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The instant New York Times bestseller!From the author of Expecting Better, an economist's guide to the early years of parenting.“Many parents will likely find reading it a huge relief from the scare stories that seem to pop up everywhere these days...Cribsheet is not another call for the end of helicopter parenting or snowplow parenting or whatever kind of parenting is lighting up social media today, and it’s not a call to overthrow medical wisdom; it’s a call for parenting with context, and it’s freeing.” — The Washington Post  With Expecting Better, award-winning economist Emily Oster spotted a need in the pregnancy market for advice that gave women the information they needed to make the best decision for their own pregnancies. By digging into the data, Oster found that much of the conventional pregnancy wisdom was wrong. In Cribsheet, she now tackles an even greater challenge: decision-making in the early years of parenting.  As any new parent knows, there is an abundance of often-conflicting advice hurled at you from doctors, family, friends, and strangers on the internet. From the earliest days, parents get the message that they must make certain choices around feeding, sleep, and schedule or all will be lost. There's a rule—or three—for everything. 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 around breastfeeding (not a panacea), sleep training (not so bad!), potty training (wait until they're ready or possibly bribe with M&Ms), language acquisition (early talkers aren't necessarily geniuses), and many other topics. She also shows parents how to think through freighted questions like if and how to go back to work, how to think about toddler discipline, and how to have a relationship and parent at the same time.  Economics is the science of decision-making, and Cribsheet is a thinking parent's guide to the chaos and frequent misinformation of the early years. Emily Oster is a trained expert—and mom of two—who can empower us to make better, less fraught decisions—and stay sane in the years before preschool.


Customers Reviews

Not super helpful/not super harmful/not much of anything

3.0 out of 5.0 by emies on May 5, 2019
Here's the jist: if you have a higher socio-economic status you have more options. More options = more ability to make decisions. People that make certain decisions typically have the privilege to make those decisions. The kids of privilege to probably have better but outcomes not necessarily BBC their parents make better decisions, but bc those parents' decisions are shaped by their privilege. Most decisions are equally fine or maybe fine or probably fine. There. I saved you $16.
Much needed data-driven guide to parenting

4.0 out of 5.0 by Amazon Customer on April 26, 2019
I want to give this 5 stars - there is a real need for more evidence-based parenting advice. As a parent (and an academic scientist), I keep hearing various rules and recommendations and find myself wondering... where do the data for THAT come from? This book is a really accessible guide to navigating the parenting literature with an eye for research methods. The author also does a wonderful job at discussing how sometimes what parents care about is not what research measures. I also found it quite freeing to know that there is not a lot of evidence for a whole host of things. I'm drawn to attachment parenting practices, and I chose to breastfeed- it felt nice to realize I was doing these things because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to because "the evidence says".The big takeaway, then, is "just do you" - with a few caveats: please vaccinate, do not spank your children.My one criticism is toward the parts that were not grounded in data. The postpartum recovery section seemed to be based on personal experience and anecdotes, and repeated some potentially harmful myths (e.g. about how "capacious" one's vagina is after childbirth). These are admittedly more medical questions than the others dealt with in the book, but I would have liked this section too to be more in the spirit of a critical view of existing evidence. Similarly, the how-to section on breastfeeding strayed too much into the realm of personal experience and unscientific sampling of anecdotes.Overall, though, this is a really wonderful book and I plan on getting it for all future baby showers.
Becoming an Informed, Confident Mother

5.0 out of 5.0 by Alana on April 24, 2019
One of the most overwhelming things as a parent is making decisions about what will be best for your child and your family. I’ve definitely had my preferences about sleep training, baby feeding, and discipline, but I think every mom doubts herself sometimes and wonders if she’s really doing things the “right” way or if she’s completely screwing up her child.This is why we needed Emily Oster’s book. Her pregnancy book Expecting Better was like a guidebook for me during pregnancy, and although I had to wait 2 years for this parenting book, it was definitely worth the wait. Oster simply outlines the research behind many of the big parenting decisions, including how and what to feed our children, vaccinations, discipline, education, screen time and potty training. Just like in Expecting Better, she doesn’t give advice but simply outlines the research, allowing the reader to use that information to guide their own decision making.As a mom, I’ve loved reading about which decisions don’t really seem to matter much in the long run, and which I should take a little more seriously. This book helps me feel like an informed parent, which allows me to feel more confident as a mother.But my favorite part of this book is that in almost every chapter, Oster doesn’t just discuss how parenting decisions affect the children, but the parents as well. Almost all parenting advice that you read only talks about the children, but what about us? We are also impacted by our parenting choices, and we should consider our own well- being when making any decisions about our family. I hope that this sparks a new trend in parenting advice, where parents are allowed to think about themselves also.
Solid Sequel!

5.0 out of 5.0 by KBL on April 24, 2019
I pre-ordered this book after a friend gave me a copy of Expecting Better, and I was not disappointed. This is a valuable resource for parents, covering many of the big issues like breastfeeding, cosleeping, etc. There are a number of valuable charts to bookmark for future reference (like on weight loss after birth, and language development to pick a couple of examples). Also it's an enjoyable read, interspersing personal anecdote with data analysis.As in Expecting Better, Cribsheet discusses one topic at a time, summarizing the available research and suggesting some factors to consider in personal decision making. It isn't about telling you what you should do, more of a guide to how to go about making your decisions. Although it does generally explain things like percentiles, study design, etc, people with at least a little background and interest in statistics/research methods may enjoy it more, but I don't think it ever gets too technical. Discussions about pregnancy and parenting are far too commonly dominated by conflicting assertions backed up with an unholy amalgam of anecdotes, judgement, pseudoscience, and cherry picking. A book like this, which tells the reader what we actually know (and what we actually don't) hopefully helps parents to feel confident making informed decisions based on what's right for their family.
This is the book I wish existed before my baby was born

5.0 out of 5.0 by B.A.B.P. on April 23, 2019
I love everything about it, so practical and useful with expert references. It's a wonderful antidote to the anxious shame based focus so much parenting advice seems to employ in America. Easily readable, yet scientific enough for this academic mother to feel enriched by it. My only criticisms are that I think the book Precious Little Sleep should have been mentioned in the sleep area, and perhaps she should have taken a moment to address the Rock N' Play issues currently all over the news when mentioning that product.