Alice Callahan—The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year, 2nd Ed

Science of Mom

Science of Mom


Alice Callahan
Johns Hopkins University Press, November 23, 2021, $19.95
ISBN-10: 9781421441993, ISBN-13: 978-1421441993
Ebook ASIN: B08TTBQ9P1
Audiobook ASIN: B09LBMGKJS

Callahan reports:

The first edition of The Science of Mom, published in 2014, came out of my transition away from academic research and into science writing, coupled with my curiosity and angst as a new parent. A few years prior, I had started a blog about the science of parenting decisions and was surprised to find an enthusiastic audience for evidence-based parenting information.

An editor at Johns Hopkins University Press noticed my work and asked if I’d be interested in writing a book. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in science writing but had been unsure how to get started, so the opportunity felt like an opening. I had only a few local bylines to my name, and then, suddenly, I had a book contract.

Alice Callahan

Alice Callahan

The first edition of The Science of Mom was successful enough that Johns Hopkins asked me to update it for a second edition. Knowing that currency would be important for my book to remain relevant in a crowded market, I accepted.

Updating the book was more work than I expected. There was a surprising amount of new science in five years! Most of that work happened during the early months of the pandemic, when it was often hard to focus with my kids home from school and COVID raging.

What sustained my focus on the book was remembering that whatever else is happening in the world, there will always be new parents managing the daily work of caring for a baby and doing their best to make decisions in a world of conflicting advice and contradictory information, some of which is not just wrong but also potentially dangerous.

The Science of Mom digs into the details of infant care topics like sleep safety, breastfeeding and formula, food allergies, and vaccines, but it’s also a book about how science works and how to interpret research. I hope it will help readers make confident, science-based decisions not just for their babies but also in other realms of life.

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December 8, 2021

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

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