lavendersparkle: (Good little housewife)
Before and during my pregnancy I joked that I was engaged in evidence based baby making. I could quite happily explain the evidence behind my decisions, be it how much alcohol to drink or my birth preferences. I was helped in this by the NICE guidelines and summaries of their basis and the book Expecting Better. I'd like to take a similar evidence based approach to baby raising, but I'm finding it harder to find resources. Here is some information that I've gathered so far. Feel free to correct it, preferably with citations, if you think any of it is incorrect.

1. There are lots of different approaches to raising children that all result in the child being broadly OK.

2. The biggest determinant of a baby's wellbeing is their primary caregivers' wellbeing.

3. It is best to exclusively breastfeed until 6 months, although the benefits are probably overstated due to omitted variable bias and the evidence against introducing solids between 4 and 6 months is more limited.

4. There are benefits to continuing to breastfeed until the baby is at least 2 years old.

5. One should not exclude potential allergens from a baby's diet unless there is reason to believe that they have an allergy.

6. You should follow the NHS's vaccination schedule. (It's fine to get some late due to holidays or illness.)

7. I'm not sure whether it is worth paying for Nathaniel to be vaccinated against chickenpox.

8. It is best to praise children in a way that encourages a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset I.e. praise effort and strategy rather than inherent talent.

9. Modelling moral behaviour is more effective than extolling moral behaviour.

10. The NHS says that babies should be given supplements of vitamins A, C and D from 6 months if they are not being fed formula. I'm not sure how necessary this is and am a bit reluctant as I can't work out how to administer them in a way that Nathaniel won't hate.

11. Babies develop the ability to injure themselves and others before they develop the ability to reason through the consequences of their actions. They can understand not to do something because their carer says not to before they can understand the consequences of their actions.

12. Babies can usually sign before they can speak, so teaching them sign can help them to communicate earlier.

That's just some off the top of my head whilst Nathaniel naps. Any to add?

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lavendersparkle

July 2015

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