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The Science of Mom

A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year
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Now updated! The new edition of this best-selling guide uses science to tackle some of the most important decisions facing new parents-from sleep training and vaccinations to breastfeeding and baby food. When scientist Alice Callahan became a mom, she knew it would mean long nights of rocking and feeding the baby. What she didn't anticipate was the barrage of parenting questions that would send her down rabbit holes of late-night internet searches, claiming even more sleep than her newborn. Is co-sleeping safe? How important is breastfeeding, and how can parents help it go smoothly? When should babies start eating solid foods, and are there ways to reduce the risk of food allergies? Should we be worried about the unpronounceable additives in the vitamin K shot given to newborns or the aluminum found in vaccines? These questions can confound even the most well-informed of parents, and the search for answers may open the door to a deluge of conflicting advice from well-meaning relatives, judgmental strangers on social media, and self-proclaimed internet experts. In this revised and expanded new edition of The Science of Mom, Callahan, a science writer whose work appears in the New York Times and the Washington Post, turns again to the research literature for clarity. She shares the latest information on raising healthy babies and covers additional topics like the microbiome, attachment, dietary supplements, pacifiers, increasing breast milk production, preventing allergies, baby-led weaning, and choosing an infant formula. Written with compassion and nuance, this unique guide recognizes that all families must make their own decisions and gives science-minded parents the tools to evaluate the evidence for themselves.
Alice Callahan holds a PhD in nutritional biology from the University of California, Davis, and spent two years investigating fetal physiology as a postdoctoral scholar. After giving birth to her first child in 2010, she put her scientific training to work answering the big questions of caring for a baby. The creator of the blog Science of Mom: The Heart and Science of Parenting, she writes and teaches in Eugene, Oregon.
Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Show Me the Science: A Crash Course in Evidence-Based Parenting 2. Birth Day, First Day: Easing Your Newborn's Transition into the World 3. Of Injections and Eye Goop: Newborn Medical Procedures 4. Getting to Know You: How Newbos Explore, Communicate, and Connect 5. Vaccines and Your Child: Making Science-Based Decisions 6. Sleep Safely, Sleep Sweetly: Safety at Night and the Bed Sharing Debate 7. In Search of a Good Night's Sleep (Or Something Like It) 8. Milk and Motherhood: Breast Milk, Formula, and Feeding in the Real World 9. Getting Started with Solid Foods: When and How to Begin 10. Eat, Grow, and Learn: The Best Foods for Babies Epilogue Appendixes Notes Index
Now updated! The new edition of this best-selling guide uses science to tackle some of the most important decisions facing new parents-from sleep training and vaccinations to breastfeeding and baby food.
"The Science of Mom stands out from the crowd... an easy-to-read, certifiable resource." --American Reference Books Annual "[A] solid resource for any new parent or parent to be. Callahan does the work of sorting through the science of baby's first year, so you don't have to." --Raise Healthy Eaters "[Callahan's] compassion and empathy for the difficulties of parenting shine through in every chapter, from breastfeeding to vaccines to feeding to sleeping." --Forbes "[Callahan] takes a compassionate, non-preachy approach with a goal of not telling the reader what to do but rather how to seek wise advice and make smart decisions and to enjoy having a baby, which is what it is all about." --Live Science "[S]hould be required reading for all new parents. [Callahan] calms fears and provides parents with real facts. She doesn't make the decisions for you, but she makes it a lot easier to make sound decisions." --MomSense "A book long-overdue in the parenting literature." --Momma Data "A fresh and enlightening approach. I'd highly recommend this book to any mom expecting her first child or her fourth." --Uncommon Motherhood "A rare gem in the parenting canon--smart, sensitive, and a lifesaver for a generation of parents caught in the nebulous spider's web of Internet 'wisdom.'" --Suzanne Barston, author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn't "A timely and necessary book for parents... It will help both moms and dads work together to choose the right parenting methods for them and give them a research-based approach to raising a child." --Patheos "Alice Callahan has written a breakthrough book, combining the compassion, warmth, and angst of a mother with the measured reasoning of a scientist. She helps parents not only understand how science works but how they can access that science to answer their questions. She's found a way to access the scientist in all of us." --Paul A. Offit, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, author of Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far "Alice Callahan, PhD, combines the critical eye of a scientist with the heart of a mother to create a helpful resource for all people interested in evidence-based infant care and parenting." --Science & Sensibility (Lamaze International) "Dr. Callahan isn't bossy, and isn't out to tell you what she thinks. Her book tells you what the science says, and explains how we know what we know, and what things we still need to learn more about. There's humility and warmth here, which I think parents of newborns will find reassuring." --The Pediatric Insider "Families routinely search for health information. The Science of Mom makes it easy, collecting evidence for health decisions and putting it into perspective with a mom-to-mom connection. Callahan's advice is thoughtful, backed by science, and feels fueled by love. She is willing to provide powerful advice when detailing the science and safety of vaccines. Keep this book in arm's reach as you support your infant for calm and direction." --Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP, Seattle Children's Hospital, author of Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Parenting, Child Health, and Work-Life Balance "Finally, someone has brought some science--and some sense--to the mommy wars. Should be required reading for all new (and old) parents." --Emily Oster, Brown University, author of Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool "Name a complex or controversial topic and Callahan provides the science on both sides of the arguments to help parents make wise choices." --Psychology Today "Think of all the controversial, hot-button topics that parents obsess about in a child's first year--from vaccines to feeding, bed-sharing to sleep training. Weighing the scientific evidence, Callahan offers balanced insights and in-depth answers--a far cry from the oversimplified advice prescribed by many 'parenting experts.' The result: a must-have guide that's substantive and extremely engaging." --Jena Pincott, author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The Surprising Science of Pregnancy "This is science-based medicine writing at its best. Callahan doesn't cherry-pick. She knows how to evaluate the entire body of research and put it into perspective along with practical parenting considerations. She enhances her message with a personal touch, including anecdotes about her own experiences as a new mother and about the experiences of her friends and family. If I had three thumbs, I would give this book a three-thumbs-up recommendation." --Science-Based Medicine "Yes! An easy-to-read, fascinating review of the science behind new parents' biggest health questions. Many of these issues--infant sleep, breastfeeding, vaccines--will hit your 'Should I panic?' button. With gentle guidance, Alice Callahan puts your fears to rest." --Tracy Cutchlow, author of Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science (and What I've Learned So Far)
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