The new generation of millennial parents is really changing things up. It’s safe to say that they are doing things very differently than their parents—and most of the time, this is a good thing. After all, with more time and research, the people in the medical field gain more knowledge about which parenting methods are best. There’s no doubt that while previous generations did the best that they could with the knowledge that they had, things are just different nowadays, and we know so much more than we did in decades past. At the end of the day, all parents are doing their very best for their kids, and millennial parents are really thinking outside the box!
There are so many creative new choices that parents are making these days. They have access to so much more information with the internet, and whenever they have a problem, they can turn to other parents for advice and feedback. There are so many interesting new methods in the world of parenting these days—and millennial parents are bringing back some old methods, too! Which ones are worth following? Here are 20 things that pediatricians think about these popular millennial parenting trends.
20 Co-sleeping Can Be Done Safely
It seems like moms are all about co-sleeping these days, but while some people say it is a great way to bond with your baby, others seem to think that it is unsafe. So what is the truth? Well, according to Today’s Parent, pediatricians have some mixed opinions on co-sleeping (just like the general public), but overall, they generally agree that it is possible to safely co-sleep, as long as parents do their research and follow the proper guidelines. After all, it really makes sense—parents were clearly co-sleeping for centuries, so it must be pretty safe.
19 Having Kids Later In Life Means More Experienced Parents
On average, millennials seem to be having children later in life than their parents, and much later than their grandparents—settling down right after high school and becoming a parent is no longer the norm! According to The Bump, this is generally a good thing. It means that parents have more life experience to bring to the table and pass on to their kids. However, it also means that women need to be realistic about their fertility once they get into their late thirties. But other than that, waiting to longer to have kids is usually quite a smart idea.
18 Natural Birth Should Be Researched Carefully
It’s clear that there is a major trend towards natural, home births right now. This is definitely a hot topic in the media, and it seems like the debate will never be fully settled. So what is the right answer? Hospital birth, or home birth? The answers will vary based on who you ask, but according to Mama Natural, home birth can be perfectly safe with an experienced midwife who would be prepared for a hospital transfer if any complications arose, if it is a low risk pregnancy. It may be safer to give birth for the first time in a hospital.
17 Giving Experiences Instead Of Things Teaches Gratitude
According to Very Well Family, millennial parents today say that they really value giving their children positive experiences rather than things. Some of this is because they are trying to be more frugal (more on that trend later!), but also, it's because millennials have realized that overall, positive experiences generally make us happier than material things. This is such an important lesson to teach kids early in life. They may not fully understand the importance of it right away, but as they get older and learn more about the world, they will be so grateful for those lessons from their parents.
16 “Baby Wearing” Can Form A Stronger Bond
Baby wearing is a big “new” trend—but it’s not actually that new! Women (and men) around the world have been practicing different forms of baby wearing for, well, thousands of years, and according to Today’s Parent, it’s a great idea for all parents, as long it is comfortable for their backs and shoulders. Baby wearing is not only a convenient way to make sure that your baby can come along with you (almost) anywhere you go, it’s also a way to bond with your baby. Babies love being close to mom and dad, especially when they have skin-to-skin contact.
15 Making Baby Food Can Be Healthier, But Too Time Consuming
Homemade baby food is becoming a big deal these days. According to Wellness Mama, more and more people (mothers especially) want to know exactly what they are feeding their kids. They want to know that their kids are really getting the best of the best—they don’t want to risk feeding them preservatives or additives. Pediatricians agree that making homemade baby food can be healthier and cheaper. However, it can also be too time consuming for many parents, and if a parent is unable to make that kind of effort, there is no reason for them to feel bad about it.
14 “Elimination Communication” Won’t Work For Most Families
What exactly is “elimination communication?” Let’s be real, many parents in previous generations have never even heard of it—the idea that there was a good alternative to diapers wasn’t really a common thought. But according to Mama Natural, elimination communication means bringing your baby to the bathroom when it looks like they have to go and potty training them without using diapers. Can this actually work? Yes, it technically can—but it is way too messy and time consuming for the vast majority of families! Let’s just be honest here, there are bound to be some serious accidents with this method.
13 Buying All Organic Is Good, But Pricey
It’s clear that parents are all about wellness these days, millennial parents especially. They really want to know that their kids are going to be eating super healthy at home, even if they can’t control what they eat outside of the household. According to Baby Centre, more parents are prioritizing buying organic food nowadays. The organic market is really exploding, especially for organic baby food. But is this always necessary? No, not really. It is definitely a slightly better choice, but if a parent can’t afford it, that is fine, too—you don’t need to eat organic to be healthy anyway!
12 More Alone Time For Moms Is A Must
According to Mom Junction, moms are quite busy these days—many of them are juggling childcare, work, volunteering, and plenty of other activities! But they are also demanding more time and space to themselves, which means that men have to step up to the plate and contribute to more domestic chores than they were expected to with previous generations. And guess what? This is better for everyone all around. Mothers really need more alone time to just relax and unwind. They do so much for everyone else, each and every day—they absolutely deserve extra time to themselves when possible.
11 Egalitarian Parenting Is Fair For Moms And Dads
So, speaking of men doing a little more work around the house, the whole concept of “egalitarian parenting” has really taken off amongst millennial parents. According to Today’s Parent, this basically means that both men and women are expected to help out in similar ways around the household—the days of dads who don’t want to change diapers are behind us! This is definitely a fantastic development. Pediatricians agree that when children see strong male role models that take such good care of them, they grow up with better ideas about the equality between men and women, and that’s a win!
10 Running A Frugal Household Is A Smart Idea
According to Very Well Family, millennial parents are definitely more frugal than their parents were. This is partially out of necessity—after all, millennials have had to go through some tough times economically. But it is also a choice in some ways. The minimalist philosophy is on the rise, so they are choosing to buy fewer things that they may not need. They want their children to value love and experiences over material items. These kids will definitely grow up with a better understanding of the value of a dollar than children of previous generations because of their parents’ spending choices.
9 Technology And Kids Don’t Always Mix
Alright, while millennial parents are making some really positive choices for their children, there is one area where they are actually slipping up a bit. According to Baby Centre, children of millennial parents are spending way too much time online. Yes, there are some millennial parents who do put a ton of effort into limiting screen time, but many do not. This can be a big problem for developing brains. Kids should not have too much screen time, especially when they are very little. They need to explore the world around them, not just stare at a screen for hours.
8 Raising Kids Vegan Can Be Fine—If Done Right
There is no doubt that there is an increased interest in vegetarian and vegan diets these days—in fact, according to Today’s Parent, this is a huge trend that is likely to continue in the coming years. It’s safe to say that there are many more parents who are interested in raising their kids as vegans from day one, but of course many people are curious to know if this is really safe. Thankfully, pediatricians agree that it is, as long as the diet is properly planned and includes all essential nutrients. It’s good for parents to talk to a doctor about it.
7 “Gender-Neutral” Parenting May Be Beneficial
It is technically impossible to parent a child in a completely “gender neutral” way—even if everything in your own house is gender neutral, they will be shown to the rest of society eventually, and they will know the difference between men and women. But according to Today’s Parent, the important thing is just showing children that men and women should be treated equally. Pediatricians say that growing up in an egalitarian household shows both boys and girls that they do not have to fit into a certain box, and they can grow up to be whatever they want to be.
6 Extended Nursing Is Perfectly Acceptable
Nowadays, more mothers are interested in extended breastfeeding, which typically means breastfeeding up to two years or a little longer, instead of just stopping at one year. Is this healthy for the child? According to the World Health Organization, yes it is. In fact, breastfeeding for up to two years is actually seen as the healthiest choice for kids by many pediatricians. For many families, there is another perk to this extended schedule—saving money on food! Plus, it means so much valuable bonding time for mother and baby, and you just can’t put a price on something like that.
5 Hand Me Downs And Thrifting Are Great
This ties right into millennials being more frugal as parents. According to The Bump, more parents are happy to buy items from thrift stores or use hand me downs these days. As always, saving a little extra money is great for any household! Plus, this means that less goes to waste. Kids grow so fast, and they do need new clothes frequently, so it helps to spend less money on the clothing budget. This leaves more room for other little treats. Kids will also learn that it is more sustainable and practical to simply stick with hand me downs sometimes!
4 Regular Family Dinners Are So Important
Guess which tradition millennial parents are bringing back? Regular family dinners. According to Today’s Parent, many parents had been letting family dinners fall by the wayside—after all, it seems like both kids and parents are so busy these days that something in the schedule just has to give, right? But regular family dinners should never be one of those things. This is bonding time for the family, and it is so important for children to have this special time to talk to their parents every day. It is a tradition that should take place in every household when possible.
3 Dad Spending More Time With The Kids Is Ideal
It’s so clear—millennial dads are spending more time with their kids than men of previous generations, and all the research says that this is a great idea. According to Baby Centre, men these days expect that they will take on a bigger role in the home, and not only are their wives grateful, their kids are benefitting big time, too! Having a more involved dad means seeing that men and women don’t have to stick to certain “roles”—both can be caring, nurturing, and strong, all at the same time. It’s good for kids to have men like this in their lives.
2 Seeking Parenting Advice On Social Media Can Be Risky
Now, here is one area where millennial parents definitely have some room to improve—when it comes to social media, they could step back a bit. According to What to Expect, it is very easy for inaccurate information about pregnancy or parenting to become widespread on social media, even if there is little to no evidence to back it up. Pediatricians are definitely concerned about some of the questionable ideas that can be spread around on social media. Millennial parents should be wary about advice that they find on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even popular platforms like YouTube—just watch out!
1 Having Working Moms Can Be Inspiring
Nowadays, there are fewer women who are choosing just to stay at home. According to Mom Junction, more women are balancing work and motherhood for a variety of reasons: some genuinely enjoy their careers and love that they can be moms with cool jobs, while others need to bring in extra money for the household. Either way, it’s clear that more women are falling under the category of “working moms,” and this is actually good for the kids! Seeing a mom who works and loves her kids shows children that they don’t have to choose between one or the other.
Sources: momjunction.com, babycentre.com, thebump.com, whattoexpect.com, wellnessmama.com, mamanatural.com, todaysparent.com, verywellfamily.com, who.int