THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
'Emily Oster is the non-judgemental girlfriend holding our hand and guiding us through pregnancy and motherhood. She has done the work to get us the hard facts in a soft, understandable way' Amy Schumer
Parenting is full of decisions, nearly all of which can be agonized over. There is an abundance of often-conflicting advice hurled at you from doctors, family, friends, and strangers on the internet. But the benefits of these choices can be overstated, and the trade-offs can be profound. How do you make your own best decision?
Armed with the data, Oster finds that the conventional wisdom doesn't always hold up. She debunks myths and offers non-judgemental ways to consider our options in light of the facts. Cribsheet is a thinking parent's guide that empowers us to make better, less fraught decisions - and stay sane in the years before preschool.
Economist Oster (Expecting Better) goes beyond the anecdotal to give parents of babies and toddlers both the data and the theoretical framework they need to make informed choices about raising their children. Among the issues addressed: vaccination (the data say yes, emphatically); when to introduce potential food allergens (early exposure to peanuts probably reduces allergies); and screen time (not useful for helping a child learn until he or she is three, and then the data are inconclusive). Along the way, Oster also introduces useful concepts like "Bayesian statistics," which involves starting with an existing personal belief and then applying new data to see if it still seems valid. She encourages parents to think about opportunity costs (letting a toddler watch TV for an hour to give the parent a break can be worth the potential downside) and shares the "best parenting advice I've ever gotten" a pediatrician telling her, in response to her questions about myriad possible emergencies befalling her daughter, "Just try not to think about that." Parents new and old will find reassurance in this commonsense approach.