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The Book

My book, The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby’s First Year was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2015.

There it is! MY book, front and center on the parenting shelves of my bookstore!

There it is! MY book, front and center on the parenting shelves of my bookstore!

In my book, I tackle some of the most important questions we face as new parents. Just as I do on my blog, I focus first and foremost on how science can help clarify our parenting choices for us, helping us to sidestep parenting controversies and make decisions confidently. Not only will you take away a clear understanding of the topics covered in the book, you’ll also learn how to evaluate scientific evidence on your own as your children grow and you encounter new questions.

“Finally, someone has brought some science—and some sense—to the mommy wars. Should be required reading for all new (and old) parents.”

~Emily Oster, PhD, author of Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong—And What You Really Need to Know

Shameless use of cute baby to promote book.

Shameless use of cute baby to promote book.

Chapter List:

  1. Show Me the Science: A Crash Course in Evidence-Based Parenting
  2. Cutting the Umbilical Cord: When Is the Right Time?
  3. Of Injections and Eye Goop: Newborn Medical Procedures
  4. For Once, Sit Back and Watch: How Newborns Explore, Communicate, and Connect
  5. Milk and Motherhood: Breast Milk, Formula, and Feeding in the Real World
  6. Where Should Your Baby Sleep? Sleep Safety and the Bed Sharing Debate
  7. In Search of a Good Night’s Sleep (Or Something Like It)
  8. Vaccines and Your Child: Making a Science-Based Decision
  9. Getting Started with Solid Foods: When and How to Begin
  10. Eat, Grow, and Learn: The Best Foods for Babies

Just like my blog, you’ll find that I’ve included tons of references throughout my book so that you can follow the science. The book is all new material with very little overlap with my blog.

“This is science-based medicine writing at its best. Callahan doesn’t cherry-pick. She knows how to evaluate the entire body of research and put it into perspective along with practical parenting considerations… If I had three thumbs, I would give this book a 3-thumbs-up recommendation.”

~Harriet Hall, MD, Science-Based Medicine

Here’s what people are saying about The Science of Mom:

Alice Callahan has written a breakthrough book, combining the compassion, warmth, and angst of a mother with the measured reasoning of a scientist. She helps parents not only understand how science works, but how they can access that science to answer their questions. She’s found a way to access the scientist in all of us.

~Paul A. Offit, MD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Yes! An easy-to-read, fascinating, nuanced review of the science behind new parents’ biggest health questions. Many of these issues—infant sleep, breastfeeding, vaccines—have or will hit your ‘Should I panic?’ button. With gentle guidance, Alice Callahan puts your fears to rest.

~Tracy Cutchlow, author of Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science (and What I’ve Learned So Far)

Too many of today’s parents treat science as a weapon, using it to justify some choices and condemn others. Yet, most don’t fully understand what science can and cannot tell us. By giving parents a comprehensive understanding of how science relates to parenting, Alice Callahan has helped us turn this weapon into a tool for peace. Callahan untangles basic scientific concepts, reveals the realities and limitations of research, and advocates for a measured approach to parenting science that eschews absolutes and acknowledges nuance. The Science of Mom is a rare gem in the parenting canon—smart, sensitive, and a lifesaver for a generation of parents caught in the nebulous spider’s web of Internet ‘wisdom.’ 

~Suzanne Barston, author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t

Families routinely search for health information. The Science of Mom makes it easy collecting evidence for health decisions and putting it into perspective with a mom-to-mom connection. Callahan’s advice is thoughtful, backed by science and feels fueled of love. She is willing to provide powerful advice when detailing the science and safety of vaccines. Keep this book in arm’s reach as you support your infant for calm and direction.

~Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP, Seattle Children’s Hospital, author of Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Parenting, Child Health, and Work-Life Balance

Fascinating! Think of all the controversial, hot-button topics that parents obsess about in a child’s first year—from vaccines and feeding, bed-sharing to sleep training. Weighing the scientific evidence, Callahan offers balanced insights and in-depth answers—a far cry from the oversimplified advice prescribed by many ‘parenting experts.’ The result: a must-have guide that’s substantive and extremely engaging. 

~Jena Pincott, author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The Surprising Science of Pregnancy

Dr. Callahan isn’t bossy, and isn’t out to tell you what she thinks. Her book tells you what the science says, and explains how we know what we know, and what things we still need to learn more about. There’s humility and warmth, here, which I think parents of newborns will find reassuring.

~Dr. Roy Benaroch, MD, The Pediatric Insider

[Callahan] takes a compassionate, non-preachy approach with a goal of not telling the reader what to do but rather how to seek wise advice and make smart decisions…and to enjoy having a baby, which is what it is all about… ~Live Science

… in Science of Mom, Alice Callahan, PhD combines the critical eye of a scientist with the heart of a mother to create a helpful resource for all people interested in evidence based infant care and parenting. ~Science & Sensibility, Lamaze International

… a timely and necessary book for parents… It will help both moms and dads work together to choose the right parenting methods for them and give them a research-based approach to raising a child. ~Dan Arel, Patheos

… a solid resource for any new parent or parent to be. Callahan does the work of sorting through the science of baby’s first year, so you don’t have to. ~Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, Raise Healthy Eaters

[Callahan’s] compassion and empathy for the difficulties of parenting shine through in every chapter, from breastfeeding to vaccines to feeding to sleeping. ~Tara Haelle, Forbes

More Media Coverage:

You can order my book from any of the following sites:

Johns Hopkins Press (use discount code HNAF for 30% off), Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s, Indigo, Kobo, and Indiebound – or order it through your local independent bookseller.

BabyM and I check over the page proofs for The Science of Mom in February 2015.

BabyM and I check over the page proofs for The Science of Mom in February 2015.

36 Comments Post a comment
  1. Congrats on all fronts – book, pregnancy, reconnecting with Cee, & having free time! I can’t imagine how hectic & trying the last year has been for you! Looking forward to the book & blog posts in the mean time 🙂


    July 8, 2014
  2. I can’t believe I just found this blog! Thank you so much for sharing the fruits of all your hard work with us! This is exactly the kind of information I need. Looking forward to the book! Good luck finishing it up!


    July 24, 2014
  3. I can’t wait until this book comes out! Not only will I be buying it for myself, but for every single baby shower I get invited to.


    February 11, 2015
  4. Is it possible to pre-order the book yet?


    February 23, 2015
    • Not yet. Subscribe to the blog, and I’ll be sure to announce it when it is! Thanks for your support!


      February 23, 2015
  5. I just found your blog. I am really excited to read your book and follow your blog. I’m a forest modeler and my wife has laughed more than once about how much my science background has informed my parenting.


    April 7, 2015
    • Ha! Thank you! Glad you like the blog, and here’s to science nerds parenting!


      April 7, 2015
  6. Love the book – will write a glowing review on Goodreads and have already posted to one FB baby group. I’d love a piece on Tylenol & vaccinations… I’ve read that Tylenol given for pain/fever can reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine (actually I think it was the viral load or something like that) but it’s unclear if this is actually a problem in terms of the vaccine preventing illness later on. And my pediatrician still recommends Tylenol, and my baby has gotten feverish the last two times she got shots… so I gave her some… but I’d love to know what we actually know. Also, HUGE thank you for the caffeine & breastfeeding article… I found that cutting back on my caffeine intake when my baby was a newborn dramatically helped with sleep (hers & mine), though everyone said coffee was no problem… your piece really helped me understand what might be going on.


    August 19, 2015
    • Kelly! It’s so funny, I’m working on a post about acetaminophen and vaccines NOW! Expect it in the next few days. And I’m thrilled to hear that you love the book. Thanks so much for spreading the word and reviewing it. It really helps a lot!


      August 19, 2015
  7. laleh #

    Hi, I love your blog… am wondering if you are thinking about writing blog articles or a book about toddlers at any point… would love your insight on the next stages.. Thanks!


    November 15, 2015
  8. danu #

    Great job. Thank you!


    February 27, 2016
  9. Viivi #


    Can you specify how you choose the scientific material for your blog and book? Do you use peer-reviewed materials?

    Your book seems just right for me so I just wanted to know this before buying.

    All the best and merry Christmas!


    December 24, 2018
  10. Paige Dungan #

    Thanks for sharing the great information. I read this blog and must say the information that you shared in this blog is really very useful. Please post more blog related to ”Best Books For New Moms “.
    Thank You.


    August 16, 2019
  11. Hi! I just wanted to say congrats, The Science of Mom is amazing. I found it while doing some research on breast feeding and starting solids and from the beginning your book had me 🙂 It’s so great you put so much effort to give parents the foundation of science for all the important infant topics that may seem confusing for new parents. I was recently talking about parenting books with other moms from my “mom tribe” and we all agreed that if you want to read one parenting book, this should be it. I only wish I could read it before my first baby!
    Wishing you all the best!
    Zooey Barnett


    June 14, 2020

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  11. S.I.T.! Feeding Your Child Using Stability and Independence at the Table | Science of Mom
  12. The Science of Mom: An Introduction | Science of Mom
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  14. Science & Sensibility » Book Review: The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby’s First Year
  15. Science & Sensibility » Interview with Alice Callahan about Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby’s First Year.
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