The science behind the AAP’s safe sleep recommendations
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
The AAP’s updated policy statement on safe infant sleep was released this week (1). I wrote a brief article about the policy update for the Washington Post, but I wanted to dig into the science a bit more in a blog post. As a side note, let me just say that the opportunity to write for larger media outlets is very exciting, but also very humbling. A typical blog post for me is 2000 words, but I was asked to write 500-800 for the Post. It’s really hard to include in-depth science in a piece like that, but it’s something that I will keep working to improve. Still, can you imagine how I cringed w ..read more
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The EAT Study: More food for thought on earlier introduction of solids to prevent food allergy
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
Would you offer your 3-month-old baby a taste of peanut butter? Hard-boiled egg? How about a little tilapia with tahini sauce? That’s exactly what parents did in a study published in May in The New England Journal of Medicine.1 The study found that early introduction to these foods might protect children from development of food allergies, but many parents had a difficult time following the study instructions. The study, called the Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) study, was conducted in the U.K. and led by Dr. Gideon Lack. Lack was also the lead author on the LEAP study published in 2015, whic ..read more
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What’s Up With the Virgin Gut? Do Babies Really Have an “Open Gut” Until 6 Months of Age?
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
There is a persistent myth about infant gut development that comes up in nearly every online discussion of starting solid foods. It’s the myth that infants have a “virgin” or “open” gut until around 6 months of age. I’ve received so many emails, Facebook posts, and comments about the virgin gut over the last few years that I thought it was finally time to take a look at the science – and lack thereof – behind this myth. I have written before, in my book and on my blog, about the controversy around when to begin introducing solid foods to a baby. Some health organizations recommend 6 months of ..read more
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My Sleep Mantra and BabyM’s Sleep Story
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
BabyM is almost 14 months old already. It’s crazy how quickly the first year of his life flew by, and I know the subsequent years will be no different. The upside of that passage of time is that we’re all sleeping pretty well now, and that is a wonderful thing. To be honest, though, I actually enjoyed watching my baby’s sleep develop this time around. I know that time softens my memories, but I already miss those quiet middle-of-the-night feedings with my baby. Long-time readers of this blog know that I wrote a lot about sleep when Cee was a baby, in the early days of the blog. I also wrote ab ..read more
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4 Parenting New Year’s Resolutions, and Books for Inspiration
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
This time last year, I had a week-old baby, and my New Year’s resolutions were simple: Be present with my family, find gratitude in each day, and take care of myself. These goals were simple but not always easy. Still, it helped me to come back to these intentions for the year when I started to feel overwhelmed. I’m reaffirming those resolutions for the coming year, but I’m also feeling more ambitious and inspired about bringing more creativity, fun, and learning into each day with my kids. I love books for inspiration, especially for projects with Cee. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I get too e ..read more
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Resources for an Evidence-Based Pregnancy
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
Last week, I was thrilled to be interviewed for a story about pregnancy recommendations on WHYY’s The Pulse, a weekly show about health and science. The segment, Navigating the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy by reporter Taunya English, included input from OBs, midwives, and moms. The interview got me thinking about how we make decisions for a healthy pregnancy. How do we sort through the huge amounts of advice – solicited and not – to make evidence-based choices? Who do we trust? I asked readers on my Facebook page to share their top picks for good pregnancy resources, and they had lots of good ..read more
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See My Interview – and Lots More – in a Free Parenting Summit
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
Hi everyone! I’ve been quiet these last few weeks as we’ve celebrated Cee’s 5th birthday (I know! I can’t believe it! Amazing girl…), had house guests, and already celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday. My husband is working on Thursday, so we made some adjustments this year so we could all be together. We’re already on to turkey soup in our house! A quick post today to get the word out about a free online parenting summit, featuring video interviews with 21 parenting writers and educators – including me! I recorded my interview with Jeanne-Marie Paynel of Voila Montessori this morning, and I enjo ..read more
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Are the Ingredients in the Newborn Vitamin K Shot Safe?
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
Today on the blog, I’m sharing an excerpt from my book. Chapter 3 of the book covers newborn medical procedures, including in-depth discussions of the history and science of the vitamin K shot and erythromycin eye ointment. Recognizing that some parents are concerned about the ingredients in the vitamin K shot, I really dug into the details on these, but then I ended up making this section an appendix so as not to bog down the chapter with too much chemistry. This is one of the those topics where a Google search turns up a lot of misinformation that can be very misleading to concerned parents ..read more
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Should Your Baby Sleep in Your Room? For How Long? Balancing Sleep, Safety, and Sanity
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
**10/24/16 – This post has been updated to reflect the AAP’s 2016 Policy Statement on preventing SIDS and other sleep-related deaths. The AAP now recommends roomsharing for at least the first 6 months of life and preferably the first year. I’m glad to see this greater emphasis on roomsharing; it is evidence-based and yet overlooked by many families. The research reported here remains relevant and includes discussion of why roomsharing may protect babies, for how long, and why there may be a sleep tradeoff with roomsharing.** There is no doubt that having a new baby changes everything about sle ..read more
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Come and Gone (A Miscarriage Remembrance)
The Science of Mom
by Alice Callahan
2y ago
I realized, late in the day, that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I want to send a big virtual hug to all of the families that are hurting, today and every day, because of babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. It brings back memories for me of our first miscarriage, a pregnancy conceived in this month in 2012. This is the first October since then that I’ve held my baby boy. Every day, I feel grateful for him and how he has made our family feel whole. Most days, though, I still think about those lost pregnancies, and I feel so much empathy for families who ..read more
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