The Data-Driven Guide to Sane Parenting

When my daughter was born, my wife and I agreed that we wouldn’t drive ourselves crazy reading every book of parenting advice on the shelf. So much of it seems designed only to cause anxiety – and, of course, to sell more books. But I do find myself referring over and over to this one book I read for an episode of Freakonomics Radio. It’s called Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool. And it’s by an economist, Emily Oster. She investigated the studies behind the guidelines parents get from pediatricians, and also went looking for evidence to back up common advice you hear from relatives and other parents. She found that mostly, parents worry too much about things we can’t control. Which nicely supports my prejudice against reading parenting books. You can hear the episode here.