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.