Your Personal Questions on Parenting

Emily Oster

20 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Your Personal Questions on Parenting

Ask Emily

Emily Oster

20 min Read

Emily: Hello. Today we are doing the third installment in some personal questions that you guys submitted on Instagram. And as with the first two installments, the lovely Alex is here to ask me the questions. Alex, are you ready?

Alex:

I’m so ready. Yeah. And I want to encourage every one of you, if you haven’t heard them, to go back and listen to part one, about Emily’s marriage with Jesse, and part two, about her career and how she does it all. They’re great. Today, it feels very appropriate, our final installment is about parenting.

 Emily:

I am doing that some of the time.

Alex:

It feels perfect to end on, because I think for a lot of us who read your books and your newsletter, it feels like you’re kind of the third parent in the house with us and you’re there in our homes. And so it’ll be interesting to go inside your home for a little bit and hear about your kids and your journey as a parent. Let’s start with some warmups though that people sent in. So the first one is, “What’s your favorite animated movie?”

 Emily:

Frozen II.

Alex:

Nice. “Do you have any upcoming marathon plans?”

 Emily:

So I am running a half-marathon, hopefully at the end of April, assuming I don’t get injured. And then I am hoping to do what would be my first marathon in the fall, but we have to see. I don’t know, that seems like a long way, so I’m still sort of working my way up to it emotionally.

Alex:

“What’s your go-to daily breakfast?”

 Emily:

Yogurt, granola, berries and a banana.

Alex:

And sometimes gram crackers, right?

 Emily:

Great clarification. I eat the gram crackers before I run, so I’m not counting that as breakfast, that’s like the first of the 57 snacks that I have in the day. That’s the first snack, then breakfast after I run.

Alex:

Awesome.

 Emily:

It’s important to snack.

Alex:

This is a funny question, “What questions annoy you the most?”

 Emily:

I think I get most upset when people have questions that just don’t have any answer. And then I get really annoyed when people ask me questions that I think are mean. What are you doing commenting on these things? And sometimes I answer those questions just because I want to be like, I’m going high and addressing these, but actually deep inside I’m like F off.

Alex:

Yeah, that’s not really a question.

 Emily:

Exactly. That’s not really a question, that’s just a confrontational statement.

Alex:

“Do you have any pets?”

 Emily:

I do not personally have any pets, but my children have recently acquired snails as pets, which I actually would highly recommend. And I’m so engaged with, that my older child had to tell me that I am not allowed to just go in her room and look at the snails without her permission. She told me specifically, “If you need to be with the snails, you should get your own snails with your own money.” Now the thing is, her snails were bought with my money, so there’s something there that I think is wrong, but at any rate, I’m really into the snails.

Alex:

Okay. Last warmup question, which is a good transition into parenting, is, “How did you choose your kids’ names?”

 Emily:

So my daughter, I think we both, for whatever reason, just gravitated to… we really liked Penelope. I think the source is Odysseus, and Penelope was Odysseus’s wife in the Odyssey. So we just really liked that. That was easy. For Finn, my husband really wanted an Old Testament name, but he also didn’t want… He wanted to pick a name from an Old Testament character whose actions he didn’t find inappropriate in some way, and so that turned out to quite severely limit the set of names we considered. And so I was given a short list of names that we thought were acceptable, and Phineas rose to the top, beating out Aaron, which was the only other really consistent possibility.

Alex:

Great. So I want to start just asking you to tell us a little about your kids.

 Emily:

I have two kids. One is, my daughter is 11, almost 12, and my son is 7, almost 8. And they’re great, I like them a lot. I mean, I don’t end up talking that much about them. We have some pretty strict rules about putting things about them up on the internet, partly because I feel like that’s their choice. And when they were babies it was a little easier to write about things like, “My kid doesn’t sleep through the night,” and, “This is how we fed her.” Choices which feel more like they were about us and that was my story to share. And as they get older, I feel like the things about them are more their stories. I will say that my daughter really likes the violin, that comes up sometimes on my Instagram [inaudible], when I’m recording things. She’s in the background, practicing. So that’s her thing. And my son really likes the hot glue gun. It’s not as a productive pursuit, but I can tell you that he has produced some pretty impressive art using glue lately. So that’s an exciting development in our house.

Alex:

That’s incredible. Last time I used a hot glue fan, I burned myself really badly.

 Emily:

Oh no, no, no, he also burns himself, just to be clear. But he’s figured out this kind of amazing thing recently where he fills the poppers in those Pop-It fidgets. He fill those with hot glue and then pop them out, and then he has these little hot glue things and he can glue those onto other things.

Alex:

Oh my God, that’s genius.

 Emily:

Yeah. Genius may be a little strong, but it’s a thing that you do with glue.

Alex:

For an eight-year-old boy it’s the thing.

 Emily:

Exactly.

Alex:

Okay, so taking it back to the start, “Did you struggle to conceive? What was that like for you?”

 Emily:

We did not. I came into conception thinking if I try hard, it will happen immediately. So it took maybe six months, four months. So some amount of time that was not one month, which of course at the time felt like everything was not working, but in fact was I think quite typical. And so we did not have a hard time getting pregnant actually with either kid.

Alex:

But this question is phrased so well, it’s, “Did you like being pregnant or are you a sane person?”

 Emily:

Yeah. I don’t think of myself as a sane person, but just in general, I did not mind being pregnant. I had a very think quite good draw on my experience of pregnancy with both kids. I was a little bit sick, but not very sick. I was kind of tired at the end, but not very tired. And in general, I think I had a good experience. I mean, I didn’t love it. I’m not a person who’s like, “Oh, I miss being pregnant.” I definitely don’t miss being pregnant. But it also, when we thought about getting pregnant again with the second kid, I wasn’t like, “Oh, I can’t believe I have to do that again.” It was like, okay, that was fine. If it’s like that again, that will be okay.

Alex:

“And how did you know you wanted two kids?”

 Emily:

I just knew. It was just very clear having only one kid, when we had the first kid that having a second kid was something that we wanted. We sort of envisioned a family that had two kids. That was what felt right. And similarly, once we had a second kid, I don’t think either Jesse or I ever had a thought like, “Maybe we should have a third.” That never come up. Before we had Finn, it was like, “We’re not done.” And after we had Finn, it was like, “Okay, now our family is finished.”

Alex:

“When did you feel ready for Finn?”

 Emily:

So we had imagined having the kids three years apart. And then when we sort of got to the point where one would need to conceive to achieve that birth spacing, it was in this really, really, really challenging professional moment where I was right in the middle of being fired in a kind of a mean way, even worse than regular firing I think. And we were just really stressed and trying to figure out what was going to be next and was I going to have a job and where was that job going to be and what was Jesse going to do? And it did not feel in that moment like this is a good time to bring another thing in.

So in the end, we waited basically a year from that point, and to a moment that felt like things are more stable and now we are ready to move forward and have another kid. So in the end, the kids are four years apart. I don’t know if I would’ve felt in the absence of this sort of professional stuff, I’m not sure if we would’ve done it. My guess is we would’ve done it somewhat earlier, but it ended up being I think a good spacing.

Alex:

“What’s been the hardest stage of parenting for you so far?”

 Emily:

The period between about 10 months and 3. This kind of period where it’s just physically so exhausting. And in particular before they can really fully talk and communicate what they need, I found that to be very hard. Once there was a possibility to find out what they needed and when they could be a little more self-sufficient, it got a lot easier. And then now there are parts of parenting and adolescent that are, it’s not physically draining all the same way as little kid parenting was, it is more emotionally draining in some ways. I’m sort of more existentially worried more frequently or more confused.

With little kids it’s not like I thought I was doing the right thing all the time, but it was usually the case that I thought either it’s not that important what we do here, it’s not that important what I say, or this will pass. With older kids it can feel more frequently if I don’t say the right thing here, that might be really bad in the kind of long-term, but also I don’t have any idea what to say, so I’m a little lost, I’m more frequently lost.

Alex:

“Was that the most surprising part of parenting adolescence or what has been unexpected for you?”

 Emily:

That has been a little unexpected. I mean, I think, frankly, I’d forgotten about mood swings. I mean, now that I think about it, I remember having them. But the experience, not dissimilar from sort of postpartum, where you’re just one moment everything is great, and the next moment you’re crying for no reason. I had just forgotten that that happens when you’re 12 and you’re 13 or whatever, and it’s a lot.

Alex:

“What is your favorite thing to do with your kids now?”

 Emily:

So I really like being with my kids, which is something that has become just more true over time. And so I think my favorite I would say is one-on-one time. I mean, I love being altogether as a family. But the thing that feels special is when we can find moments, like occasionally I’ll pick my son up from school and we’ll walk to get a snack. And the experience of just having that focused time with one kid where they can really be themselves and tell you all the stuff that’s happening with them or all the things they’re worried about or whatever, where you’re not trying to accomplish something specific other than get to the mini mart, that’s really nice. That’s hard time to cultivate, particularly with the older kid, but when we can get it, that’s my favorite.

Alex:

“What do your kids say they want to be when they grow up?”

 Emily:

My daughter would like to be a therapist, which seems extremely realistic, she’s already an excellent therapist. And my son would like to be a famous professional singer, which seems quite a lot less realistic as a plan. But he has some backups like famous chef, acrobat. There’s a few different options we’re considering, all of which are very practical.

Alex:

And very famous.

 Emily:

Very famous. A lot of ways to be famous and also practical.

Alex:

“What do they know about your career and what you do? How do you explain it to them?”

 Emily:

I think they know something about it. I mean, they’ve seen the books, they know that I write books, they know that I do some sort of public-facing Instagram social stuff. They know about the newsletter. So they kind of know about things. And very occasionally, someone will recognize me when we’re out in public and then I think they get some sense that, I don’t know, some people know who I am. But it doesn’t come up very much. I think one main thing about kids is they’re not that interested in you, they’re mostly interested in themselves, as it should be. And so I don’t think they think very much about what my career is. They understand their dad has a job, he takes the train to his job and he does economics there, and they understand that I have a job and it seems to involve more Instagram than their dad’s job. And that’s kind of about as much as they get.

Alex:

“What’s been your biggest parenting regret or lesson in hindsight, from the point you’re at now?”

 Emily:

It’s interesting, I’m very happy with where things are. Going back and thinking what would I have done totally differently, is hard when you’re basically think it’s going okay. I think, like almost everyone, I wish I had approached the first year of my first kid’s life more like I approached the first year of my second kid’s life. I wish I had had less anxiety and just less obsession about different things in that period. And I think it was also, like many people, we had a lot of family conflict, just because we didn’t know what we were doing and we really cared about doing it right, but also we had no idea what that meant. And I think if we had had a different approach to that period, it might have been easier. So that’s probably the thing I think I would change if I had the option to go back.

Alex:

“Can you describe a little more what the experience was like from your first to your second in that first year, and how it was different for you?”

 Emily:

So I think there’s a few things. So one is with my daughter, I really, really struggled with breastfeeding. So I found it very hard to do. I didn’t have a lot of supply. I’m not sure we managed the supply quite right. And she didn’t really want to latch. There were a bunch of pretty standard problems. And instead of stepping back and saying what I say to people all the time, which is like, “Hey, there’s a lot of good ways to feed your baby, figure out what works for you.” And I think if I had had that and been able to say, “Here, we’re going to kind of incorporate formula and here’s sort of a plan for how we’re going to do it,” I would’ve felt much more in control. Instead, I just was obsessively obsessed with making this work, in a way that took a huge amount of time, created a huge amount of stress, made me feel really guilty every time… Not even guilty, just made me feel bad every time she had some formula. And I think that colored a lot of my experience of that.

So that was kind of one thing. And then there are very specific examples. My daughter slept in the rock and play sleeper for a while, like for naps, and at some point we somewhat arbitrarily decided we would just transition her out of that without really ever thinking about it. And we didn’t really talk about it or kind of agree on exactly how we were going to approach this. And so then there was this horrible day where she didn’t nap at all, and I remember just how angry we both were at the other person.

And there were a bunch of things like that where I don’t think they were very important. They felt incredibly important at the time, and we didn’t really have a good system for approaching them as a team. And I think the second kid was much more, we know what we’re trying to do, we’re dialing this in to the kind of system that we have already. And we’re going to know which things to focus on and we’re going to kind of make a plan. And it just felt much more like we were trying to do it as a team. And he was a much easier baby, which is the other thing.

Alex:

“Are there things that were harder or very different about your second?”

 Emily:

Yeah. That’s actually, as a baby, Finn was perfect. It was like he was sleep trained in one night. Everything about him, he was such an easy baby. As a toddler and older child, it was not as easy. My daughter is very interested in not doing the wrong thing. She’s very motivated by… She just wants to do the right thing, and so she’s very susceptible, very responsive to any type of discipline at all. And was, as a little kid in particular, you sort of say, “No, don’t touch the stove,” she just would never do that again.

My son was like the opposite, “We don’t touch the stove,” he’d be like, “So what I’m hearing is touch it, try it out.” And so there was kind a pretty steep learning curve moment, where we were kind of applying a set of organized discipline tools… Not organized, just a set of ideas about approaches to discipline, which worked fine for someone who kind of never did anything wrong or when you said, “Please don’t do that,” they were like, “Oh, I feel so terrible, I’ll never do it again.” We tried to apply that. To him, it didn’t work at all. And that was one of the main things I learned writing Cribsheet, was about some of these approaches to discipline. There was the 1, 2, 3 magic kind of approach, which worked much better with him than with her, and kind of smoothed things out a little. But he was easy as a baby and then he got a little more challenging.

Alex:

“What are some of your parenting or family rituals now? Are there things that you do during the week or the day that feel like important moments in parenting for you?”

 Emily:

We both have jobs, we both have… the kids go to school all day. So the morning is just like a… Although we’re together in the morning, it’s like everyone’s trying to get out the door as quickly as possible. When we go towards the end of the day, that’s kind of our central family time. So we have dinner together. That’s pretty important to the way Jesse and I have structured this, is that almost all the time, at least one parent is at dinner with the kids, and usually both of us.

And then we have a really long elaborate bedtime with 47 steps. There are breaks. But I would say the bedtime experience in my house begins at 6:45 and really only ends at 9:30. And it’s not bad. It’s not a thing where you put you in your room and then you’re coming out and you’re coming out. And it’s just like that time is filled with 20 minute blocks of like, okay, we talk for this 20 minutes. In this 20 minutes, we hide inside the blanket and somebody tries to attack somebody else. And then there’s a period where you do school, you read for homework. And then you like crafting, and then the other kid is like… So there’s just an ongoing series of activities, but it’s kind of nice. It’s a time I get to spend some time talking to Finn, I get to spend some time talking to Penelope. And that’s really my time, much more than Jesse’s, and so that’s very nice usually.

Alex:

Wow, I love that. Okay, final question is, “Where do you seek support and who is your Emily Oster?”

 Emily:

Well, I guess there’s two answers. So I have a lot of logistical support, like support in the stuff that I do. And we’ve talked about this before, but from you and from other people on this Parent Data team. I also at home have a lot of support. Yeah, from Jesse, of course, who also provides emotional support. But we also have a really pretty amazing… we’re very lucky and we have a pretty amazing nanny who does a lot of household stuff and really makes it possible for everything to kind of function, so that’s really important. On the emotional side, my friends. My best friend lives in Boston and she’s been my friend since we were 18. And I think there’s sort of something about someone who has known you at all of the stages, that is a pretty special thing. New friends are great too, but the kind of people who need no context, that’s a hard thing to replace.

Alex:

Yeah. Wow. That makes me want to do another episode just about friendship.

 Emily:

Friendship is important. I mean, the other thing that’s so tricky about friendship when you have kids, is it’s hard to find time to prioritize that. The really helpful friends I find are the people who are there, but you don’t need to be there every moment. You know what I mean? People who you can pick up with, even if it’s been a few weeks or a few months. Yeah.

Alex:

Well, thank you.

 Emily:

Thanks, Alex. This was great.

Alex:

This was great. It’s been very fun to ask you all these questions from everybody who follows you, reads your work. And let us know if you want us to do more things like this in the future.

Thanks for listening. If you like what you heard, subscribe to Parent Data 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
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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

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

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

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks

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

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

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks
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As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData! 

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity

As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData!

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity
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Just eat your Cheerios and move on.

Just eat your Cheerios and move on. ...

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide
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