Back to basics while embracing tech – it’s all in the top parenting trends predicted for 2018.
Eco-friendly products and wooden toys
The Pinterest Top 100 Trend Report rates wooden toys as one of the top trends for this year. Parents are turning away from plastic gadgets with flashing lights and loud noises and are instead focusing on classic toys in natural materials, which are not only healthier, but encourage imagination and open play. Eco-friendly nappies, recycled clothing, planet-friendly and organic materials, natural baby skincare products, eco-friendly wipes and dummies and BPA-free bottles are all sought after products and will continue to grow in popularity.
Today’s mothers are looking at creating more “mature” and “modern” nurseries. There is a move away from character prints towards more contemporary décor and furniture with monochrome, grey and pastel colour palettes taking the lead. Removable wall décor continues to be popular, along with personalised word art or inspirational sayings, wooden décor and canvases.
Baby prep takes on a whole new meaning this year – pre-baby bucket lists and vision boards are becoming increasingly popular. Parents are also creating detailed checklists for each trimester and preparing up to three weeks’ worth of freezer meals ahead of time.
Parenting apps and cheat sheets to track your baby’s milestones are increasing in popularity. These include babycare journals, memory books and newborn schedules. Today’s parents are embracing schedule lists, brain development charts, nap and weight charts.
These blankets, created to fit the body and not the bed, have a long history of use in sensory integration therapy. They are known for their calming, sleep-inducing powers and are believed to be an effective tool for helping clam high-energy and sensory children.
Paid paternity leave
Globally, progressive companies are recognising the importance a dad plays in the first few weeks of his baby’s life, with Apple, Google and Facebook all offering paid paternity leave. The good news is that the trend is taking off in South Africa, too. In November 2017, the Labour Laws Amendment Bill was passed in the National Assembly in Parliament and is due to be reviewed by the National Council of Provinces. This includes provision for up to 10 days paid paternity leave and up to 10 weeks parental adoption leave if the baby is under two years of age, as well as increased UIF and maternity benefits.
Gmail and Instagram accounts
Parents are securing Facebook and Instagram accounts and starting email accounts for their babies before they are even born. According to a report published in the New York Times, the search for email and social media handles that are available are even influencing name choices. This has led to an increase in creative spellings for common names, such as Jaxon, instead of Jackson.
The baby sister to the traditional baby shower, a sprinkle shower is a smaller, low-key gathering honouring a second or third baby. And, in many cases, the term is being taken quite literally, with colourful or pastel rainbow décor.
Teething necklace jewelry
Beaded teething necklaces are nothing new for babiesy and toddlers, but the latest trend has Mom wearing beaded jewelry that serves as a teething necklace for your baby. Made of safe materials, with different size and texture beads, they are not only eye-catching, but fun for your baby to play with and safe to gum on.
The trend of empowering children to have a body image continues to be a focus this year – but there is also a trend toward body neutrality. The idea is that children should spend less time thinking about how they look, and rather focus on just being.
Kim Bell is a wife, mother of two teenagers and a lover of research and the way words flow and meld together. She has been in the media industry for over 20 years, and yet still learns more about life from her children everyday. You can learn more about Kim Bell here.