Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool – Emily Oster Book Summary

Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool – Emily Oster | Free Book Summary

Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool – Emily Oster

“Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool” is a popular parenting guide that uses data and research to help parents make informed decisions about raising their children.


Breastfeeding has been shown to have some benefits for both mothers and babies, but these benefits are often overstated. While breastfeeding can reduce the risk of certain infections and diseases for babies, the effect is relatively small. Breastfeeding can also have benefits for mothers, such as reducing the risk of certain cancers and improving maternal mental health.

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However, these benefits are also relatively small. Ultimately, the decision to breastfeed should be based on individual circumstances and what works best for the mother and baby.

Sleep training

Sleep training involves teaching babies to fall asleep on their own, and it can be effective for many families. However, sleep training is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it may not be appropriate for all families or all babies. Some babies may have underlying medical or developmental issues that make sleep training difficult or inappropriate.

Parents should also consider their own preferences and values when deciding whether to try sleep training, as there are many different approaches.

Potty training

Potty training can be a daunting task for many parents, but it doesn’t have to be. Oster suggests waiting until children are around 2.5 years old before starting potty training, as this is when most children are developmentally ready.

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Parents should also consider their child’s personality and temperament, as some children may be more resistant to potty training than others. Oster recommends using positive reinforcement and consistency to help children learn to use the potty.


Many parents worry about the effects of daycare on their children, but high-quality childcare can actually have positive effects. Children in high-quality daycare may have better cognitive and social outcomes than children who stay at home with a parent or in low-quality childcare. Parents who use high-quality childcare may also have better mental health and career outcomes than parents who stay at home with their children.


Vaccines are one of the most effective tools we have for preventing infectious diseases, and they are safe for the vast majority of children. Delaying or skipping vaccines can put children and others at risk of serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.

Oster suggests following the recommended vaccine schedule, which is based on extensive research and designed to protect children from diseases at the times when they are most vulnerable.

Screen time

Screen time is a fact of life for many families, but excessive screen time can have negative effects on children’s development and well-being. Oster suggests setting limits on screen time and making sure that children are engaging in other activities as well, such as playing outside and spending time with family and friends. She also recommends choosing high-quality media that is age-appropriate and educational.


Nutrition is an important aspect of children’s health and development, but it can be difficult for parents to navigate all of the conflicting advice. Oster recommends taking a balanced approach to nutrition, focusing on providing a variety of healthy foods and not being too strict about occasional treats.

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