I Hit My Head and Learned Three Lessons

Emily Oster

10 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

I Hit My Head and Learned Three Lessons

Combating fear, making backups, and showing up for yourself

Emily Oster

10 min Read

At the end of September, I went to a conference in Denver. The first morning, I went for a run when it was still dark, on a path that was also used by bikes. Exactly 3.40 miles in, I collided with a cyclist going the other way (I know it was 3.40 because, like all good runners, the first thing I did after sitting up was stop my watch). It wasn’t anyone’s fault — we tried to avoid each other and ended up playing chicken wrong.

I thought I was okay upon sitting up and figured I’d just jog it back to the hotel (yes, I thought this). But when I tried to stand, I passed out. A few minutes later, I tried to stand again, and passed out again. At this point, the cyclist called an ambulance, and 10 minutes later I was headed to the ER. The EMTs measured my blood pressure at “90 over … what do you write down when it just fizzles out at the second number?,” which prompted the use of lights and sirens.

When I got to the ER, there were perhaps 30 people waiting in a trauma bay. I’ve been to the ER before — the time I cut my finger trying to catch a falling French press — but never in a situation in which people were actually worried something was wrong. Within about 30 seconds, there were 10 people working: taking blood, doing an ultrasound, checking my pulse, taking off my shoes (sorry to that person), running a chest x-ray. They were talking in medical jargon, back and forth, about what they were seeing.

A few minutes later, the head doctor announced, basically, that everything was fine (“I think we can downgrade the trauma level”). It turns out I was just a person in good aerobic condition with a bike-tire-shaped scrape on her leg, a head laceration, and questionable judgment about run timing (no one said that last part, but I could tell they were thinking it). So after a confirmatory CT scan and some staples in my head, I was out. I had time to shower before the first conference session.

Obviously a primary lesson from this is that I was enormously lucky. The cyclist who I ran into stopped and helped immeasurably (he told me his name, I immediately forgot it, but on the off chance you’re reading this, cycling guy — thank you). The EMTs and the ER staff were amazing, and I got off easy injury-wise. I did not end up with a concussion, which I can only attribute to dumb luck. The only significant casualties were a ripped T-shirt and a broken water bottle.

But there were at least three other things that I got from the experience, two of which closely relate to the themes of this newsletter and one of which is more personal. So I thought I’d take a little break from our regular programming and share them here, in case they’re useful to anyone else and so you don’t have to have a bike collision to learn them.

Lesson 1: Understanding is the enemy of fear

The collision was scary, as was passing out. Surprisingly, though, I didn’t feel scared after that. Even in the ER, when like 10 people were working on me at the same time and talking over me to each other, I wasn’t freaked out. The reason, I realized later, is that I understood what was going on.

I’m not a doctor, but I spend enough time in the medical arena that I can speak a bit of the language. In the ER, a lot of people were talking and there were a lot of tests, but, for the most part, I had a handle on what was happening. This understanding was the antidote to fear.

The most important key to understanding what was going on was my ability to parse at least some of the medical jargon. I know what the word “hypotensive” means, for example, and also how it relates to my own health. And this got me thinking about the role of jargon in expert communication more generally.

In this context, “jargon” is language that makes sense to other people in your field but not to the outside world. There are two reasons why people use jargon. The first is that it’s an efficient shorthand. The second is that it’s a signal of expertise. When I say to an econometrician, “I’m concerned about the asymptotics in the paper,” I am both communicating effectively about an issue and signaling that I’m someone who knows what asymptotics are, that I’m part of this club.

Using jargon to communicate efficiently is good — there is a reason for a shorthand in emergency medicine. It’s nice for me that I was able to understand what was going on in the ER, but that’s actually not a key goal when you’re worried someone might have internal bleeding.

When we use jargon to signal our expertise, though, its value seems more mixed. Especially when we do it to signal expertise to people outside our field.

Put simply: I think experts often imbue their communication with jargon because they think it makes them seem trustworthy and smart. It is tempting to think that mentioning asymptotics when I’m communicating with non-econometricians makes me seem like some kind of wizard who you should definitely listen to. This experience with my injury made me realize that … that’s probably wrong. In fact, it might literally be the opposite.

It may be that jargon doesn’t make an expert seem smart, it just makes people feel stupid and like they cannot understand. And that prompts fear or anger, or both. If understanding is an antidote to fear, then making sure people understand when we communicate is really important.

One of my primary goals with ParentData is to enhance understanding. To take academic papers and explain them without jargon. For me personally, much of the past 15 years has been about gradually learning how to communicate complicated concepts in a way that is (hopefully, usually) understandable. To some extent, this experience was a reminder of why I try to keep improving at that.

There’s also a broader lesson for when we are on the receiving end of expert opinion. There are times, during pregnancy and parenting and beyond, when you may have found yourself hearing advice or guidance that isn’t clear, and the reaction may be fear. It is worth asking: If I understood this better, would I feel less afraid? And if the answer is yes: ask. If there is time for a better explanation, you deserve one, and I’d bet in a lot of cases, it would be at least a partial antidote.

Lesson 2: Backup family systems

Waiting for the EMTs, I messaged two people: my husband and my executive assistant. They were both appropriately freaked-out — my husband wanted to fly to Denver, but the EMT told him to just hold off on that for now. I told both of them later that, until we could be more confident about there being no concussion, I would stay off screens.

And this is where I figured out an error in my family systems: we have no backup plans.

One of the first work-related messages that came through on the ParentData Slack channel after the accident was a link to our backup plan. This is a document we maintain to keep track of the necessary activities of ParentData, who is responsible for them, and who is the backup. If I couldn’t write for a week, what do we do? If the person who stages and sends out the newsletters is sick, who is in charge? We haven’t had to use this much, but when you need it, you need it.

My family doesn’t have this. For example, one of my family jobs is to plan out meals for the following week. I do this on Thursday mornings, but instead I was in the ER. Grocery shopping (by our wonderful nanny) happens on Fridays; without meal planning, she doesn’t know what to get.

I want to be clear: I know in the scheme of things, this is a small issue. At the same time, in a world in which I was somewhat incapacitated for some period, it wasn’t going to improve our lives to have the kids eat cereal for dinner for a week. I wrote a whole book about organizing your family like a firm; this was one lesson I missed.

This is an example of one of these “One Thing” lessons that we sometimes learn and try to change in response to. When I got back, we put together a backup family document that covers both this kind of emergency and also the more mundane question of who is in charge of things like lunches and snacks when I’m gone, or who does the trash when Jesse is out of town.

This lesson is little, but a point I try to make often is that it is fixing the little things that make your life run more easily. We made a backup plan; you might think about one too.

Lesson 3: I’m still 17 (in emotional age)

When I spoke with Jennifer Wallace about her book Never Enough, I talked about the spring of my junior year in high school, when I pushed myself harder than I think I should have, not wanting to let people (or myself) down. I said that, in retrospect, I wish I had taken more breaks, given myself more space to rest, maybe to fail a little.

We would all like to think, I suppose, that we mature with age and learn from our mistakes. I realized after this episode that … I am not sure I really have. I got out of the ER at 8:15 that morning. I took an Uber to my hotel (nicest driver ever, gave me a pep talk the entire way to the hotel, didn’t comment on my bloody shirt), showered, and showed up at my 9 a.m. conference session. I went to the conference. I recorded a podcast episode on one of my breaks. I went to dinner. The next day, I did it again, and then came home and parented for the weekend.

The only concession I made was to cancel my 16-mile long run on Friday. And you know what? I felt bad about it. I thought about going!

I can and will excuse this by saying that, in fact, I was fine. I didn’t end up with a concussion, and the cut on my head is healing. But when I am honest with myself, I don’t know if it would have mattered. I might well have just pushed through until I collapsed. I know how stupid this is, just like I know how stupid it was at 17. But if maturity brings me only self-knowledge but no actual behavior change, what’s the point?

I do not imagine I’m alone here. In the end, this is really an observation about self-care, or lack thereof. How often do we do things — as parents or people — that we believe are expected of us, when what we need is to just say no or even, god forbid, cancel something? If we want to be able to show up for the people we love for the long term, we need to show up for ourselves now.

I like to think we can change, so maybe despite 43 years of not having absorbed this lesson, this might be the head injury that does it. And for the rest of you, learn from my head injury so you do not have to have your own.

A girl stands in front of a chalkboard, about the draw something.

10 min read

Bayes’ Rule Is My Faves Rule

Nerding out. Just nerding out all over the place.

Emily Oster
An illustration of different types of colorful graphs and charts.

Mar 13 2023

11 min read

Why I Look at Data Differently

A question I get frequently: Why does my analysis often disagree with groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics or Read more

Emily Oster
An older running in a marathon tosses water on herself as she crossed the finish line, arms raised.

Aug 17 2023

9 min read

Competing With Your Younger Self

My family have always been runners. My favorite picture of one of my younger brothers is when he’s perhaps 5 Read more

Emily Oster
Elf on the shelf with other holiday decorations

Dec 11 2023

7 min read

“Elf on the Shelf” and Economic Theory

We are approaching Christmas — cookies, Santa, presents, whining, and, of course, the Elf-on-the-Shelf debate. In case you are not Read more

Emily Oster

Instagram

left right
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
...

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
...