims to give you the numbers and decision-making tools you need to feel more empowered as you make your own pregnancy, parenting, and health choices. 

It’s written by me — Emily Oster. I’m a professor of economics at Brown University and the author of three books on pregnancy and parenting: Expecting Better, Cribsheet, and The Family Firm. I was named to the 2022 TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world. I’m also a mom of two kids who likes to run and doesn’t sleep enough. 

At the end of the day, I hope everything that I write helps future generations of parents feel more empowered and relaxed throughout their journey.

Why sign up?

When you sign up for a free subscription to our newsletter, you will start receiving emails on Mondays and Thursdays with the latest articles from ParentData.org. You’ll also get a special community newsletter featuring reader Wins & Woes on Saturdays.

Why consider a paid subscription?

With a paid subscription, you’ll get an extra newsletter with Q&A on Wednesdays, an ad-free version of the ParentData podcast, and full access to everything on ParentData.org, which you can think of as your personal pregnancy and parenting library. When you have a question, like “Is white noise dangerous for babies?” or “When should I treat a fever?” search the website and chances are good that you’ll find it here. 

For those of you who are expecting, you’ll also have the option of signing up for PregnantData, a weekly email to guide you through your pregnancy.

Please let me know if you want to be a part of the paid subscription but payment is prohibitive for you. You can send an email to ask@parentdata.org and we’ll be happy to comp your subscription.


How do I ask a question?

Luckily, many of your questions already have answers on ParentData.org. If you have a question, please ask Dewey, my AI librarian. It will direct you to my most relevant writing on the topic. And if I haven’t written anything yet, it will send me the question for consideration for an upcoming post. Unfortunately, I’m not able to answer all of your questions, but I get to as many as I can. 

What is Dewey and how does it work?

Dewey is my personal AI librarian. I’ve written hundreds of articles on every topic imaginable related to pregnancy and parenting — sometimes, you just want to ask someone your question and be pointed in the right direction. That’s where Dewey comes in! It has been programmed with writing from all of my books and articles. When you ask a question, it will summarize the main takeaways for you with links to relevant resources in my books and on ParentData.org. If it doesn’t know the answer (possibly because I haven’t written about it yet), it will send your question to me for consideration. I hope it will save you time in finding the answers you’re looking for.

What is PregnantData?

PregnantData is a special newsletter series for paid subscribers going through pregnancy. When you sign up for a paid subscription, you can also opt into PregnantData and share how many weeks pregnant you are. Then you’ll receive an email from me every week until your due date with data-driven insights that are most relevant at each stage, including prenatal testing, sleeping positions, parental leave, and so much more. It’s the perfect companion to Expecting Better

How can I listen to the podcast?

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast by searching for “ParentData with Emily Oster” in your favorite podcast app. The ParentData podcast brings Emily together with other experts to talk about some of the most complicated issues in pregnancy and parenting, from labor induction to food allergies to parenting through a divorce. It also features questions and stories from you, our listeners, reflecting how people are navigating these issues in real-time. 

When you sign up for a paid subscription, you will also have access to an ad-free version of the podcast. If you are already a paid subscriber and looking for the ad-free version, please send us an email at ask@parentdata.org.

Where can I buy your books?

Wherever books are sold, but you can also find them at Penguin Random House.

In my books, I analyze the data behind choices in pregnancy and parenting. Expecting Better analyzes the data behind many common pregnancy rules, and aims to improve decision-making for pregnant women. Cribsheet does the same for early childhood — what does the evidence really say on breastfeeding, co-sleeping or potty training. Finally, The Family Firm takes this approach to parenting in the early school years, looking at data on school, extracurriculars, sleep and also providing a framework to make unexpected decisions and address the logistical challenges of this period of parenting.

Cover images of "Expecting Better," "Cribsheet," and "The Family Firm" by Emily Oster

Do you work with sponsors?

We are always open to talking with like-minded organizations and companies interested in partnering with ParentData — please send an email to ask@parentdata.org. If you’re interested in sponsoring the ParentData podcast, you can fill out this form.