I still remember what it felt like the year following the birth of my first baby. I had to make all these important decisions while feeling a kind of tired I had never felt before. I glued myself to Baby Center reading debates about whether or not to let your child cry it out and get vaccines. It all felt so confusing not to mention emotionally draining. Because I just loved this little person so much, I wanted to do the best for her.
When Alice Callahan became a mom, she put her science hat on to answer those tough first-year questions. With a Ph.D. in nutritional biology and a couple of years under her belt in fetal physiology, she knew a thing or two about evaluating science. She started a conversation about “science-based parenting” on her popular blog, Science of Mom. This led to her recently released book Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to your Baby’s First Year.
In her book, she covers all the sticky first-year topics from delayed cord clamping to eye goop to breastfeeding and sleep. She also reviews the science on starting solids, baby led weaning, and why babies really do need iron. And of course, there is a chapter dedicated to the evidence on immunizations. I would have loved a book like this when I was a new mom.
What I like best about the book is it’s not preachy. Callahan provides parents with a summary of evidence — and recommended reading — so they can make the best decisions. To say she is thorough is an understatement. She is also very balanced in her approach, which I appreciate. True scientists strive to find the answers, leaving biases out of the picture, and she successfully accomplishes that. But you also get that she’s a mom, understanding the strong emotions that go into each parenting decision.
To find out more about the making of this book, read this interview with Alice Callahan on CBS News.
I highly recommend The Science of Mom as 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. And if you are officially done with this stage (as I am), this makes an excellent baby shower gift.
Kara B says
I would love this book! I’m a first time mom to a 2 month old boy, and have two science degrees of my own. This book sounds like just the type of evidence based info I’m looking for!
I have a 12 week old, and as a new mom I would love this book!
As a scientist myself, I was always scouring the internet when my babies were little to try and find the “best” for them. What a great resource to have – and to be able to share with new moms! I would love to be able to share this with my best friend and soon to be new mom!
I would love this book, even though not a first time mom, since we will welcome another baby soon and I could use a little refresher to that first year!
My little one is a year and a half but I’ve felt stuck with the expectations of children in the US. And strongly believe their voices should be heard – science is a great step in the direction of making some changes. I need this book (and plan to make it a regular gift! )
I am a first time mom through adoption in exactly 1 week! Although our journey to parenthood itself was a bumpy road, I am hoping books like this will help make our first year go smoothly! And I love to read 🙂
I would love this book for future baby prep!
This sounds awesome! My daughter is about to be a first time mom and she would absolutely love this! In fact, she’ll need to share it with me. As a new grandparent I know I will want to read it from cover to cover to know all the new information you have included. It will save me so much time looking up each and every topic that she will be asking about. What a wonderful resource this book sounds like. I am also a dietitian and my daughter a clinical research study coordinator, so we both look to evidence based research for everything! Sounds like it could be my new go to gift for baby showers!!
I’m a first-time-mom to a 7-month old and would LOVE this book! There is so much conflicting evidence regarding just about every aspect of parenting and it would be great to have some science-backed answers to all of these prickly issues!
I would love this book! I am a huge fan of the blog and have been dying to get a copy. I want this book because I could really use some scientifically backed parenting advise when there is so much confusing information out there.
I would love a copy of this book to give to my sister who is expecting her first baby in March. She is a doctor so I know she would appreciate the science. I have a copy, but I don’t want to give it up! I need to keep it close as a wonderfully useful resource.
I’m also a science researcher and first-time mom, it would be great to have a summary of current evidence rather than having to do all the research myself.
I just started following her blog and I would love to read the book
Tracy Brown says
Thank you for offering this book! I would love to give this book to my soon to be mommy friend who is determined to allow her child to follow his own body’s wisdom as an eater
I’m pregnant with my second child but it has been a long time since my last (my son is 8). I really feel like I could use a book like this as I need a refresher course anyways : ).
crazy grad mama says
I just survived my child’s first year and want this book because the Science of Mom website has been a godsend. I read Baby Center birth boards for way too long and the guilt about what I “should” and “shouldn’t” do was a major contributing factor to my postpartum depression. It’s wonderful to find someone who looks at what the science REALLY says.
I’m a mum with a PhD as well and it would be great to have this resource to share with other mums.
I am pregnant with baby number 2. I found many of the “first year” books that I received with my first child were really outdated. I would love to have a book based on current research and the best evidence!
Megan Wroe says
I am a pediatric dietitian and would love to have this book as a resource guide for all of the new mommies I see! Evidence-based research for kiddos is often so hard to come by!
Kiersten Anderson says
Oh this would be great! I have two young kids (3 and 11 months) with plans for another. And I feel like I still don’t have things figured out!
Como padre y dietista-nutricionista me encanta poder explicar a otros padres (y a mis hijos y alumnos) por qué suceden las cosas. La razón y el conocimiento ayuda a tomar la mejor decisión. El instinto tambien cuenta! Creo que este libro habla de esto, pero en el primer año de vida. Me interesa su planteamiento. Un logro. Gracias.
As a father and I dietitian love being able to explain to other parents (and my children and my students) why things happen. Reason and knowledge helps you make the best decision. Instinct also account! I think this book talks about this, but in the first year of life. As a dietitian father and I love being able to explain to other parents (and my children and students) why things happen. Reason and knowledge helps you make the best decision. Instinct also account! I think this book talks about this, but in the first year of life. I am interested in your approach. An achievement. Thank you.
I would love to read this book for when we have a second child. We just made it through the first year of parenthood, and I still have questions to look at through a scientific eye. Would love to read balanced approaches on baby health!
Carolyn Thomas says
I’m a first-time grandmother to our daughter’s darling little 4-month old Everly Rose. Every new grandmother needs a smart, savvy, science-based reference to share with her daughter – and to remind us that our most important grandmotherly job is NOT to give parental advice based on our own decisions when we were having our babies decades ago (new moms already get plenty of unsolicited advice!). Rather, it’s just to love and support the new family as much as we can as they embark on the world’s most important role. The Science of Mom would make a perfect gift (for the whole family!)
I would love this book!
I’d love this book. As a scientist myself, I find it very frustrating how biased a lot of the baby books are.
Terry McCurdy says
I’d love this book because my pseudo daughter-in-law is expecting (I have 4 boys, as does my best friend, they grew up together and sort of have two sets of parents!). If I don’t win I am definitely going to purchase this book for her and perhaps for myself as a resource for my nutrition students!
I just heard about this book and would love to get a copy of my own. I found your website via the book’s Facebook page and find your site very interesting also. I’ll keep exploring your blog. I’m lucky to be part of my grand children’s life and very excited about all of the new science based knowledge becoming available for parents.
Heather S says
I would love to win this book and gift it to my sister <3
Eszter Huon says
I wish i have known about this book a year ago. I had depression throughout the first year of the life of my son; being abroad without any family to help or give advice. I wanted to give the world for my baby but I felt I’m making wrong decisions. Now I’m preparing for my second baby, and I’m determined to make it right this time. Hope I could find help in the book!
Dana Dawes says
Hi I would love to receive a copy of her book. I am a Nanny and love learning everything I can and bringing correct and new information to help babies, children and the families I care for.
S. Lee says
I have a scientific background and an almost 12 week old baby boy, so I would love to get a copy of this book!
I would love a copy of this book! I just had my third child a month ago and would really love a refresher!
Jenny F Scientist says
I would love to give this to my SIL, who is expecting, and who is being craaaazy, and who lives in Korea! It might hekp help.
I am pregnant and due in February! Would love this book to have all the scientific evidence for help in early parenting at hand 🙂
I love this lady’s thought process and would love her book!
I, as we all could, cab use more evidence based decisions and value the opportunity to read such a book.
It was oN my baby shower wish list And as a hint hint on my FB but didn’t get it. I am expecting my second child, a little girl the first week of Nov. I would love a copy!!
Caitie Johnston says
I am 35 weeks pregnant and on bed rest; I am also a high school science teacher! I know that evidence-based decision making is the best approach to making choices for our kids, and this book will help me make those choices!