Grandparents & Day Care

Emily Oster

18 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Grandparents & Day Care

Emily Oster

18 min Read

When I teased this topic last week, a very large number of you wrote to me to either (a) tell me you were excited that I would tell you what to do; or (b) ask could I please make sure to talk through the specifics of a particular situation. In light of these questions, I fear this post will disappoint.

I am not going to tell you what to do, and I cannot go through all of your individual questions. In fact, these points are closely linked. It is precisely because everyone’s considerations are different than I cannot tell you what to do. I could tell you what I did, but who cares? This is unlikely to be relevant unless your situation exactly mimics mine.

What I am going to do, instead, is try to talk through a way to think about any of these types of decisions — day care, camp, grandparents, babysitters, playdates, house cleaner, etc, etc — in the hopes that it can be broadly applied. The bottom line is that you do not need an answer. You need a way to decide.

Before we even get into how to decide, I would urge you to ask a first basic question: Do you need to make this decision now? A lot of you are writing to me with questions like: I am due to give birth in October and my parents want to see the baby; they live two hours away and could drive here. What should I do about seeing them? Unless there are other decisions that depend on this question, I would urge you to put it off, despite what may be daily calls from your parents pestering you. It is tempting to try to plan all eventualities, but this decision doesn’t have to be made now and you really cannot know what is going to be right in October.

The fact is, there are plenty of decisions you probably do need to make right now. And, for those, we can start with a framework.

The Framework

We’re all struggling with slightly different questions. Should my parents visit from the next state? How about from next door? Camp is open in June, should my kids go? Should we have a play date with the neighbor’s children? In what way?

It will not be too surprising, given that I’m an economist, that I’m going to advocate a form of “compare risks and benefits.” But in this case that basic advice is far too vague. You need a framework, a system, something much more concrete. Here’s my system:

  1. Frame the Question
  2. Mitigate Risk
  3. Evaluate Risk
  4. Evaluate Benefits
  5. Decide

You will notice that this starts not with risks and benefits, but with framing your question.

That is: you must start by figuring out what, precisely, you are considering doing and, just as important, asking what is the alternative? Many questions are in the space of: Should my kid return to day care when it opens next week? It’s very hard to answer this without knowing what the choice is. Is the alternative returning in two weeks? In September? Never? Getting a nanny? Quitting your job? You will have a much easier time making the choice if you are making a choice of A versus B (or A or B or C) rather than evaluating infinite possibilities.

Beginning with this kind of framing can sometimes reveal holes in your thinking. Sometimes you’ll end up framing the question as : Should we have our nanny come back now (option 1) or re-evaluate in 3 weeks (option 2)? This framing may force you to confront the question: What is likely to be different in 3 weeks? What am I expecting to learn? If you are waiting for a vaccine at the end of June, a quick perusal of the facts would tell you this isn’t realistic.

In addition, being specific about the question may reveal some mismatch in expectations across decision makers. If you see the alternative as seeing your parents now versus three weeks from now, and they see it as now versus when there is a vaccine, those are pretty different conversations.

I would venture that in at least some cases, framing the question alone may be enough to see the answer. If you ultimately decide the question is whether to see your parents for a socially distant visit this weekend or next weekend — i.e. if you decide you’re not waiting on a vaccine, or even waiting another month — that’s a pretty easy question to answer.

Once you’ve framed the question — and assuming that alone wasn’t enough to answer it — you do need to move on to risks and benefits. I’m going to argue that it makes sense to start this by first asking how you can mitigate risk. What is the safest way to do what you are considering? For this, I’d selfishly refer you to our COVID-Explained discussion of the path of the virus. If you understand better how this spreads, it may be easier to think creatively about avoidance.

Once you’ve done that, you can then think carefully about the actual risks (again, the risks assuming you do this as safely as possible). Here, I’d urge you to focus on the risks of serious illness. This is what we are trying to avoid. And then think about benefits. And then, finally, decide.

In the end, you’ll need to make all of these decisions knowing there is no way to be sure they are right, or wrong. That is the uncertainty that we need to accept to move forward.

It would be remiss to move on without talking about societal risks. I’m sure I will get pilloried for this post by suggesting people think only about their own families. And you shouldn’t: we want to think also about limiting virus spread outside of our families. You can do this, in part, by protecting your family directly. If none of you get sick, the virus doesn’t spread. Being careful in particular about people who might get seriously ill is important for saving hospital space.

But probably the most important thing you can do to limit viral spread is to be careful when you go out to wash your hands, to wear a mask and to socially distance.

So, that’s it. A five step process. Useful for any COVID-19 choice. But frameworks are best used with examples, so let’s talk through something that is on many of our minds: grandparents and child care.

Grandparents

Frame the Choice

Regardless of your specific grandparent question, it is imperative that you start by framing the choice. Your question might be: My parents live locally/within a couple of hours drive and we want to see them. Should we and in what way?

Think about these two possibilities.

  • Choice 1: we feel we must see them within the next month, so it’s either this weekend or three weekends from now.
  • Choice 2: It’s either this weekend, or we wait for a vaccine.

How you evaluate the risks and benefits depends really heavily on which of these choices you think you are in. And you may not all be on the same page about the choice you see yourselves making. Get on the same page first, and then figure out the options.

Mitigate Risk

There are more and less safe way to get together. A key part of this choice is to figure out how you can best mitigate risk.

Here is the bottom line: There are a lot of ways to mitigate risk in particular situations.

  • Example: You are considering meeting your parents for a hike outside. You can make this as safe as possible by wearing masks and not touching each other. If you do this, the risk of spreading the virus even if one of you is infected is really, really, really small. Is it completely out of the question impossible? No. But it’s likely to be well, well within the risks that you have implicitly accepted by, say, driving to the hiking location.
  • Example: You are considering having your parents drive from their home two hours away to meet your newborn. If they are able to quarantine for two weeks and you are able to quarantine for two weeks and they drive up without stopping this would really, really mitigate the risk on both sides.

Some situations are harder. Let’s say your parents need to fly to see you. Being on airplanes and in transit entails risk to them, and then risk to you. But, still, there are things they can do. In transit: wear a mask and wash or sanitize frequently. Do not buy food or eat in the airport. When they arrive: is there a way to quarantine them even for a few days? Although official quarantine guidelines are 14 days, most infections seem to show up within the first five. Could they find an AirB&B for a couple of days before seeing you?

Or flip the visit. The air transit piece of this is the most risky. Given that the virus is less serious in younger people, it may make sense for you to travel rather than them, and perhaps quarantine briefly on the other end.

It is also worthwhile to think about the timing; this is part of the value to outlining the alternatives. Let’s say you imagine if camps open, your kids will go to them. They’ll be at higher risk of infection at that point than they are now. It may be safer to see your parents now, rather than in a month. If you feel you must see them sometime in the next few months, this should be part of the calculus.

Evaluate Risk

Risk mitigation focuses on how you can structure this to make the risk as small as possible. The second step is to think about how large this risk really is in the best case scenario.

What do we mean by risk here? Well, I’d venture what you have in your mind is something like:

Chance Someone Infected X Chance of Spread X Chance of serious illness or death

That is: if you think about the risk to your dad of visiting, it really comes down to the possibility you’re infected, the risk of spreading it, and the risk that he becomes seriously ill. And you want to think about this risk for each person. There is a corresponding risk to your child from your parents visiting: the chance they are infected multiplied by the chance of spread to your child, multiplied by the chance your child will be seriously ill.

For me, this breakdown is useful because it allows me to think concretely about each of these items. I’m more likely to have my kids seem my in-laws now, in our quarantine state, because our current risk of infection is low. A distance hike is safer than having them in our house because of the very low risk of spread. If you live in a place with very low infection rates, that matters.

The last piece of the equation is probably the most complicated to think about: what is the risk to each person of getting the virus? Note that I’ve framed this as the risk of serious illness. The vast majority of people who get COVID-19 have mild or even asymptomatic illness. All else equal, we’d rather no one get sick at all, but I think when we talk about being really worried about seeing our families, we must be worried about serious illness, not about a cold.

We do not have a great sense of the actual COVID-19 risks. The available data is limited and is mostly from China. Many cases of COVID-19 are undetected, making it hard to estimate these numbers. So most of the numbers we see are likely too high; this includes the estimates below.

But what we do know is that serious illness and death varies tremendously by age. One set of estimates of infection fatality rate, from a recent Lancet paper, shows the risk of death (and serious illness) in younger people is much smaller than in older people (it also seems to be lower in women). If your parents are in their early 60s, they are at much less risk than if they are in their late 80s. Your kids are at quite limited risk.

Evaluate Benefits

We have been so focused on risk in all our COVID-19 discussion that I think we sometimes forget the benefits to seeing others. Only you can really say what these are. The benefits might be practical: your parents could provide child care. They might be psychic, mental health related. Joy is a benefit! One of my colleagues has been isolating for two weeks so she can hold her newborn granddaughter for the first time. This joy: this is a real thing.

This virus has taken a huge mental health toll, one we probably are only beginning to recognize. It is possible — I would say even likely — that even if there is some risk to interactions, they are still worth it.

Compare Risks and Benefits, Decide.

It is not easy to compare “0.5% risk of serious illness versus joy.” But in the end, this is what you will have to do. Take a deep breath, look carefully at your risk and benefits, and make a choice. You cannot know if it is the right one, but there is no option not to choose.

Day Care/Nanny

In some ways, the day care/nanny choice is easier than the grandparent choice because the COVID-19 risks to children are small (not zero, small; see my many other writings on this). In other ways, it’s harder because risk mitigation is challenging. A socially distance hike is a very low risk activity. Day care is, even in the best situation, a medium risk activity. Having your nanny in your house entails exposure. If she has COVID-19, there is a good chance it will spread.

But you still need to choose. How to do it? Same approach, new considerations.

Frame the Choice

Your day care is opening next week. Should you send your kid back? Start with the frame: what is the alternative? Is it sending them in a month? Is it re-evaluating in two weeks (and what do you think will be different then?) Is it hiring a nanny? Is it your parents in with you?

Same issues come up with summer camp. If your kids do not go to camp this summer, what will they do? Will you need to hire a babysitter? Will you let them just run feral around the neighborhood (full disclosure this is 100% my plan, sorry neighbors).

Try hard to narrow your options: Should we do A or should we do B?

Mitigate Risk

When it comes to child care, it is simply difficult to fully mitigate risk. We will move forward a lot faster if we recognize this. The CDC has issued guidelines for day care and camps, which I encourage you to read. They are pretty sensible — monitor kids for fever, do not allow sick children to attend, have staff stay home when sick, wash hands. You should make sure that your child care solution is following something like these guidelines.

But: children often have mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. They also interact a lot. You cannot have a fully socially distant day care or young child camp. You can be more distant, more hand washing, more vigilant about illness. But you cannot get to a place that is like a socially distant grandparent hike.

I’d make a similar point about nannies. You can ask your nanny to wash his or her hands, and you can ask them to maintain social distance. You can learn more about their family situation, and think about whether there are ways to mitigate risk there. You can make sure she doesn’t come in when she’s sick. But: you cannot control what another adult does when they are not in your house. And, although people will disagree with this, I would argue that trying to regulate your babysitters behavior when he or she is not at your home is a recipe for a bad relationship.

None of this is to say that we cannot make risks smaller; you can. But unlike in the case of grandparents, where there are some basically no-risk options (wave to them across that backyard), there are no no-risk options here.

Evaluate Risk

The risks here are the familiar COVID-19 ones. As above: you want to think about the chance of infection and the consequences of that infection. One piece of this is the risks for your children. Frankly, if your child is otherwise healthy, these are small. Yes, kids can get seriously ill, but it is very rare. Children seem less likely to be infected in general, and the infection tends to be more mild. I will not review all of the evidence on this here: see some explainers here and here.

This extends to very young children, although as with all illnesses infants may get sicker than older kids. And the risks seem to be roughly increasing with age, so teenagers are at slightly more risk than younger kids (but still very, very limited risk).

There are also risks to other people in your house — you, others who live with you (elderly parents?). Given the low infection rates in kids, there is some debate about how significant they are as a viral vector. I wrote about this here. The bulk of the evidence we have so far seems to point to children being a relatively limited source of infection, which is good, but it doesn’t mean they couldn’t in principle spread the virus. Just that that risk is small.

This school-camp-daycare calculus is different, I think, than the nanny calculus. Your nanny is in your house, and he or she is presumably an adult. If they are infected, they may pass the virus directly to you. It would make sense to incorporate this more directly.

To be completely honest: if you are healthy young-ish adults, with young children, the risks of exposure through day care, camp and school are likely to be small. They are not zero! Going out will entail risks. But this is a fundamentally different level than with elderly parents.

Evaluate Benefits

What are the benefits to having your child out of the house or taken care of by someone else? (Are they infinite? I think maybe).

These could include your ability to return to work, or work more effectively at home. They could include your mental health. They could include your children’s mental health, physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. They could include access to food, if your household is food insecure and food is provided at child care.

Exactly which benefits are relevant depend on the decision. A nanny or babysitter may help you return to work, but may not deliver as many social benefits.

Compare Risks and Benefits, Decide.

Again, this isn’t an easy comparison. You have to recognize you are taking some risk of illness if your child returns to day care or your nanny comes to your house. It’s also worth recognizing that for many families, this risk is probably small. And the benefits may be large (or they may not be!) Frame the choice, make the lists, decide.

Other Choices

There are so many others: dentist appointment, cleaning help, playdates, etc, etc. Try to approach them the same way. What is the question? What can you do to mitigate risk? How big is the risk really? What are the benefits?

And above all recognize: there is no easy way to make these choices. Most of us are going to have to leave our homes before there is a vaccine. We need to do so thoughtfully, and carefully, but for most of us – and for society – there is no choice to not make a choice.

No, Seriously, What Do you Do?

Yeah, yeah, okay. Even though I know I will be crucified, I will tell you.

  • Our nanny has continued to come; she works a half day. She lives alone and we have asked her to socially distance. I trust her, but do not police her behavior.
  • If camps open, I will send my kids.
  • We saw my parents, who are older, for a socially distant hike last weekend. We did not touch them and the adults wore masks.
Covid-19 rapid antigen tests arranged in a pattern on a yellow background.

Feb 20 2023

12 min read

COVID-19: Where to Go from Here

A long-term view of the virus

Emily Oster
Covid-19 rapid antigen tests arranged in a pattern on a yellow background.

Oct 20 2022

9 min read

Should You Get the Bivalent Booster?

The latest on the risks and benefits of COVID vaccines boosters for older adults, pregnant people, and kids

Emily Oster
A line graph with pink, yellow, and blue dots representing life's ups and downs.

Aug 16 2022

3 min read

Wins, Woes, and Doing It Again

We have our first story from a dad! And it’s a good one. 10/10 —Girl Dad with Confidence Growing by Read more

Emily Oster
Covid-19 rapid antigen tests arranged in a pattern on a yellow background.

Aug 15 2022

8 min read

Updated CDC Guidelines for School and Child Care

NO QUARANTINES!!!

Emily Oster

Instagram

left right
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
...

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
...

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
...

It was an absolute pleasure to be featured on the @tamronhallshow! We talked about all things data-driven parenting and, in this clip, what I call the plague of secret parenting. To balance having a career and having a family, we can’t hide the fact that we’re parents. If mothers and fathers at the top can speak more openly about child-care obligations, it will help us all set a new precedent.

Watch the full segment at the link in my bio 🔗

#tamronhall #tamronhallshow #emilyoster #parentingsupport #workingparents

It was an absolute pleasure to be featured on the @tamronhallshow! We talked about all things data-driven parenting and, in this clip, what I call the plague of secret parenting. To balance having a career and having a family, we can’t hide the fact that we’re parents. If mothers and fathers at the top can speak more openly about child-care obligations, it will help us all set a new precedent.

Watch the full segment at the link in my bio 🔗

#tamronhall #tamronhallshow #emilyoster #parentingsupport #workingparents
...

Invisible labor. It’s the work — in our households especially — that has to happen but that no one sees. It’s making the doctor’s appointment, ensuring birthday cards are purchased, remembering the milk.

My guest on this episode, @everodsky, has come up with a solution here, or at least a way for us to recognize the problem and make our own solutions. I’ve wanted to speak with Eve for ages, since I read her book Fair Play. We had a great conversation about the division of household labor, one I think you’ll get a lot out of!

Listen and subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster in your favorite podcast app 🎧

#emilyoster #parentdata #parentdatapodcast #parentingpodcast #householdtips #fairplay #invisiblelabor

Invisible labor. It’s the work — in our households especially — that has to happen but that no one sees. It’s making the doctor’s appointment, ensuring birthday cards are purchased, remembering the milk.

My guest on this episode, @everodsky, has come up with a solution here, or at least a way for us to recognize the problem and make our own solutions. I’ve wanted to speak with Eve for ages, since I read her book Fair Play. We had a great conversation about the division of household labor, one I think you’ll get a lot out of!

Listen and subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster in your favorite podcast app 🎧

#emilyoster #parentdata #parentdatapodcast #parentingpodcast #householdtips #fairplay #invisiblelabor
...

Prenatal vitamins 💊 If there is any product that seems designed to prey on our fears, it’s this one. You’re newly pregnant and you want to do it right. Everyone agrees you need prenatal vitamins, so you get them. But do you want to be that person who just… buys the generic prenatal vitamins?

Good news: fancier vitamins are not better.  Folic acid is the most important prenatal ingredient. Iron (with vitamin C) and DHA are also nice to have. Other included ingredients have only weak or no evidence to support their use. (If you do not consume animal products, add B12, plus a few others depending on your diet.)

Vitamins are just vitamins. Any prenatal vitamin that contains these is enough. 

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article with everything you need to know about prenatal vitamins.

#emilyoster #parentdata #prenatalvitamins #pregnancydiet #pregnancytips

Prenatal vitamins 💊 If there is any product that seems designed to prey on our fears, it’s this one. You’re newly pregnant and you want to do it right. Everyone agrees you need prenatal vitamins, so you get them. But do you want to be that person who just… buys the generic prenatal vitamins?

Good news: fancier vitamins are not better. Folic acid is the most important prenatal ingredient. Iron (with vitamin C) and DHA are also nice to have. Other included ingredients have only weak or no evidence to support their use. (If you do not consume animal products, add B12, plus a few others depending on your diet.)

Vitamins are just vitamins. Any prenatal vitamin that contains these is enough.

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article with everything you need to know about prenatal vitamins.

#emilyoster #parentdata #prenatalvitamins #pregnancydiet #pregnancytips
...

When it comes to introducing your newborn to the world, timing matters. It’s a good idea to minimize germ exposure in the first 6-8 weeks; after that, it’s inevitable and, very likely, a good idea! This doesn’t mean you need to be trapped inside. The most significant exposure risks are from seeing other people at home — family, etc. These interactions are not infinitely risky, but they do pose more risk than a walk or a trip to the grocery store, since they involve closer interaction. Think simple and make sure everyone is washing their hands before holding the baby. 💛

#parentdata #emilyoster #newborncare #parentingadvice #parentingtips

When it comes to introducing your newborn to the world, timing matters. It’s a good idea to minimize germ exposure in the first 6-8 weeks; after that, it’s inevitable and, very likely, a good idea! This doesn’t mean you need to be trapped inside. The most significant exposure risks are from seeing other people at home — family, etc. These interactions are not infinitely risky, but they do pose more risk than a walk or a trip to the grocery store, since they involve closer interaction. Think simple and make sure everyone is washing their hands before holding the baby. 💛

#parentdata #emilyoster #newborncare #parentingadvice #parentingtips
...

The first edition of Hot Flash is out now! Comment “Link” for a DM to learn more about the late-reproductive stage.

There are times when we expect hormonal shifts. Our reproductive lives are bookended by puberty and menopause. We discuss those changes often because they are definitive and dramatic — a first period is something many of us remember clearly. But between ages 13 and 53, our hormones are changing in more subtle ways. During the late-reproductive stage (in your 40s), you can expect a lot of changes in your menstrual cycle, including the length and symptoms you experience throughout. It’s an important time in our lives that is often overlooked!

🔥 Hot Flash from ParentData is a weekly newsletter on navigating your health and hormones in the post-reproductive years. Written by Dr. Gillian Goddard, Hot Flash provides all of the information you need to have a productive, evidence-based conversation about hormonal health with your doctor.

#emilyoster #parentdata #hotflash #perimenopause #womenshealth

The first edition of Hot Flash is out now! Comment “Link” for a DM to learn more about the late-reproductive stage.

There are times when we expect hormonal shifts. Our reproductive lives are bookended by puberty and menopause. We discuss those changes often because they are definitive and dramatic — a first period is something many of us remember clearly. But between ages 13 and 53, our hormones are changing in more subtle ways. During the late-reproductive stage (in your 40s), you can expect a lot of changes in your menstrual cycle, including the length and symptoms you experience throughout. It’s an important time in our lives that is often overlooked!

🔥 Hot Flash from ParentData is a weekly newsletter on navigating your health and hormones in the post-reproductive years. Written by Dr. Gillian Goddard, Hot Flash provides all of the information you need to have a productive, evidence-based conversation about hormonal health with your doctor.

#emilyoster #parentdata #hotflash #perimenopause #womenshealth
...

There are plenty of reels telling you how to parent. Plenty of panic headlines saying that “studies show” what’s best for your kid. Even good data, from a trusted source, can send us into a spiral of comparison. But I want you to remember that no one knows your kid better than you. It’s important to absorb the research, but only you will know the approach that works best for you and your child. 💙

Now tell me in the comments: what’s a parenting move you’ve made recently that feels right to you?

#parentingcommunity #parentingsupport #parentingquotes #emilyoster #parentdata

There are plenty of reels telling you how to parent. Plenty of panic headlines saying that “studies show” what’s best for your kid. Even good data, from a trusted source, can send us into a spiral of comparison. But I want you to remember that no one knows your kid better than you. It’s important to absorb the research, but only you will know the approach that works best for you and your child. 💙

Now tell me in the comments: what’s a parenting move you’ve made recently that feels right to you?

#parentingcommunity #parentingsupport #parentingquotes #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Let’s talk about sex (after) baby! Today on the podcast, I was lucky enough to speak with @enagoski about her new book on sexual connection in long-term relationships. Especially after having kids, this is something many people struggle with. Emily tells us to stop worrying about what’s “normal” and focus on pleasure in its many forms.

Listen and subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster in your favorite podcast app 🎧

#parentdata #parentdatapodcast #emilyoster #emilynagoski #comeasyouare #cometogether #longtermrelationship #intimacy #relationships

Let’s talk about sex (after) baby! Today on the podcast, I was lucky enough to speak with @enagoski about her new book on sexual connection in long-term relationships. Especially after having kids, this is something many people struggle with. Emily tells us to stop worrying about what’s “normal” and focus on pleasure in its many forms.

Listen and subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster in your favorite podcast app 🎧

#parentdata #parentdatapodcast #emilyoster #emilynagoski #comeasyouare #cometogether #longtermrelationship #intimacy #relationships
...

Ever wondered if you can safely use leftover baby formula? 🍼 The CDC says to throw out unused formula immediately because of the risk of bacterial growth. However, research suggests that bacterial concentrations do not appreciably increase after 3, 12, or even 24 hours at refrigerator temperatures. Good news! This means there’s not a strong data-based reason to throw out formula right away if you store it in the fridge.

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on another common formula question: should you throw away old formula powder?

#emilyoster #parentdata #babyformula #babyfeeding #parentingstruggles

Ever wondered if you can safely use leftover baby formula? 🍼 The CDC says to throw out unused formula immediately because of the risk of bacterial growth. However, research suggests that bacterial concentrations do not appreciably increase after 3, 12, or even 24 hours at refrigerator temperatures. Good news! This means there’s not a strong data-based reason to throw out formula right away if you store it in the fridge.

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on another common formula question: should you throw away old formula powder?

#emilyoster #parentdata #babyformula #babyfeeding #parentingstruggles
...

What’s the most important piece of advice for new parents? Here’s one answer, but I want to hear from you! Share your suggestions in the comments ⬇️

#emilyoster #parentdata #parentingtips #parentingadvice #newparents #parentingcommunity

What’s the most important piece of advice for new parents? Here’s one answer, but I want to hear from you! Share your suggestions in the comments ⬇️

#emilyoster #parentdata #parentingtips #parentingadvice #newparents #parentingcommunity
...

What's in the bag of a Vagina Economist? 👀 Someone please tell me this looks familiar to you.

What`s in the bag of a Vagina Economist? 👀 Someone please tell me this looks familiar to you. ...