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Baby Ecology book is here! Learn more

Baby Ecology book is here!

Caring for baby: a view through the lens of ecology

Research on baby's first year crystallized into the nurturing environment — the range of good options — to help you choose what works best for your baby and your family.

Kidecology philosophy: Instead of perfecting parenting techniques, scripts, and gadgets, let's put our best effort into creating environments for learning and connection

Are you finding a lot of baby care advice conflicting, too prescriptive, black-and-white, and confusing?

  • “Let your baby sleep” but “keep naps short”;
  • “Start with purees” but “skip purees entirely”;
  • “Babywear as much as possible” but “don't restrict free movement”

Does it feel like you have to stick to a specific parenting philosophy or a set of techniques yet none of them feel quite right? Did you hope to rely on your instincts but discover that you don't 'naturally' know what to do?

You are not alone.

And you're right in questioning what feels like too-specific, one-size-fits-all, "only one right way" advice.

Text on green background "The answers to most parenting questions are not one-size-fits-all or black-and-white. The true answer is usually a range (often a wide one) - a kaleidoscope of good options - from which you can choose what works best for your baby and your family.

When I was a new mom 12 years ago, I found myself in a sea of ​​opinions. Many came with a sense of pressure: "Do this exact thing or else your baby will not thrive".

This was overwhelming and not helpful, so I did something different.

Anya Dunham author photo

The unique lens of ecology

My name is Anya Dunham. I am a researcher with a PhD in Biology who studies ecology: the ways living things relate to one another and interact with their environment. More specifically, I work on habitats: spaces and environments that support life.

(more about Anya)

When I became a parent, I began to think about caring for babies from an ecological perspective. Despite technological progress, baby ecology — what our babies truly need from the physical spaces they live in, the care they receive, and their interactions with people in their life — has remained largely constant and universal.

Here and in my award-winning book, Baby Ecology, I use my research training to analyze scientific studies on baby sleep, feeding, care, and play through the lens of ecology and answer the following questions:

  1. What do our babies need to thrive?
  2. What elements in babies' environments — physical spaces and experiences — help meet these needs?

And then I use my parent perspective to help you create these spaces and experiences in your home in ways that work best for your baby.

Ecology and baby ecology definitions

What you'll find here

I write about everything that forms baby’s day-to-day experiences: sleep, feeding, playing, and being cared for.

  • Knowledge from hundreds of academic papers carefully analyzed and brought together to answer tricky and complex questions we all face as new parents (for example: starting solids and avoiding picky eating; babies and screens; choosing daycare).
  • Support, whether you are formula-feeding or breastfeeding, using purees or baby-led weaning, bed-share with your baby or your baby sleeps alone - there are no parenting wars or strict, black-and-white “do's” and “don'ts”. 
  • Ideas for planning, creating, and organizing play spaces, cooking, and making things for your baby.
  • References to the studies I mention are always listed at the end of each article, in case you want to dig deeper or use them as a jumping off point for further reading.
Baby Ecology book cover with rating

I began working on this space in 2022 after I wrote Baby Ecology - the book I wish I had when I was a new parent. See what Baby Ecology is about, browse through reader reviews, or check out multiple awards Baby Ecology received

What topic would you like to explore today? The buttons below will take you to the list of articles.

baby bassinet
Baby sleeping in crib
Baby being fed avocado by spoon
Smiling baby playing on her tummy in yellow romper and flower headband