Ableism, Disability, and Love

Emily Oster

7 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Ableism, Disability, and Love

"Raising a Rare Girl" with Heather Lanier

Emily Oster

7 min Read

A week or two ago I promised some newsletter variety, and here I am following through.

One of the wonderful things about writing books is that other people send you their books to read, often before they are out. In the last year I got to read everything from Early (about prematurity) and The Trying Game (about IVF) to Veritas (about a forged biblical fragment).

And even more fun, sometimes authors offer to really engage. Reading a book is always a bit like being in conversation with an author, but even more fun is actual conversation.

So: I am very excited today to relay an (virtual, obviously) conversation I had with the author of Raising a Rare Girl, which is out tomorrow. You can find it here.

I loved this book, and I do not want to give too much away. But for some context… the book is Heather Lanier’s memoir about raising a child, Fiona, with a very rare genetic condition. It’s about navigating a system to advocate for your kid, but also about navigating her own feelings and changing her expectations for what is possible. It’s about abelism, and disability, and love. It’s just great.

So: enjoy the conversation and, if you do, consider the book. And thanks, Heather, for engaging with me!


Emily:

Let me start by asking : how is your family doing with the virus?  How have you been surviving quarantine? How old are the kids now and how is Fiona doing? 

Heather:

Petra is 7, and Fiona is 9. (I find myself asking the same cliché every parent asks: How did they get so big? Or, at least in Fiona’s case, so old?)

This quarantining experience is a ridiculous juggling act, for sure. I wrote to a friend recently that we’re always juggling a hundred balls, and some days, half the balls are on the floor, and the other half are actually feelings. In other words, it’s an emotionally complex time. I’ve bought Marc Brackett’s Permission to Feel and have made it a point to ask everyone in the house regularly, “How are you feeling?” I might be overdoing it, but I’ve caught some truly remarkable moments this way.

My husband and I have also prioritized exercise. He now lifts a bar of giant weights in the garage. I manically jump around in the living room to Shaun T’s instructions. The unintended plus is that Fiona has actually made some pretty impressive gross motor gains. She does the workout videos with me, and can now get two or three inches of air between her feet and the floor. In all this chaos, there have been unexpected gifts like that. Here and there, we get to connect with each other in ways we otherwise wouldn’t have. But make no mistake, this is an incredibly hard time–for every parent!

Emily:

I like to put things in context with numbers. How unusual was your family’s experience, in that sense?

Heather:

Interesting question. A rare disease is something that affects one in 1,500 people. My daughter’s syndrome, Wolf-Hirschhorn (or 4p-), affects one in 50,000 people. But if you tally up all the rare diseases, and all the ways that bodies present as unique or outside what the medical world calls “normal,” our experience is more common than 1 in 50,000 suggests. I think many parents find themselves in this situation: What does it mean to love a child who falls outside of what people call “normal,” a measurement our culture has revered for over a hundred years? It’s challenging, and it’s also liberating.

Emily:

And how did you find you were treated, both by the medical establishment and by the culture at large?

Heather:

The message I immediately got from the medical community was that my daughter was “wrong.” You could feel this in the delivery room. They whisked Fiona away. I later learned it was because of her weight. Fiona was born full term weighing four pounds, twelve ounces. They asked me if I’d gained the proper weight (I did). They asked if I’d done drugs while pregnant (I didn’t.) The morning before our release, a pediatrician came to do a final examination. Finally, looking at her, he said, “It’s either bad seed, or bad soil.” I was stunned.

Since then, we’ve met amazing doctors. But we’ve also met medical professionals who’ve continued to view our child as less-than or broken in some way. These are sometimes very good people. But they can’t help but express a value embedded in our culture–that a person with disabilities, particularly intellectual disabilities, is somehow worth less. It can be painful. But it’s also eye-opening.

Emily:

How do you define ‘able-ism’?

Heather:

Ableism is the belief, implicit or explicit, that an able-bodied life is superior to a disabled life. And ableism is the discrimation and oppression people with disabilities face as a result of that belief.

Emily:

What have been some of the most surprising discoveries or moments in your journey as Fiona’s mom?

Heather:

Oh, there have been so many! Parenting is nothing if not surprising.

One of the most surprising discoveries was that I too was ableist. Six or so months into Fiona’s life, it dawned on me that I’d always valued an able-bodied life more than a disabled one. This was not an explicit idea, not a belief I actively cultivated. But in acknowledging this, I take a cue from Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Anti-Racist, who argues that, to be anti-racist, a person needs to admit their implicit racism. I think the same can be said for the work of anti-ableism.

I’d always been an overachiever. I’d been measured and ranked my whole life, separated into “smart kid” classes as early as third grade. By the way, the earliness of that says more about American education than it does about me! But I’d totally bought into the yardsticks used to measure human beings. And then I had Fiona. She did not “meet the milestones,” as they say. While kids her age were sitting up, she was still working on head control. And yet, I saw in her eyes what every parent sees in their child: the weight and measure of the world. She was awesome! So, in having Fiona, I not only realized how much grip those yardsticks had on me, I saw their ultimate silliness–and their ableism.

Here’s another surprising moment. At a year old, Fiona could only make two sounds, Ah and Mm. Based on the developmental charts, her therapists said she functioned at the age of a 4-month-old. They seemed chronically disappointed in her. Then we moved to a new state, and Fiona had a new speech evaluation. Immediately, the therapist interacted with Fiona differently. She saw all that my daughter could do! This happened in her first seconds with Fiona. The therapist walked through the door and said “Hello.” Fiona clapped and smiled. The therapist looked at me and said, “She just greeted me. That’s a great sign.”

Throughout the evaluation, I got to see my daughter’s communication through a new lens of capabilities. She was a little over a year old, and she couldn’t babble, but she could process novel requests. She could articulate some of her needs, with only those Ah and Mm sounds. She could “greet” people, not yet with a wave, but with a smile and a clap. This therapist saw Fiona as very, very capable in communication–with plenty of room to grow.

So I realized that the milestone charts–those yardsticks we use for infants–simply can’t capture the complex expression of human growth. Because the former therapists were often pretty pessimistic about Fiona’s achievements, I also saw that using those charts to peg a kid as a certain “developmental age” can have really adverse effects. I later learned that there are two lenses through which you can view a kid: deficit lens, and capacity-building lens. Does an educator see “what’s broken and in need of fixing?” This is deficit-thinking, and it’s based in ableism. Or does the educator see what the child is capable of, and then make a plan to to build on that? This capacity-building lens honors the humanity of the child.

Interestingly enough, I later read that capacity-building educators tend to set higher goals for their kids–and help them achieve higher outcomes.

Emily:

What would you recommend to other parents who find themselves advocating, sometimes really fighting, to get their kid the right care?

Heather:

Look for those capacity-builders! Look for the optimists, the enthusiasts, the people who perceive the full humanity of your child. It can be hard to find them sometimes, but try to find at least one, and get them in your corner. From that positive perspective, so many things are possible!

Also, pay attention to your gut when you know you’re in the company of the opposite. It feels super icky to be sitting with someone who sees your kid as a series of deficits. This is why so many of us loathe IEP meetings–because some special educators are stuck on the questions of “What’s wrong? How is this kid outside the measure of ‘normal’? How can we squeeze them back onto the normal curve?” Reject those people’s values. As Thomas Armstrong, Executive Director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development, said, “We don’t look at a calla lily and say that it has a ‘petal deficit disorder.’ We appreciate its beautiful shape.” The same is true for our neurodiverse kids.

Emily:

What do you most hope readers take from the book?

Heather:

I hope parents of unique kids feel seen, connected, and inspired. I also hope the book helps us cast off the tyranny of “normal” and honor our kids–and each other–as unique expressions of humanity. But above all, I hope people read the book as a narrative version of Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart. In other words, I hope it helps people, non-parents included, let the unexpected circumstances of our lives break us open into beautiful new ways of being–and loving.

Emily:

I wondered how you think about writing about your kids. I think about this a lot when I write about mine – do you ask them if it is okay?  Did you show them the book?  

Heather:

I purposefully stopped the book’s chronology at Fiona’s entry into kindergarten. It felt right that, just as she was entering into the public sphere, I was ending my control of the narrative.

I did write about my kids more when they were younger–when they were literally tethered to my body. That felt right, because we were so inextricably linked–and therefore our narrative was too. I’ve always been wary of any absolute ban on parents writing about their kids. It has gendered implications. Women do the bulk of the caregiving in this country. Prohibiting them from writing about their experiences harkens to that whole idea of “keeping the domestic sphere private.” Historically, the domestic sphere has been the sphere of women, so if it must stay private, then we’re prohibiting women from owning their expertise.

To me, the question is not “Should we write about our kids,” but “How?” Now that my kids are older, I don’t write about them so much as I write about the conditions of being their parent. I try to keep the focus on my own narrative, not theirs. And I’m always weighing the costs and benefits of what I write. “If I tell this story, why? Is it to inspire change? Is it just to vent? Who could be hurt if I write this?” Every nonfiction writer asks these questions, and there are no hard-and-fast rules, but we intuit our way, with love. I wrote about this process in this blog post, the summer before Fiona entered kindergarten. A lot of it remains true.

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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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