New parents admit they are ‘winging it’ for the first 6 months of their newborn’s life

A new study from OnePoll and Enfamil looks at new parents journey during the pandemic and all the roles they’ve played since. (Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash)

Whoa, baby! Two in three parents of infants say they have no clue what they’re doing when it comes to parenting, according to new research.

A recent survey of 2,000 American parents with children ages 0 to 1 found 68% feel like they’re just winging it, especially for the first six months of their baby’s life.

And the pandemic hasn’t made things easier. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of parents said the crisis has completely changed the way they take care of their child. In addition to being a parent, many have taken up other roles at home such as being a chef (55%), daycare provider (51%), a maid (50%) and teacher (50%) over the past year.

Juggling all of these jobs has cut the sleep of nearly a third (31%) of parents, who average about five hours of sleep every night.

Besides not getting enough sleep (63%), parents also struggle with not having enough time for self-care (58%) or for doing other errands during the day (56%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Enfamil, the survey also revealed nearly half of parents (49%) are worried about their infant’s cognitive development and health.

Parents often seek advice when it comes to their baby’s health and development — and for 54%, their baby’s pediatrician is their top choice for getting words of wisdom, followed by friends (45%), and online searches (43%).

However, all of this advice can be overwhelming for 56% of parents since three in four (73%) want to prioritize caring for their infant’s emotional needs just as much as their physical ones.

“As a pediatrician and mother, I am extremely passionate about informing new parents on how to fuel their baby’s development and immune health.” says pediatrician and Enfamil NeuroPro spokesperson, Dr. Mona Amin. “The first year is critical to a baby’s cognitive development and growth — to maximize this window of opportunity, baby’s brain and immune system need to be nourished.”

Seven in ten (69%) respondents said they wish there were more accessible resources so they could help their child’s cognitive development.

That’s why 68% have taken extra steps to support their child. In fact, eight in ten (81%) took advantage of their time off during the pandemic by bonding more with their child.

Parents also encouraged their little one to play with learning-based toys or games (70%), read books to them (66%) and sing nursery rhymes together (62%) about five days a week.

To further stimulate their cognitive development, respondents noted that they show their child their reflection (62%) and feed them enriching foods (56%) .

Two-thirds (67%) of parents feed their baby infant formula, and most (85%) said they take the time to do extensive research and pay close attention to ingredients and the benefits before selecting a formula for their child.

“One of the things that most parents surveyed (94%) specifically value in formula is the ability to provide cognitive development and immune support for their baby,” said Dr. Amin. “In order to fuel their potential, parents should supplement their baby’s brain-building formula with interactive and independent activities that will exercise their baby’s cognitive development to set them up for the best start in life.”

Caring for their emotional needs (73%)
Making sure they get enough mental stimulation (66%)
Being a good role model (64%)Finding time for them to socialize safely (61%)
Tracking their development milestones (55%)

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