January Must Reads

Topping our list of parenting reads: The neuroscience of motherhood, three-parent babies, and a LEGO photographer on assignment.

Some stories we just can’t keep to ourselves. Here, our recommendations for great reading.

PHOTO / Everything About These Pictures of a Tiny, Adventurous LEGO Photographer is Awesome
As if you needed another reason to steal your kids’ Legos. Every day for a year, photographer Andrew Whyte took things to another level and snapped a composed image of a diminutive LEGO photographer (above) on great adventures—scaling buildings, on assignment at the beach, and narrowly escaping large hermit crabs. (Fast Company)

MIND + BODY / What Happens to a Woman’s Brain When She Becomes a Mother 
Cue the joy, attachment, anxiety, and overprotectedness: Everyone knows that something shifts deeply when a woman becomes a mother, and this piece by senior associate editor Adrienne Lafrance explains the science of why. It’s mainly to do with the circuitry surrounding the amygdala, which drives emotional reactions like fear, anxiety and aggression. Scientists linked a greater amygdala response when mothers viewed their own babies—the bigger the response, the stronger the caretaking motivation. Bigger responses were also tied to lower maternal anxiety. A fascinating read for neuroscience nerds. (The Atlantic)

TECH / Smart Beds, Toddler Trackers, and Talking Appliances At CES 2015
Technology continues to expand its inexorable influence how we do everything, from getting directions to setting our thermostat. At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, family tech made its biggest splash ever—including our own Sproutling, which won a CES Innovation Award. Fatherly gives a rundown of eight gizmos that can help a parent out. The GPS-enabled pacifier is brilliant. (Fatherly)

Photo courtesy of Fatherly

Courtesy of Fatherly


CULTURE / Three Biological Parents and a Baby
It might seem the stuff of science fiction (and the US is still 2-3 years out from any decision-making surrounding the issue) but fertility specialists are advancing the frontier of three-parent embryos, in which the mother’s nuclear genome is inserted into a healthy donor egg that can be fertilized by the father’s sperm. This account centers on the story of Alana, a 13-year-old girl conceived via the process before it was suspended in the US in 2001. (New York Times)

ESSAY / I’m Not A Stay-At-Home Mom, I’m A Work-At-Home Mom. There’s A Difference.
January’s back-to-work reality makes this missive by author Jordan Rosenfeld a timely read: As a freelancer, the concept of being at home yet also being unavailable to parent and go on playdates can be challenging to communicate—even to yourself. (Role Reboot)

DESIGN / When I Grow Up
At KidZania playgrounds, there are no slides or sandpits. Rather children between the ages of 4 and 14 go to work on assembly lines, earn salaries, train dogs, and text each other via a cell-phone rental store. It is, writes author Rebecca Mead, “a proudly mundane municipality.” And they love it. The exploration of why provides a fascinating dive into educational theory and child’s play. (New Yorker)

PROJECTDIY Cardboard Camper Playhouse
Have the holiday toys already worn a little thin? Check out this fantastic family project that we sort of wish was big enough for us adults as well. All you need is a box cutter, cardboard, duct tape and paint. (The Merry Thought)

Photo courtesy of A Merry Thought

Courtesy of A Merry Thought



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