Pat on the Back by Megan Baxter
Pat on the Back by Megan Baxter

Megan Baxter ’10 is the creative mind behind a new book filled with affirmations for parents—but disguised as a children's book!

There’s a surprising amount of societal pressure put on the sweet and simple act of reading to children. Pediatricians regularly tell new parents to start reading to their children within the first two weeks of bringing them home from the hospital. Studies have shown the sheer number of words spoken to a baby in their first year of life correlates directly to higher advances in their cognitive and language development, which in turn will have an enduring impact over the course of their entire life. 

What’s less often talked about is that reading to a newborn can be an awkward and tedious interaction. Their lack of positive feedback (or any reaction) leaves the moment ripe for the ever-creeping parental doubt and shame to seep in. It is easy to forget that a week-old infant doesn’t care what they are being read. It’s all sensory stimuli, the sound of their parent’s voice, the colors of the book, etc. That’s when Baxter had the realization that there needed to be a children's book with content meant to uplift the parent. 

With Pat on the Back, a parent can read to their child and give themselves much-needed validation. 

"So much of my day job as a user experience designer is about searching for the best moment to connect with a user. I spend my days conducting user interviews, crafting user journeys, and designing solutions for what we label user pain points. During my maternity leave, I found a parenting pain point that I became passionate about solving. After months writing, illustrating, and user testing with real parents, I’m proud to share my book with the world. I know my experience isn’t unique and that other new parents could use some time for self-care." —Baxter

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