The Informed Parent by T. Haelle & E. Willingham (PB, pp. 336)

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Paperback, 336 Pages | By Tara Haelle & Emily Willingham, PhD

The latest scientific research on home birth, breastfeeding, sleep training, vaccines, and other key topics—to help parents make their own best-informed decisions.

In the era of questionable Internet "facts" and parental oversharing, it's more important than ever to find credible information on everything from prenatal vitamins to screen time. The good news is that parents and parents-to-be no longer need to rely on an opinionated mother-in-law about whether it’s OK to eat sushi in your third trimester, an old college roommate for sleep-training “rules,” or an online parenting group about how long you should breastfeed (there’s a vehement group for every opinion). Credible scientific studies are out there – and they’re “bottom-lined” in this book.

» Read an excerpt (opens in a new window)

The ultimate resource for today’s science-minded generation, The Informed Parent was written for readers who prefer facts to “friendly advice,” and who prefer to make up their own minds, based on the latest findings as well as their own personal preferences. Science writers and parents themselves, authors Tara Haelle and Emily Willingham have sifted through thousands of research studies on dozens of essential topics, and distill them in this essential and engaging book. Topics include:

Home birth * Labor induction * Vaginal birth vs. Cesarean birth * Circumcision * Postpartum depression * Breastfeeding * Vaccines * Sleep training * Pacifiers * SIDS * Bed-sharing * Potty training * Childhood obesity * Food sensitivities and allergies * BPA and plastics * GMOs vs. organic foods * The hygiene hypothesis * Spanking * Daycare vs. other childcare options


"As a mom, I can confidently say that The Informed Parent will be a lifesaver for all moms and dads going through the anxiety and excitement of raising a young child. From autism to organic food, the authors demystify modern parents’ most prevalent fears for the first four years, and effectively arm them with a critical thinking cap for years to come. If you’re tired of the mommy (and daddy) wars, or simply need help separating the credible wheat from the misinformation chaff on the internet, look no further."
--Kavin Senapathy, science advocate and author of The Fear Babe

"Accessible and informative…For anyone headed into parenthood, this is a must-read, as it answers so many questions new parents are bound to ask."
--Kirkus Reviews

"The book shines with clear explanations of the reasoning behind common hospital practices such as labor induction, vitamin K shots, and taking Apgar scores, including up-to-date summaries of the sometimes overwhelming-data surrounding giving birth and infant care choices. Subjects of controversy, such as allergies and sleep training, receive in-depth, scientifically minded treatment."
--Publishers Weekly