Your Personal Questions on Marriage

Emily Oster

15 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Your Personal Questions on Marriage

Ask Emily

Emily Oster

15 min Read

Thanks for joining us for a special episode of the ParentData Podcast. A few weeks ago I asked on Instagram if you guys had any questions that were not about parenting, but about me. And I feel a little awkward asking that, but you did have some really interesting questions and so we’re going to try to answer some of them. And I have asked Alex, who works with me to ask the questions so you don’t just hear me answering them, and we’ll see how it goes. So thanks for hanging out with me and doing this, Alex.

Emily:

Let’s do it.

Alex:

Let’s do this. Okay, so we’re going to start with a warmup. Some shorter, easier questions maybe. The first question is, what’s your Zodiac sign?

Emily:

Oh, I think it’s Aquarius. I’m not really into this. I am always getting confused with my birthstone, which is Amethyst, but I think it’s Aquarius.

Alex:

Okay. The second question is how far is a typical morning run?

Emily:

It varies. I would say on a normal aerobic run day, five to six miles. Sometimes I do a little bit of a longer workout, and then usually once on the weekends I do a longer run depending on what kind of thing I’m training for or something, like 10 to 13 miles.

Alex:

What would you do with a day all to yourself?

Emily:

We’ve occasionally had those if my kids are gone with their grandparents, and the answer is basically exactly the same thing that I do otherwise. I would get up and eat breakfast at exactly the same time and then go to work at the same time and eat dinner at the same time. Maybe if they were gone more, I would adapt to my day. But I think basically I would just do the same day that I have already. That’s so boring.

Alex:

What’s your favorite item from Trader Joe’s?

Emily:

Oh, my favorite item from Trader Joe’s. There are these little chocolate covered bonbons, which are cookie on the bottom, and then there’s ice cream and then they’re covered in chocolate. It’s a tie between that and these individual apple pie things, which in graduate school I used to eat so many of, and then I had to stop because it just got out of control. But those are just absolutely delicious.

Alex:

Okay. What’s your go-to mindless TV show?

Emily:

I love the Great British Baking Show, and then maybe one of the Real Housewives.

Alex:

What’s your favorite vacation destination with kids and without?

Emily:

Probably it’s the same. So we go visit our friends in France. We try to go every year if we can, and that is my favorite go-to place because it’s very relaxing and I know it and I think my goal on vacation these days is just to sleep.

Alex:

Awesome. All right, last warmup question. What’s your skincare routine?

Emily:

So I use Cetaphil face wash from the drugstore and I use Cetaphil with SPF 15 moisturizer on my face, and that’s it. And I very occasionally wear makeup, but not very often. It’s kind of boring, but it works.

Alex:

Amazing.

Emily:

It’s not that amazing, I would say, because it’s kind of like, “Is there a secret?” I don’t know if it’s a good routine or not a good routine. It’s very easy.

Alex:

So that’s it for warmup questions. Like you said, people sent in a lot of different questions. I categorized them into different things, like marriage and career. And I think for today we’re going to focus on one or two of those.

Emily:

I’m ready.

Alex:

We’re going to start with your marriage. So first of all, just who are you married to?

Emily:

My husband’s name is Jesse Shapiro. He is an economist who works at Harvard.

Alex:

Okay. How did you and Jesse meet?

Emily:

Jesse and I met in college, so we had a lot of mutual friends, and so we had sort of heard of each other, and we also both worked as research assistants for the same economist. And so one day, I was having dinner with that economist, his name is Chris, at Adam’s House, which was a dorm, and that turned out to be the dorm that Jesse had lived in. And so when we were waiting for someone else to join us for dinner, Jesse came along and because he knew Chris, he said, “Oh, hi.” And Chris said, “Oh, this is Emily. Do you want to join us for dinner?” And so he did. And so we had dinner together.

And because we sort of knew who each other… I don’t know, we kind of had some stuff in common anyway, so I don’t really remember what happened at that dinner. But then the next day we were both taking exams, so I was taking an exam in a class called Images of Alexander the Great, which was a class that I had to take to fulfill some requirement in the Lit and Arts C-Core curriculum. And so it was like a class where you looked at images of Alexander the Great. And Jesse was taking graduate… He was taking a graduate macroeconomics class.

Anyway, so we both had exams at the same time. And then, somebody came into my exam room and said that they had a bomb. They did not turn out to have a bomb, but it was actually quite scary and we all ran away, and then they evacuated all the other buildings. So I ended up outside with no jacket or gloves or anything because I had to run away from this fake bomb. And Jesse was outside and he had all his stuff because he had been evacuated in a more casual manner. And so we ran into each other and we started talking and then he loaned me his gloves, which was very nice. And then I stupidly gave his gloves back, which got rid of the most obvious excuse to see him again. But then when I got back to my dorm room, I wrote to him and said, “Thank you for the gloves.” And then we went out and that was 22 years ago, and that was it.

Alex:

Do your kids know that story with the bomb and everything?

Emily:

I think we’ve told them that story before. Yeah, I think we’ve told them that story before. There was a period of time when they were very interested in how we met and how we got married and stuff, and then they lost interest.

Alex:

All right, that was my own question. Full transparency. All right, back to reader questions. How do you describe your husband and your relationship to your friends?

Emily:

Okay, so one thing I will say is most of my friends know my husband pretty well, and so I’m not sure they need my description. Jesse is very practical. He’s a very practical person. Yeah, he’s a very practical person. Maybe that’s the right word.

Alex:

And how do you describe your relationship?

Emily:

I think our relationship is… I think it’s very good. I think we have a very nice relationship and I think it is actually well captured by some of the stuff that I write about. I think we do a pretty good job separating the business of trying to run our household, the practical nature of that from the fact that we really like each other and like to spend time together. And I think that’s a balance we’ve come to over time is being able to exchange professional emails about logistics while simultaneously maintaining weekly date nights and having a nice time together. It’s been a hard one over time, but I think right now, it works really well. I think one very specific thing is often after we have a discussion, somebody will write a follow-up email that’s just to rehab the items that we covered in this discussion. It’ll be a little bullet pointed list. I think a lot of people find that to be kind of weird. That really works for us.

Alex:

I don’t find that weird. My husband and I, I think, fell in love through spreadsheets.

Emily:

Yeah, I think you need two people to like spreadsheets and bulleted lists, but yeah, but it’s nice.

Alex:

Okay. How did parenthood change your marriage?

Emily:

So I think almost anybody finds the beginning of parenting very challenging, particularly the beginning of parenting with a first kid, because there’s this problem that you have to solve that you have never tried to solve before. It’s a series of problems, but the broad problem is, how do we raise this kid? The individual problems are things like, why isn’t it sleeping and why doesn’t it eat and why is it so cranky and does it need a hat or whatever, these small pieces. But it’s something that you both care enormously about and also don’t have any idea what you’re doing. So I think like everyone, the first year… I sort of remember the first year of my daughter’s life of having more conflict than usual because we were just trying to figure it out and we didn’t always agree. And there were a lot of things where we were unable to have prepped for or unable to have worked out how we were going to navigate questions where we were unsure.

I think that when the kids got older, when we had a second kid and the first kid get older, we worked that stuff out better. I think our lives now really revolve around being parents and we try very hard to separate out the relationship from that. But ultimately, I think almost everybody who has kids, actually perhaps even more so when the kids are in this school age, there’s a lot of logistics and it can be very easy to exclusively do logistics, and there’s a challenge in making sure that you find time to talk about things that are not just literally like who needs to purchase which kinds of Christmas presents for different people at the school this week, which does occupy quite a lot of December, I find.

But I don’t know. Overall I would say we are a much stronger team now than we were before kids, that we have a much clearer shared goal, a much clearer shared agenda for what we’re trying to accomplish. And that’s probably the biggest change.

Alex:

Okay. How do you and your husband divide housework?

Emily:

Okay, so I should start by caveating and saying that we have a lot of help. So we have a really amazing nanny who does a fair amount of house stuff and we have people clean. We do a lot of outsourcing. This is probably part of a longer conversation about how things work in my house, but there are things, of course, that are left. And we try to divide them somewhat evenly, so I cook dinner and he cleans up from dinner. He does a lot of things that I do not, that I’m incapable of doing. So to give you a very specific example, I’m basically afraid of using the phone. I don’t like calling people. I can do it, but it makes me… I’m just irrationally afraid of calling people on the phone. So if my job were call the people who are supposed to pick up the trash, because sometimes they miss the trash, I just won’t do that. I just am afraid to pick up the phone and call people I don’t know. It’s probably there’s something in therapy there. Let’s put it aside.

So he does basically everything that involves any kind of phone calls to anyone, which is actually a fair amount of things. And he also manages all the stuff that has to do with the house. So if you own a house, things constantly break, it would seem. And so he does all that stuff. And then I do much more of the buying the gifts for the teachers and making sure that we’ve signed up for different things at school and doctor’s appointments and those kinds of logistics.

So I think we’ve sort of gotten to a place where we try to separate them into things that are like where somebody has a comparative advantage. It doesn’t always even out, but I would say on the whole, it’s pretty good. And I think we have both gotten very much in the realm of when it feels like we are doing more of that stuff, when we’re overdoing it, to stop and say, “Well what can we do to make this easier? Is there some way to make this task less something we need to do?” So I don’t know, it’s a balance. There’s a lot of stuff to do.

Alex:

So this next question, I guess you could say that you and your husband are both data experts, right? One might say that.

Emily:

Yeah, one might say that. Yeah.

Alex:

So the question is what are fights like between husband and wife data experts?

Emily:

We don’t really fight.

Alex:

Well, how?

Emily:

Not like we never, but we don’t fight about data. Not quite how to describe this. So here’s what I would say. There are things where we wonder what is the right thing to do, where the question is amenable to data. But we both come into that with the same almost somewhat dispassionate approach, and so it is not the kind of thing that we would fight about because the answer is just, “Okay, well we have to go find out what is the evidence about that.” So it takes a lot of the emotional temperature out of something to have this shared way to approach questions. So when there are things we argue about, they’re just not things that have anything to do with data, they’re more things about parenting, although we don’t argue in general very much.

Alex:

And the last question we got about you and Jesse is what do you like to do on date nights?

Emily:

Okay, so our date night, which is very regular, we try very hard to have a date every week. Mostly involves going to dinner. I think that we have a very high taste for walking places, eating dinner relatively quickly, and then walking home. So that’s sort of the ideal date night is when you get to walk to dinner, the dinner happens pretty quickly, and then you get to go home and go to sleep relatively early. We are not people who like to go out and stay out late, but I like a good glass of wine at dinner and a long walk before and after. That’s my happy place. And so we’ve gotten to a good routine in doing that.

Alex:

That sounds wonderful. There are actually some people who live in Providence that were wondering your favorite dinner spot in Providence.

Emily:

So we go to Parkside a lot, which is very simple, but the food is good. It’s down on Main Street. And there’s a tapas place called Palo also in that area, which I also like very much. There’s a lot of very good food in Providence. I don’t think we’re as adventurous as one might be.

Alex:

Okay. There were so many more questions for you, and I think we’re going to leave it here for today. And hopefully if people like this, we’ll do it again. But let’s give a little sneak peek to a future episode. And I’m going to ask you probably the number one question that people sent in, which is some version of how do you manage it all.

Emily:

The answer to that question is with periods of panic, not always as easily as it would seem on social media, and that I have a lot of help. And I have a lot of help both in the newsletter stuff that I’m producing, some of which is from you. Thank you, Alex. But also a lot of help at home. We have a really, really good nanny who makes things function a lot at home. And Jesse, who we spent a lot of this time talking about, is also extremely supportive and helpful. And so, sometimes I worry that it looks like I’m doing all of these things pretty much on my own, and that’s just really not true. So the answer is just a lot of help basically.

Alex:

Great. Well, thank you so much for answering all of these and being so open. I learned some things about you and I’m sure people are going to love learning about you too.

Emily:

Well, thank you for your help on this, Alex. I’ll talk to you perhaps next time.

Thanks for listening. If you like what you heard, subscribe to ParentData in your favorite podcast app and rate and review the show in Apple Podcasts. You can subscribe to the whole newsletter for free at www.parentdata.org. Talk to you soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#cribsheet #emilyoster #parentdata #languagedevelopment #firstwords

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 #emilyoster #parentdata #childnutrition #babynutrition #foodforkids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#sleeptraining #newparents #babysleep #emilyoster #parentdata

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

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

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

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

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

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

#funnytweets #bedtime #nightimeroutine #parentinghumor #parentingmemes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#breastfeeding #breastfeedinginpublic #breastfeedingmom #motherhood #emilyoster

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

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

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

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

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

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

#emilyoster #parentdata #pottytraining #pottytrainingtips #toddlerlife

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#emilyoster #parentdata #tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancytips

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

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

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

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

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

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

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks

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

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

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks
...

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
...