Emily Oster is the parenting guru nerds have been waiting for. In her previous book, Expecting Better, Oster blew up the conventional wisdom around pregnancy using her training as an economist to dig into the academic literature on questions about what pregnant women can safely eat and drink, along with a variety of other hot-button topics. She was hailed (and occasionally vilified) for her finding that the occasional glass of wine or order of sushi did not pose a mortal danger to most uterus-dwellers.
In her new book, Cribsheet, the Brown University economist examines the evidence on best practices for babies and toddlers. Her advice for parents of the 0–3 crowd on breastfeeding, swaddling, toddler discipline, and more offers the same level of data-driven chill her fans have grown to expect.
In a wide-ranging podcast with Editor in Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward, Oster explains how to tell a good study from a bad one and why she thinks it's important to help people make the best decisions for their families rather than assume there's a single right answer.
As a bonus, she also breaks down that much-publicized study about eggs and offers some reassuring evidence that it's OK to keep having those omelets for breakfast, no matter what you might have heard.
Audio production by Ian Keyser.