Child-Rearing as a Team Event | With Dr. Sarah Jean Baker

This week on the podcast we welcome Dr. Sarah Jean Baker, Dr. Jennifer Baker’s daughter-in-law, to speak on how children learn. We also talk about how babies can become attached to both Dad and Mom using the skin-to-skin contact technique, the importance of paternal leave, and the best ways to encourage your infant’s learning. Join us as we fantasize about a future where both parents can rely on paid leave! 

Our Guest: Dr Sarah Jean Baker  

Sarah Jean Baker (PhD) is an Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood Program, in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Developmental Studies in the College of Education at Missouri State University. She earned her PhD in School Improvement from Texas State University. She has experience working in public schools as an early childhood teacher- teaching kindergarten and first grade, as well as leading schools as a school leader. Her research interests include teacher preparation and teacher development for social justice and culturally sustaining pedagogy, early childhood education, and women’s issues in schools. She is a proud mama to four children and often finds her greatest joys and struggles in her mama identity. 

  • (5:53) One of the things that dads can and should do is act as much like the primary caregiver as we often think about mothers being the primary caregiver—so, meaning you’re changing diapers, you’re doing feedings…
  • (8:07) Minor and I, my husband, would encourage dads to do is to take time off of work when you have a baby. It was financially possible for us to do that when we had our twins, although I think we could have made it work. We did it with our youngest … who is now eight, and we both think back on those 12 weeks with her as just some of the best times.
  • (14:13) Just a reminder: You’re not “babysitting” when it’s your kid. 
  • (14:55) Sometimes Minor does things differently than how I would do things, and I had to just let go of that a realize that it’s okay. Like, he might put on a different outfit than I would want the kids in, or maybe even put the diaper on a little bit differently than I would want, but at the end of the day, the diaper still worked; they were still warm. I didn’t need to micromanage. I had to let go of that and kind of let go of some of those expectations … It’s not about control.