Is Sleep Training Bad?

Emily Oster

14 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Is Sleep Training Bad?

A modified excerpt for Cribsheet on one ParentData's hottest topics: crying it out

Emily Oster

14 min Read

I posted about the best parenting advice a couple of weeks ago, and about 13% of it was in the category I call “Sleep-Related”. And a lot of this, in turn, amounted to a version of sleep train your child. By “sleep training” people typically mean some form of “crying it out” — broadly, any system where you leave the baby in his crib on his own at the start of the night, and sometimes let him fall back to sleep on his own if he wakes at some point during the night. The name refers to the fact that if you do this, your baby will cry some at the start of the program.

There are many versions of this: Ferber, Weissbluth, etc. All advocate slightly different approaches (do you check on them, how long do you wait before going in, whether you stay in the room, etc.) This approach is popular with parents, and advocated by many pediatricians. But it is also very controversial.

Go on the internet, and you’ll immediately find a variety of articles detailing the extensive long-term damage sleep training will do to your child. Google “cry it out,” and on the first page of results you’ll find an article by a PhD psychologist, Darcia Narvaez, entitled “Dangers of ‘Crying It Out’: Damaging children and their Relationships for the Long Term.” The article proceeds as you’d expect based on the title. It details the selfish reasons people would choose to do this, and the many long-term psychological issues it could create.

At its core, the concern from the opponents of “cry it out” is that your baby will feel abandoned and, as a result, struggle to form attachments to you, and ultimately to anyone else. It is worth a brief digression on where this idea comes from.

The answer: Romanian orphanages.

In the 1980s, a deep failure of reproductive policy left thousands of infants and children in Romanian orphanages. These children suffered all kinds of tragic deprivations, including limited food, as well as physical and sexual abuse. In addition, they had almost no adult contact as infants and children. They were left in their cribs for years with virtually no human contact, resulting in very late physical development, in addition to mental and psychological costs. Researchers who visited these children found the children could not form bonds with others, and many of them have struggled their whole lives.

This influenced the attachment-parenting philosophy, including views on the use of “cry it out.” One of the things visitors noticed in these places was the eerie quiet of the rooms the children were kept in. Infants and babies didn’t cry, because they knew no one would come. The argument is that “cry it out” is the same thing: Your baby will stop crying because she knows you will not come, just as the children in these orphanages did. And just as in those settings, her ability to attach to you and others will be forever changed.

This was a terrible and shameful episode that should never have happened. But it is also not comparable to the experience of most infants whose parents use “cry it out” methods. None of these suggest leaving the infant for months without any human contact, nor do they suggest subjecting children to the other types of physical and emotional abuse common in the Romanian orphanage experience.

Obviously the writers of anti-“cry it out” articles understand this, but in their view, “cry it out” is a continuum. The children left in these orphanages suffered extreme long-term consequences. Children who experience other types of chronic life stress—physical abuse, serious neglect—often have long-term problems. A few nights of sleep training probably will not do that, but who knows whether they endure smaller damages?

Fortunately, the literature does know—at least to some extent—and we can subject the question of whether sleep training is harmful to the data. But before getting into that, it seems useful to start with the basic question of whether sleep training works.

Does “cry it out” work?

Yes, this method works for improving sleep.

There are many, many studies on this, employing a variety of related procedures (many of these are randomized trials). A 2006 review covered nineteen studies of the unfortunately named “Extinction” method—the form of “cry it out” in which you leave and do not return—of which seventeen showed improvements in sleep. Another fourteen studies used “Graduated Extinction”—where you come in to check on the baby at increasingly lengthy intervals—and all showed improvements. A smaller number of studies covered “Extinction with Parental Presence”—in which you stay in the room but let the child cry—and these also showed positive effects.

These effects persist through six months or a year. This means that children who are sleep trained are sleeping better (on average) even a year after the training.

These methods do not completely solve all sleep problems from day one. And some children respond better than others, as do some parents. Not every baby who is sleep trained will sleep through the night every night, but they do sleep better on average.

The bottom line is that there is simply a tremendous amount of evidence suggesting that “cry it out” is an effective method of improving sleep.

It is worth noting that most of these studies—and, indeed, virtually all sleep books—recommend a “bedtime routine” as part of any sleep intervention. There isn’t much direct evidence on this—the review refers to it as a “common sense recommendation”—but it is generally included with all intervention approaches. The idea is to have some activities that signal to the baby that it is bedtime: putting on the baby’s pajamas, reading them a book, singing some kind of song, turning off the lights. Basically, no one recommends throwing a fully-clothed baby in the crib with the lights on, telling them it is bedtime, and closing the door.

Benefits of sleep training

While much of the popular discussion of sleep training focuses on its possible harms, much of the academic literature focuses on its possible benefits, including not only improvements in infant sleep, but also benefits to the parents.

Most important, sleep interventions seem to be very successful at reducing maternal depression. To take one example, an Australian study of 328 children randomized half into a sleep-training regime and the other half into a control group. Two and four months later, the authors found that the mothers of babies in the sleep-training arm were less likely to be depressed and more likely to have better physical health. They were less likely to use health services, as well.

This finding is consistent across studies. Sleep-training methods consistently improve parental mental health; this includes less depression, higher marital satisfaction, and lower parenting stress. In some cases the effects are very large. One small (non-randomized) study reported that 70 percent of mothers fit the criteria for clinical depression at study enrollment, and only 10 percent after the intervention.

Obviously we want to think carefully about any possible risks to babies, but the fact that sleep training is good for parents should not be ignored. And sleep is also beneficial to development for babies and kids. Settling into a good sleep routine—one that will ensure longer and higher-quality sleep—could have long-term positive effects for children.

Is “cry it out” harmful?

“Cry it out” works, helps parents and kids sleep better, and improves at least parental mood. Is it harmful for your child?

There are a number of good randomized trials which speak to this. One representative study from Sweden, published in 2004, took ninety-five families and randomized them into a sleep-training regime involving a form of “cry it out.” The authors focused on whether behavior during the day was impacted by the nighttime—basically, they asked whether the infants were less attached to their parents during the day as a result of being left to cry during the night.

This particular study found that, in fact, infant security and attachment seemed to increase after the “cry it out” intervention. It also found improvements in daytime behavior and eating as reported by the babies’ parents. Note that this is the opposite of the concerns raised about “cry it out” methods.

This study is not alone. A 2006 review of sleep-training studies, which included thirteen different interventions, noted the following: “Adverse secondary effects as the result of participating in behaviorally based sleep programs were not identified in any of the studies. On the contrary, infants who participated in sleep interventions were found to be more secure, predictable, less irritable, and to cry and fuss less following treatment.”

This evidence focuses on immediate impacts on the infant. But this isn’t necessarily the main concern among those who shun “cry it out.” Instead, the worry is about longer-term impacts. Yes, the infant cries less—maybe even less during the day—but because they have given up, not because they are happier.

To more fully address this, we need to follow sleep-trained children to older ages to see whether there are long-term risks. This adds to the difficulty of running a randomized trial, of course, since longer-term follow-up is both difficult and expensive. However, we do have one example.

This study was run in Australia, with 328 families recruited when their babies were eight months old. The authors first showed that the intervention improved sleep and lowered parental depression. But they didn’t stop there. They returned to evaluate the children a year later and, most notable, five years later, when the children were almost six. In this later follow-up, which included a subset of the original families, the researchers found no difference in any outcomes, including emotional stability and conduct behavior, stress, parent-child closeness, conflict, parent-child attachment, or attachment in general. Basically, the kids who were sleep trained looked exactly like those who were not.

This study—as well as the others and various review articles—do not point to either long- or short-term harms from “cry it out.” And it works, and it is good for parents. This paints a pretty pro-“cry it out” picture. But it is not one that everyone agrees with.

A number of academic articles argue against “cry it out” from a theoretical perspective. One good example comes from an article published in 2011 in a journal called Sleep Medicine Reviews. The authors of this article presented a case against “cry it out,” largely based on the idea that infant crying is intended as a signal of distress, and parents should therefore not be encouraged to ignore it. They draw on the attachment theories (i.e., the orphanage literature), and argue that parents who engage in this are ignoring their children’s efforts to begin communication with them.

The fact that “cry it out” works is not compelling to these researchers and, indeed, is an indication of harm. As one article puts it, “Is the cessation of crying a ‘cure’ or is it that the child has ‘given up’ and is now depressed and has partially withdrawn from the attachment dyad?”

The primary argument offered by this and similar papers is that infant crying is a signal of stress (probably true) and that stress, even over a short period of days or weeks, may have long-term consequences for babies (speculative). These authors often point to one particular study to support these stress claims. That study, published in 2012, followed twenty-five infants and their mothers in New Zealand over a five-day inpatient treatment in a sleep lab. The goal of the stay in the lab was to sleep train the infants. Nurses in the study collected data on the stress hormone cortisol in both the babies and their mothers, and were also responsible for putting the infants to sleep, and monitoring the sleep training.

Before the sleep training each day, the babies’ and moms’ cortisol levels were tested and recorded.  This was done again after the infant fell asleep. On the first day, the babies all cried. Their cortisol levels were the same before the training and after they fell asleep. Their mothers’ cortisol levels were also the same before the babies cried and after they were asleep. This was the same on the second day.

On the third day, none of the infants cried (see above: sleep training works). However, they showed the same cortisol patterns: equal before bedtime and after they fell asleep. But for the moms, this changed: they had lower cortisol levels in the later period, when the babies weren’t crying.

The authors suggested that this presents a problem with sleep training. In particular, they note that after sleep training, the mother’s stress levels do not stay in sync with the infant’s, which they interpret as possible evidence that the attachment between mother and infant is weakening.

A number of commentators have argued that this is an over-interpretation of the study. For one thing, there is no baseline level of cortisol given, so we actually have no way to know if the babies were even experiencing elevated stress. For another, the study stopped after three days (or at least the data reporting did), so we don’t know what happened later.

But even beyond this, it is unclear why differing levels of cortisol for moms and infants after sleep training is a problem. Effectively, this study shows that mothers are more relaxed after sleep training occurs, and that there are no other changes for the infant. This seems like a positive result, not a negative one.

Fundamentally, the argument against sleep training is theoretical. We know that abuse and neglect have long-term consequences, so how can we be sure that four days of a baby crying itself to sleep doesn’t? You might think you could look at the data on long-term impacts and note that everything seems fine, but the theoretical counter-argument is simply that for some children, this is devastating, and you do not know who those children are.

This argument is nearly impossible to refute. There is no way to prove or disprove it. You’d need a huge sample size, and even then most studies wouldn’t be designed to pick up this kind of heterogeneity.

A related argument is that although children may look fine at five or six years old, the damage from sleep training may not manifest until they are adults. Again, very hard to study.

I think it is fair to say that it would be good to have more data—it’s always good to have more data! And yes, it is possible that if we had more data, we would find some small negative effects. The studies we have are not perfect.

However, the idea that this uncertainty should lead us to avoid sleep training is flawed. Among other things, you could easily argue the opposite: maybe sleep training is very good for some kids—they really need the uninterrupted sleep—and there is a risk of damaging your child by not sleep training. There isn’t anything in the data which shows this, but there is similarly nothing to show that sleep training is bad.

You could also argue that the effects of maternal depression on children are long-lasting, and therefore this intervention may have beneficial long-term effects. This seems in many ways more plausible.

You’ll have to make a choice about this without perfect data. (This is true of virtually all parenting choices. Blame the parenting researchers!) But it would be a mistake to say, for example, that not sleep training is the “safest option.”

Does all this mean you should definitely sleep train? Of course not—every family is different, and you may really not want to let your baby “cry it out.” You need to make your own choices, just as with everything else. But if you do want sleep train, you should not feel shame or discomfort about that decision. The data, imperfect as it is, is on your side.

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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. 

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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. 💙
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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.

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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
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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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!

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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
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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!

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

#funnytweets #bedtime #nightimeroutine #parentinghumor #parentingmemes
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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.

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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
...

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
...