Whether you take them with a pinch of salt, or get excited and anticipate them, trends forecasts are a given at the beginning of each year. Leading childcare site Care.com has predicted what parents will be focusing on in 2016, and it's not all doom and gloom, tech-heavy, or weird.
Katie Bugbee, the senior managing editor and global parenting expert at Care.com, says: "We are beginning to see parents—especially millennial parents—make fundamental shifts in their approach to raising children. With more dual-income households, greater access to technology, and shifts in parental roles, family dynamics are changing and giving rise to some exciting, and positive parenting trends."
So, here are the things parents will likely be doing in 2016:
1. Giving helicoptering the boot
Instead of controlled parenting, we'll be saying hello to "friend parenting". We will likely be a bit more chilled when it comes to managing our kids' schedules and lifestyles.
2. Embodying enlightenment
This means taking the lead from our kids, who don’t always see their friend's wheelchair or the little boy playing princess as points of discussion. Enlightened parents believe that showing understanding and acceptance without necessarily telling it can be a stronger, more modern message to kids when helping to break down stereotypes and gender norms.
3. Expecting more from babysitters
In 2015, Care.com saw increases in job posts for nannies and caregivers with special pedigrees, including college degrees (up 25 percent) and CPR/First Aid (up 55 percent). In 2016, parents will look for master’s degrees, medical licenses, child psychology backgrounds, CPR certification and more when hiring a caregiver.
4. Hybrid baby names
Today's parents are creating hybrid baby names out of two or more they love (Emily + Ava = Avily). There's also the Lorelei Gilmore Effect where daughters are being named after their moms, and not just sons after their fathers.
5. The downsized parent
This year will see parents letting go of the idea they can do it all. Instead, it's all about outsourcing, and asking family members and caregivers for help with day-to-day tasks.
6. Hiring more than one nanny
As life gets busier, families might have two nannies, leading to more flexibility and variety for kids.
7. The Paleo, gluten-free, vegan diets for pets too
Parents are more tuned-in than ever to the nutritional needs of their kids, and it extends to their pets too. Modern-day pet parents are developing custom diet plans to ensure the health and longevity of their pets.
Other trends we can expect:
Old-man names for boys
Isabelle Khoo of The Huffington Post wrote that "old-man" names such as Clyde, Alfred and Otto are now trendy for newborns.
Classic board games
Mike Spohr of BuzzFeed says that parents will make limiting screen time a priority in the new year, and encouraging kids to enjoy "throwback" games is one way they'll achieve that.
More moms-to-be having midwives
Midwives attended 6 percent more hospital births in 2012 than 2005, according to US Parents magazine. More moms preferring midwives might be because "they provide personal care with minimal intervention," the report continued.