LOS ANGELES, Dec. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Being a parent in 2020 was difficult enough; what will 2021 bring to new and expectant parents? Here are some parenting trends from expert Dr. Harvey Karp, to, hopefully, give parents some comfort and an idea of what we can expect in the New Year.
Even before the pandemic hit, parents were doing more work with less help than any other generation throughout history! And now, with COVID pushing many to the brink, parents are cutting themselves a bit more slack and starting to climb down from the mountain of "shoulds" that so many of us find ourselves stranded upon ("I should cook instead of getting takeout," "I should be better at disciplining," etc.). Whether all this "rule relaxing" means being okay with a bit more screen time or a cheese-and-cracker dinner, parents are trying to "should" on themselves less and embrace flexibility! In 2021, I expect we'll continue to see parents give themselves some well-deserved grace…and I hope this is a trend that will outlast COVID!
Relying on telehealth.
Out of necessity, many doctor's appointments have gone virtual this year—and this is a trend we will likely see stick around next year…and beyond. While some doctor's visits require face-to-face, in-person interaction, many doctors are finding that are others that can be done effectively from behind a screen. And telehealth does have benefits. For example, new parents who have questions about their infant might be able to get all the answers they need without bringing their precious little one into the office where they risk germ exposure. Of course, there are other visits where it's necessary to see a patient in person…such as looking in the ears or throat to diagnose an infection, running tests, etc. Still, as doctors' offices return to normal eventually, I suspect both patients and providers will be more open to incorporating remote visits into their ongoing course of care.
Seeking virtual support during the fourth trimester.
The first weeks of a baby's life can already be intense and isolating…and a new parent's job has become even tougher as COVID has stripped away precious practical support from family and friends (including friends or family who can come over to make dinner or hold the baby while Mom naps). While a lack of practical support alone can nudge a new parent towards depression or anxiety, it also may lead to an even bigger trigger: exhaustion. While that's a trend that I hope we'll leave in 2020, the good news is that more and more parents have been turning to virtual support to guide them through the struggles of new parenthood (a silver lining!)
Additionally, in the absence of a physical village, parents are increasingly turning to technology to get that essential help in those stressful early days, like a white noise machine or a smart bassinet, like SNOO. I created SNOO to actually give tired new parents an extra pair of hands to hold and soothe the baby. And, it also is the only baby bed proven to add hours of sleep to the baby's sleep and keep the baby safely on the back…all naps/nights. This is a massive piece of the puzzle in curbing the scary upswing in postpartum depression and anxiety…and for forging a new trend of reliable and meaningful virtual support that may help keep those perinatal mood disorders at bay. Happy SNOO New Year!"
SOURCE Dr. Harvey Karp