3 Parenting Trends That Are Here to Stay, According to Dr. Harvey Karp

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Renowned pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block, has a 2021 prediction for you, and it has nothing to do with the weather or your sun sign. He’s compiled his expertise to make some highly educated guesses about what will trend in the parenting sphere in 2021. Here are his top three:

1. Embracing flexibility.

photo: iStock

Even before COVID-19 parents today have been doing more than ever before with less help. Add in COVID-19 and that delicate work-life-school balance has been blown out the window. The result? Dr. Karp says it's rule-bending! Parents are learning to be more flexible. "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!"

2. 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." Dr. Karp writes. And parents can't argue the benefit of not having to take the extra time to drive to an office for an appointment, for themselves or their kids. 

3. Seeking virtual support for the fourth trimester. 

Parents of a new baby, whether it's their first or their third, need as much support as they can get—from friends, family, co-worker, health-care providers and their community in general. But during social isolation, having your bestie come over and hold the baby while you shower isn't an option. Their new support groups? Virtual! Finding your people online, connecting with friends and family can help. In addition, technology will play a big role in parenting such as Dr. Karp's SNOO, a smart bassinet parents rave about.  

"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!"

—Amber Guetebier

featured image: SNOO/Happiest Baby 

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