As 2019 draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to look back on not only the end of another year but the passing of a decade, too. Much has changed in the last 10 years, especially when it comes to the parenting area. From the incorporation of technology into our daily lives to better safety regulations and a focus on inclusivity, these are the biggest ways parenting has changed in the last decade.
The last ten years have seen rapid growth in the area of fertility advancements. We've seen successful uterus transplants, surgeries that preserve fertility for cancer patients, a better understanding of pre-eclampsia and more diverse IUD options. Most importantly, changes in the fertility fields mean more men and women are becoming parents and growing their families in ways they couldn't before.
Better Baby Safety Regulations
Ten years has seen lots of changes in baby and kid safety. No more crib bumpers, recalled inclined sleepers and longer rear-facing requirements are big changes to the industry, but they all mean kids are growing up safer.
Parenting with Technology
Phones and tablets are more a part of parenting than ever before. With educational apps for both parents and kids, and the ability to Google anything at a moments notice, knowledge is always at your fingertips. With the ever-growing presence of smartphones, this last decade means phones plus parents equals the new norm. Kids have grown up with the ability to watch what they want when they want, thanks to OnDemand and full seasons of favorite shows being released on streaming platforms.
Over the last decade, widespread use of social media has led to sharenting, the sharing of special moments and crowdsourcing parent friends for advice on various social platforms. While there is always a risk of over-sharenting, researchers have also found that parents who share personal experiences about themselves and their kiddos use it as a "coping strategy, primarily related to seeking affirmation/social support or relief from parents stress/anxiety/depression.”
Being Connected to Grandparents, No Matter the Distance
Long gone are the days when grandkids didn't connect with out-of-state grandparents. Thanks to technology, kiddos can spend time with grandma and grandpa on tablets and phones as much as they want thanks to apps like FaceTime. Studies have shown that spending time with grandparents is not only important relationally, but that kids also benefit from the guidance, advice and love the older generation can give.
This last decade has changed the way women weather pregnancy. Parents can now find out the gender of baby sooner with a simple blood test and room in with their newborn at baby-friendly hospitals. There has been a big return to natural labor and an overarching message that no matter which way you feed, "fed is best."
While many parents do find out the gender of their baby sooner than ever before, that doesn't mean we're adhering to previously common gender roles. From body positivity to gender-neutral clothing and toys, the old "pink is for girls" adage has been replaced with an open and honest discussion of how to parent better people.
More Organic Options
Unlike the early 2000s, there is a plethora of options to feed your kiddos non-GMO and organic. Companies have dedicated their entire mission to producing chemical-free and wholesome products that come in a variety of forms. The food pouch definitely made a splash this last decade, and it looks like its hear to stay.
Along with the rise of sharenting, social media has also lent itself to the raw honesty of non-perfect parenting. Facebook pages dedicated to "average" moms and dads, along with unfiltered Instagram posts proudly share the struggles of parenting. We've seen fellow parents rise together in support of the idea that nobody has it all together––and that's ok.
The world has made great strides in the last ten years when it comes to inclusivity and not only accepting but celebrating families of all kinds. From same-sex couples to adoption to co-parenting with exes, families today can be more open about who they are and what they believe in.
Photography Gone Digital
Printed photos? That's so 2000. These days it's all about ditching the cumbersome camera and taking pics of your kiddos on your smartphone. Gone are the days of dropping off rolls of film at the pharmacy––digital picture frames and digitally created photobooks are commonplace. While we've mostly said goodbye to paper family scrapbooks, we're also better connected with family and friends because it's that much easier to text or share photos than ever before.
With the advancement of fertility treatments, we've also seen growing transparency with the struggles that come with it. Men and women are boldly sharing tales of miscarriage and IVF in ways that were only shared in private forums ten years ago. This openness and honesty have meant a powerful movement in support and understanding.