Language, Bilingualism, and Kids

Emily Oster

9 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Language, Bilingualism, and Kids

"How You Say It" with Katie Kinzler

Emily Oster

9 min Read

I left Chicago in 2014 to move to Brown and there were many wonderful things about that move, but one that was sad was leaving my set of mom friends: Jane, Elena, Katie and Heather. There is something about the crucible of having had babies at the same time that you can never replicate. The people who saw you with breastmilk and sweat stains everywhere; the people who brought you food and held your baby while you took a shower; the people who visited you in the NICU. I miss them all the time.

Many of these women make appearances in Expecting Better, including Katie Kinzler, who very alert readers may recall as the person who asked about Hot Yoga safety. When she is not engaging in hot yoga, Katie is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago. Her work is mostly with young kids, and it’s totally fascinating as both a researcher and a parent.

In particular, she works on issues around language: how kids process foreign language speakers, and basic issues of language and identity. She also works on kids and food, although that’s not the topic here!

For many years I have been after Katie to write a book, so I am delighted that she did it, and it’s out tomorrow. How You Say It (Buy it Here!) is about how we talk, what it says about us, about bias and racial cues and bilingualism. It’s exactly the book I wanted from her. So I thought I’d check in with her about why she wrote it (and also take the chance to ask whether social isolation is bad for my kids.) Check out our conversation below.


Emily:

I’m excited to talk about your book.  Let me start with a general question: why did you decide to write this?  You’re a professor at Chicago and writing books for popular audience is not the most common Professor thing to do.  I realize it’s a bit of a rich question coming from me but… what motivated you to do this?

Katie:

Thanks so much for doing this Q&A, and thanks for asking this question.  I wrote this book because I’ve become completely convinced that it is urgent for experts to get out there in the world and share their knowledge.  Most days I think that the academy is (mostly) coming around to this, too!

My research as a developmental and social psychologist shows how kids see language as providing this incredible amount of social meaning.  But, a lot of the relevant literature is in neighboring fields – sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics, anthropology, education, law; among others.  So at first, I thought about writing a book that was just geared toward academics, uniting these fields.

But I quickly realized that the issues I am touching on are so personal for so many people’s lives.  Issues such as how language becomes critical for your identity, your social connections, your morality – and when and why people discriminate against others based on their speech. So, I wanted to think broader than just academics and have a dialogue with people.

And, the following is going to sound cheesy because I am writing this in your newsletter – though I swear you did not ask me to say this, and I don’t believe I’ve ever actually told you this – Emily, you were a bit inspirational. J

I remember a moment when my daughter Taylor was a baby, and my husband and I talked to a speech language pathologist.  We were exposing Taylor to two languages (English and French).  As you know, she was born early (but fortunately healthy, and today she is an amazing 6-year-old).  At the time, the advice we got was to consider just exposing her to English.  The idea was if your kid has a risk of a language delay, it may be better to just focus on one language.

This advice feels kind of intuitive to hear, but it is also unsubstantiated.  In fact, research shows that kids of all different abilities can learn more than one language.

At the time I was in the midst of working on research showing that just being exposed to a foreign language can have social benefits for kids, and I felt that bilingualism was the right choice for my family.  And I thought to myself, “hmm if Emily were here, she would probably dig in to the research and share her insight with the world!”

Emily:

So, who is your audience? Who should read this book — parents who are interested in bilingual kids? teachers? Researchers? Everyone?

Katie:

Well if I get to pick “everyone,” I’ll go with that!

In all seriousness, I think language is personal to a lot of people.  The way you speak can give you insight into who you are and who other people are too.  It can cause people to connect, but it can also cause them to discriminate and divide.  Yet, we aren’t always aware of the importance of language for our lives and the lives of others.  We are especially unaware of the social consequences of speaking in what is seen by others as a stigmatized or non-standard dialect.  Speech impacts people’s social connections and economic opportunities in life and we need to become more aware of this.

Another aspect of the book is how social biases are inadvertently transmitted to kids via our language, which a lot of parents are interested in learning about and trying to correct where they can.

Emily:

Let’s talk a bit about kids and language.  First, tell me about the monolingual myth.  Scientists used to think bilingualism was bad for kids.  Why?  What changed?

Katie:

They did!  Many people have historically (and sometimes still today) had a nervousness about bilingualism.  The idea is often something along the lines of the following:  if you see the brain as a limited vessel, you may be worried that if you learn another language you are kind of crowding out other knowledge.  Therefore, if you are a parent who really prioritizes the “important” kinds of learning for your kid – like math or reading — then you worry that having your kid learn another language might present a risk.  Maybe it just won’t fit in your kid’s brain.  But, of course, this is not how language learning or the brain works.  Kids can learn two languages AND math, reading, and all the rest, all at once!

In the first half of the 20th century there were a bunch of “scientific” studies purporting to find that kids who were learning two languages were less intelligent than the monolingual kids.  But, these studies were flawed.  Basically they revealed some racism and xenophobia – where researchers were testing whether immigrant populations were “less intelligent” than those who had been native to the (predominantly white, English-speaking) countries.

Modern science sets the record straight that there is no cognitive handicap caused by learning multiple languages – and if anything, current-day research hints at potential benefits of multilingual exposure.

Emily:

On the flip side, many people now want to expose their kids to many languages.  What if you want to do this but your family only speaks English. Is there anything you can do?  Would sending your toddler to French class once a week matter?

A little bit of exposure can be a great thing!  Though it doesn’t have to be French, and it certainly doesn’t have to be in a formal “class.”  Any exposure to people who speak in different ways can be a positive for children’s development.

Imagine the cognitive and social intrigue of being a bilingual child.  You think about who knows what, and who speaks what to whom, and who understands what content.  You might think “Oh, Grandma speaks this way and Dad but not Mom understands.”  Or “We speak English at school and Spanish at home.”  Or, “I understand this relative, and so do my parents, but my best friends have this other language and understanding.”  Or “We all understand these two languages, but we use them in different spaces.”  And so on.  Basically, whatever your situation is you get this huge training in “perspective taking.”  Monolingual kids miss out on this particular facet of social life experience.

Some of my research and that of others shows that when kids get this practice in linguistic perspective taking by being exposed to more than one language, it spills over into other domains.  They become better at perspective taking more generally, which is a hallmark of effective communication and interpersonal understanding.  And these benefits accrue even if the children are only exposed to another language and are not bilingual themselves.

Katie:

For me, some of the most fascinating discussion in the book is on stereotypes and biases. What are some common ways in which we express bias in daily language that we might not realize?

One thing I think a lot about is how unaware we are of linguistic biases – both as parents and as a society.  The fact that we (and children!) judge each other based on our speech just isn’t on our radar to the extent it should be.

Another thing parents may want to know more about is the way the words we use can inadvertently convey biases to kids.  This could either be about learning about a new social category of people that kids haven’t thought of before (and the prejudices that can come along with that), or it could be about increasing the salience of a category that kids already think about.

One example is about how language inadvertently influences gender bias.  The general idea is that when we constantly label gender – “Boys and girls line up;” “Oh what a nice little boy;” “You’re the only girl cousin!” – this has an impact.  It’s not to say we can never talk about gender.  However, when kids hear language about gender all day every day, they start to think, “Oh ok – this must be *the* most important category, since adults are talking about it all the time!”  And then they start becoming more likely to look for stereotypes about gender in their social worlds.

Though, there is some nuance.  I’m not saying never talk about gender, or other categories.  Especially in the case of race, it’s also important to know that “colorblind parenting” is not the answer.  Pretending that race doesn’t exist, in an environment steeped in structural racism, doesn’t work.  Kids are like intelligent cultural sponges who absorb the world around them, and in today’s racist society they will notice race whether or not you talk about it.  So, you need to talk about race.  But you want to do so in a way that provides context and explanation, and not just category labels.

Emily:

And finally: Going a little outside of your book – but since you’re a developmental psychology expert – what are your views on how social isolation impacts kids?  Can you give parents a note of optimism?  

Katie:

I’m not feeling super optimistic these days, probably like many of you.  But, while it may not quite be a note of optimism, I do have a  tidbit for parents about their children’s social isolation that may help in some small ways.

I’ll share an anecdote, and why I think it illustrations something scientifically important.

The anecdote: What was one of the most upsetting aspects of the social isolation for my daughter?  All the normal social isolation stuff, not seeing friends or family, living with stressed out parents, etc.?  Sure.  But what was *really* upsetting was the day that she found out that a bunch of her Kindergarten friends had a Zoom dance party without her.  So small, but so painful, right?

The science:  Humans are incredibly attuned to social rejection and loneliness.  Being excluded feels terrible, and social pain shares a lot of the same neural signatures as physical pain.  But it turns out that a lot of our social feelings exist in our minds, and not always in reality.  What I mean by that is that one person could be physically alone, and feel connected. Someone else could be surrounded by friends and family, and feel lonely and isolated.  Furthermore, a lot of your thinking about your social lives is comparative with others – so if you feel like you are as socially connected as other people are, this feels good.

In a virtual world, as my daughter experienced, you can still feel rejected.  Yet more generally, your kids can be home and socially isolated, yet appreciate that it is not because they are rejected.   So even if kids’ social contact is minimal, parents can aim to do whatever they can to make kids feel “part of a group.” If kids know that their feelings and experiences are just like those of the other kids, this can help.  As a result, children may be socially isolated, but they may not necessarily feel as lonely as they would otherwise.

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We are better writers than influencers, I promise. Thanks to our kids for filming our unboxing videos. People make this look way too easy. 

Only two weeks until our book “The Unexpected” is here! Preorder at the link in my bio. 💙

We are better writers than influencers, I promise. Thanks to our kids for filming our unboxing videos. People make this look way too easy.

Only two weeks until our book “The Unexpected” is here! Preorder at the link in my bio. 💙
...

Exciting news! We have new, high-quality data that says it’s safe to take Tylenol during pregnancy and there is no link between Tylenol exposure and neurodevelopmental issues in kids. Comment “Link” for a DM to an article exploring this groundbreaking study.

While doctors have long said Tylenol was safe, confusing studies, panic headlines, and even a lawsuit have continually stoked fears in parents. As a result, many pregnant women have chosen not to take it, even if it would help them.

This is why good data is so important! When we can trust the data, we can trust our choices. And this study shows there is no blame to be placed on pregnant women here. So if you have a migraine or fever, please take your Tylenol.

#tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancyhealth #pregnancytips #parentdata #emilyoster

Exciting news! We have new, high-quality data that says it’s safe to take Tylenol during pregnancy and there is no link between Tylenol exposure and neurodevelopmental issues in kids. Comment “Link” for a DM to an article exploring this groundbreaking study.

While doctors have long said Tylenol was safe, confusing studies, panic headlines, and even a lawsuit have continually stoked fears in parents. As a result, many pregnant women have chosen not to take it, even if it would help them.

This is why good data is so important! When we can trust the data, we can trust our choices. And this study shows there is no blame to be placed on pregnant women here. So if you have a migraine or fever, please take your Tylenol.

#tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancyhealth #pregnancytips #parentdata #emilyoster
...

How many words should kids say — and when? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about language development!

For this graph, researchers used a standardized measure of vocabulary size. Parents were given a survey and checked off all the words and sentences they have heard their child say.

They found that the average child—the 50th percentile line—at 24 months has about 300 words. A child at the 10th percentile—near the bottom of the distribution—has only about 50 words. On the other end, a child at the 90th percentile has close to 600 words. One main takeaway from these graphs is the explosion of language after fourteen or sixteen months. 

What’s valuable about this data is it can give us something beyond a general guideline about when to consider early intervention, and also provide reassurance that there is a significant range in this distribution at all young ages. 

#cribsheet #emilyoster #parentdata #languagedevelopment #firstwords

How many words should kids say — and when? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about language development!

For this graph, researchers used a standardized measure of vocabulary size. Parents were given a survey and checked off all the words and sentences they have heard their child say.

They found that the average child—the 50th percentile line—at 24 months has about 300 words. A child at the 10th percentile—near the bottom of the distribution—has only about 50 words. On the other end, a child at the 90th percentile has close to 600 words. One main takeaway from these graphs is the explosion of language after fourteen or sixteen months.

What’s valuable about this data is it can give us something beyond a general guideline about when to consider early intervention, and also provide reassurance that there is a significant range in this distribution at all young ages.

#cribsheet #emilyoster #parentdata #languagedevelopment #firstwords
...

I saw this and literally laughed out loud 😂 Thank you @adamgrant for sharing this gem! Someone let me know who originally created this masterpiece so I can give them the proper credit.

I saw this and literally laughed out loud 😂 Thank you @adamgrant for sharing this gem! Someone let me know who originally created this masterpiece so I can give them the proper credit. ...

Perimenopause comes with a whole host of symptoms, like brain fog, low sex drive, poor energy, and loss of muscle mass. These symptoms can be extremely bothersome and hard to treat. Could testosterone help? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about the data on testosterone treatment for women in perimenopause.

#perimenopause #perimenopausehealth #womenshealth #hormoneimbalance #emilyoster #parentdata

Perimenopause comes with a whole host of symptoms, like brain fog, low sex drive, poor energy, and loss of muscle mass. These symptoms can be extremely bothersome and hard to treat. Could testosterone help? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about the data on testosterone treatment for women in perimenopause.

#perimenopause #perimenopausehealth #womenshealth #hormoneimbalance #emilyoster #parentdata
...

What age is best to start swim lessons? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about water safety for children 💦

Summer is quickly approaching! You might be wondering if it’s the right time to have your kid start swim lessons. The AAP recommends starting between 1 and 4 years old. This is largely based on a randomized trial where young children were put into 8 or 12 weeks of swim lessons. They found that swimming ability and water safety reactions improve in both groups, and more so in the 12 weeks group.

Below this age range though, they are too young to actually learn how to swim. It’s fine to bring your baby into the pool (if you’re holding them) and they might like the water. But starting formal safety-oriented swim lessons before this age isn’t likely to be very helpful.

Most importantly, no matter how old your kid is or how good of a swimmer they are, adult supervision is always necessary!

#swimlessons #watersafety #kidsswimminglessons #poolsafety #emilyoster #parentdata

What age is best to start swim lessons? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about water safety for children 💦

Summer is quickly approaching! You might be wondering if it’s the right time to have your kid start swim lessons. The AAP recommends starting between 1 and 4 years old. This is largely based on a randomized trial where young children were put into 8 or 12 weeks of swim lessons. They found that swimming ability and water safety reactions improve in both groups, and more so in the 12 weeks group.

Below this age range though, they are too young to actually learn how to swim. It’s fine to bring your baby into the pool (if you’re holding them) and they might like the water. But starting formal safety-oriented swim lessons before this age isn’t likely to be very helpful.

Most importantly, no matter how old your kid is or how good of a swimmer they are, adult supervision is always necessary!

#swimlessons #watersafety #kidsswimminglessons #poolsafety #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Can babies have salt? 🧂 While babies don’t need extra salt beyond what’s in breast milk or formula, the risks of salt toxicity from normal foods are minimal. There are concerns about higher blood pressure in the long term due to a higher salt diet in the first year, but the data on these is not super compelling and the differences are small.

Like with most things, moderation is key! Avoid very salty chips or olives or saltines with your infant. But if you’re doing baby-led weaning, it’s okay for them to share your lightly salted meals. Your baby does not need their own, unsalted, chicken if you’re making yourself a roast. Just skip the super salty stuff.

 #emilyoster #parentdata #childnutrition #babynutrition #foodforkids

Can babies have salt? 🧂 While babies don’t need extra salt beyond what’s in breast milk or formula, the risks of salt toxicity from normal foods are minimal. There are concerns about higher blood pressure in the long term due to a higher salt diet in the first year, but the data on these is not super compelling and the differences are small.

Like with most things, moderation is key! Avoid very salty chips or olives or saltines with your infant. But if you’re doing baby-led weaning, it’s okay for them to share your lightly salted meals. Your baby does not need their own, unsalted, chicken if you’re making yourself a roast. Just skip the super salty stuff.

#emilyoster #parentdata #childnutrition #babynutrition #foodforkids
...

Is sleep training bad? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article breaking down the data on sleep training 😴

Among parenting topics, sleep training is one of the most divisive. Ultimately, it’s important to know that studies looking at the short- and long-term effects of sleep training show no evidence of harm. The data actually shows it can improve infant sleep and lower parental depression.

Even so, while sleep training can be a great option, it will not be for everyone. Just as people can feel judged for sleep training, they can feel judged for not doing it. Engaging in any parenting behavior because it’s what’s expected of you is not a good idea. You have to do what works best for your family! If that’s sleep training, make a plan and implement it. If not, that’s okay too.

What’s your experience with sleep training? Did you feel judged for your decision to do (or not do) it?

#sleeptraining #newparents #babysleep #emilyoster #parentdata

Is sleep training bad? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article breaking down the data on sleep training 😴

Among parenting topics, sleep training is one of the most divisive. Ultimately, it’s important to know that studies looking at the short- and long-term effects of sleep training show no evidence of harm. The data actually shows it can improve infant sleep and lower parental depression.

Even so, while sleep training can be a great option, it will not be for everyone. Just as people can feel judged for sleep training, they can feel judged for not doing it. Engaging in any parenting behavior because it’s what’s expected of you is not a good idea. You have to do what works best for your family! If that’s sleep training, make a plan and implement it. If not, that’s okay too.

What’s your experience with sleep training? Did you feel judged for your decision to do (or not do) it?

#sleeptraining #newparents #babysleep #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Does your kid love to stall right before bedtime? 💤 Tell me more about their tactics in the comments below!

#funnytweets #bedtime #nightimeroutine #parentinghumor #parentingmemes

Does your kid love to stall right before bedtime? 💤 Tell me more about their tactics in the comments below!

#funnytweets #bedtime #nightimeroutine #parentinghumor #parentingmemes
...

Got a big decision to make? 🤔 Comment “Link” for a DM to read about my easy mantra for making hard choices. 

When we face a complicated problem in pregnancy or parenting, and don’t like either option A or B, we often wait around for a secret third option to reveal itself. This magical thinking, as appealing as it is, gets in the way. We need a way to remind ourselves that we need to make an active choice, even if it is hard. The mantra I use for this: “There is no secret option C.”

Having this realization, accepting it, reminding ourselves of it, can help us make the hard decisions and accurately weigh the risks and benefits of our choices.

#parentingquotes #decisionmaking #nosecretoptionc #parentingadvice #emilyoster #parentdata

Got a big decision to make? 🤔 Comment “Link” for a DM to read about my easy mantra for making hard choices.

When we face a complicated problem in pregnancy or parenting, and don’t like either option A or B, we often wait around for a secret third option to reveal itself. This magical thinking, as appealing as it is, gets in the way. We need a way to remind ourselves that we need to make an active choice, even if it is hard. The mantra I use for this: “There is no secret option C.”

Having this realization, accepting it, reminding ourselves of it, can help us make the hard decisions and accurately weigh the risks and benefits of our choices.

#parentingquotes #decisionmaking #nosecretoptionc #parentingadvice #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Excuse the language, but I have such strong feelings about this subject! Sometimes, it feels like there’s no winning as a mother. People pressure you to breastfeed and, in the same breath, shame you for doing it in public. Which is it?!

So yes, they’re being completely unreasonable. You should be able to feed your baby in peace. What are some responses you can give to someone who tells you to cover up? Share in the comments below ⬇️

#breastfeeding #breastfeedinginpublic #breastfeedingmom #motherhood #emilyoster

Excuse the language, but I have such strong feelings about this subject! Sometimes, it feels like there’s no winning as a mother. People pressure you to breastfeed and, in the same breath, shame you for doing it in public. Which is it?!

So yes, they’re being completely unreasonable. You should be able to feed your baby in peace. What are some responses you can give to someone who tells you to cover up? Share in the comments below ⬇️

#breastfeeding #breastfeedinginpublic #breastfeedingmom #motherhood #emilyoster
...

Potty training can feel like a Mount Everest-size challenge, and sadly, our evidence-based guidance is poor. So, I created a survey to collate advice and feedback on success from about 6,000 participants.

How long does potty training take? We found that there is a strong basic pattern here: the later you wait to start, the shorter time it takes to potty train. On average, people who start at under 18 months report it takes them about 12 weeks for their child to be fully trained (using the toilet consistently for both peeing and pooping). For those who start between 3 and 3.5, it’s more like nine days. Keep in mind that for all of these age groups, there is a range of length of time from a few days to over a year. Sometimes parents are told that if you do it right, it only takes a few days. While that is true for some people, it is definitely not the norm.

If you’re in the throes of potty training, hang in there! 

#emilyoster #parentdata #pottytraining #pottytrainingtips #toddlerlife

Potty training can feel like a Mount Everest-size challenge, and sadly, our evidence-based guidance is poor. So, I created a survey to collate advice and feedback on success from about 6,000 participants.

How long does potty training take? We found that there is a strong basic pattern here: the later you wait to start, the shorter time it takes to potty train. On average, people who start at under 18 months report it takes them about 12 weeks for their child to be fully trained (using the toilet consistently for both peeing and pooping). For those who start between 3 and 3.5, it’s more like nine days. Keep in mind that for all of these age groups, there is a range of length of time from a few days to over a year. Sometimes parents are told that if you do it right, it only takes a few days. While that is true for some people, it is definitely not the norm.

If you’re in the throes of potty training, hang in there!

#emilyoster #parentdata #pottytraining #pottytrainingtips #toddlerlife
...

For children or adults with severe food allergies, they can be incredibly scary and restrictive. We may imagine that it’s easy to deal with a peanut allergy by, say, not eating peanut butter sandwiches. But for someone with a severe version of this allergy, they may never be able to go to a restaurant, for fear of a severe reaction to something in the air. Right now, there’s only one approved treatment for severe allergies like this and it’s limited to peanuts.

This is why the new medication Xolair is very exciting. It promises a second possible treatment avenue and one that works for other allergens. A new trail analyzed data from 177 children with severe food allergies. Two-thirds of the treatment group were able to tolerate the specified endpoint, versus just 7% of the placebo group. This is a very large treatment effect, and the authors found similarly large impacts on other allergens. 

There are some caveats: This treatment won’t work for everyone. (One-third of participants did not respond to it.) Additionally, this treatment is an injection given every two to four weeks, indefinitely. This may make it less palatable to children. 

Overall, even with caveats, this is life-changing news for many families!

#xolair #foodallergies #allergies #peanutallergy #emilyoster #parentdata

For children or adults with severe food allergies, they can be incredibly scary and restrictive. We may imagine that it’s easy to deal with a peanut allergy by, say, not eating peanut butter sandwiches. But for someone with a severe version of this allergy, they may never be able to go to a restaurant, for fear of a severe reaction to something in the air. Right now, there’s only one approved treatment for severe allergies like this and it’s limited to peanuts.

This is why the new medication Xolair is very exciting. It promises a second possible treatment avenue and one that works for other allergens. A new trail analyzed data from 177 children with severe food allergies. Two-thirds of the treatment group were able to tolerate the specified endpoint, versus just 7% of the placebo group. This is a very large treatment effect, and the authors found similarly large impacts on other allergens.

There are some caveats: This treatment won’t work for everyone. (One-third of participants did not respond to it.) Additionally, this treatment is an injection given every two to four weeks, indefinitely. This may make it less palatable to children.

Overall, even with caveats, this is life-changing news for many families!

#xolair #foodallergies #allergies #peanutallergy #emilyoster #parentdata
...

If you have a fever during pregnancy, you should take Tylenol, both because it will make you feel better and because of concerns about fever in pregnancy (although these are also overstated).

The evidence that suggests risks to Tylenol focuses largely on more extensive exposure — say, taking it for more than 28 days during pregnancy. There is no credible evidence, even correlational, to suggest that taking it occasionally for a fever or headache would be an issue.

People take Tylenol for a reason. For many people, the choice may be between debilitating weekly migraines and regular Tylenol usage. The impacts studies suggest are very small. In making this decision, we should weigh the real, known benefit against the suggestion of this possible risk. Perhaps not everyone will come out at the same place on this, but it is crucial we give people the tools to make the choice for themselves.

#emilyoster #parentdata #tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancytips

If you have a fever during pregnancy, you should take Tylenol, both because it will make you feel better and because of concerns about fever in pregnancy (although these are also overstated).

The evidence that suggests risks to Tylenol focuses largely on more extensive exposure — say, taking it for more than 28 days during pregnancy. There is no credible evidence, even correlational, to suggest that taking it occasionally for a fever or headache would be an issue.

People take Tylenol for a reason. For many people, the choice may be between debilitating weekly migraines and regular Tylenol usage. The impacts studies suggest are very small. In making this decision, we should weigh the real, known benefit against the suggestion of this possible risk. Perhaps not everyone will come out at the same place on this, but it is crucial we give people the tools to make the choice for themselves.

#emilyoster #parentdata #tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancytips
...

Parenting trends are like Cabbage Patch Kids: they’re usually only popular because a bunch of people are using them! Most of the time, these trends are not based on new scientific research, and even if they are, that new research doesn’t reflect all of what we’ve studied before.

In the future, before hopping onto the latest trend, check the data first. Unlike Cabbage Patch Kids, parenting trends can add a lot of unnecessary stress and challenges to your plate. What’s a recent trend that you’ve been wondering about?

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks

Parenting trends are like Cabbage Patch Kids: they’re usually only popular because a bunch of people are using them! Most of the time, these trends are not based on new scientific research, and even if they are, that new research doesn’t reflect all of what we’ve studied before.

In the future, before hopping onto the latest trend, check the data first. Unlike Cabbage Patch Kids, parenting trends can add a lot of unnecessary stress and challenges to your plate. What’s a recent trend that you’ve been wondering about?

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks
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As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData! 

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity

As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData!

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity
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Just eat your Cheerios and move on.

Just eat your Cheerios and move on. ...

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide
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