NEW YORK — From diaper rash to sleeplessness — the average American parent worries about their baby 2,153 times within the first year.
A new survey polled 2,000 U.S. parents with a child under two analyzed the ups and downs of their baby’s first year and finds that parents worry about their baby six times each day. These worries come from a good place, however, as 62 percent of parents often or always consider how their decisions now will impact their baby’s future.
First-year parenting by the numbers
The average parent spends over 1,600 hours holding their newborn, has 77 sleepless nights, and makes an average of 56 phone calls to their own parents and 67 to medical experts in that first year. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CeraVe, the survey also shows that new parents carry out over 2,000 Google searches a year with baby questions – that’s an average of six searches a day.
The top-Googled topics include how to take care of skin conditions and information on which baby products and brands are recommended by experts (both at 43%). Other searches included feeding-related questions (40%), why their baby is crying (38%), and why their baby isn’t sleeping (37%).
The first year of parenthood can be unpredictable, as 38 percent of parents polled were surprised by the number of things they didn’t know about caring for their newborn, so it’s not surprising that 71 percent agreed that they would not have made it through their baby’s first year without parenting experts.
Ask the experts
More than one-third (39%) of new parents surveyed wish they had access to a dermatologist during baby’s first year, while other desired parenting experts included a midwife (37%), pediatrician (36%), and sleep consultant (37%).
Parents may lack time for their own self-care – but parents may just be prioritizing their babies’ self-care routines. Nearly seven in 10 have created self-care routines just for their bundle of joy, with essentials like bath time (67%), music (61%), and lotions (45%).
Challenges aside, nearly two-thirds say becoming a parent is their life’s greatest achievement. Some of parents’ favorite parts of parenthood include rubbing lotion on their baby’s skin (42%), followed by holding their baby (39%), feeding their baby (38%), and talking to their baby (38%).
Seeing and hearing their baby’s first smile or laugh (36%) and playing with toys (34%) topped parents’ favorite baby “firsts.” Forty-two percent consider rubbing lotion on and massaging their baby’s skin as their absolute favorite part of parenthood, followed by holding their baby (39%), feeding them (38%), talking to them (38%), and taking their picture (38%).
Biggest challenges for newborn parents
Respondents noted feeling like they’re not spending enough time with their baby (45%) and not knowing how to care for them or address a specific issue (44%).
Three in 10 parents say a top challenge for them is knowing which baby care products to buy (29%), followed by taking care of baby’s skin (26%) and anxiety over their baby’s health (25%).
“We know that parents are presented with many decisions during a child’s first year and that they want to make the best choices when it comes to taking care of their baby,” says Jaclyn Marrone, Vice President of Marketing at CeraVe, in a statement.
Top worries during baby’s first year include skin conditions such as eczema, cradle cap, diaper rash, or unidentifiable skin problems (43%) – as well as not picking the best or safest products for their baby (36%) and sleeplessness (32%).
“New parents search up to nine different topics a day about caring for their baby, with caring for skin conditions being among the top,” Marrone adds. “We understand how important it is to take proper care of baby’s developing skin barrier and believe that everyone deserves access to skin health.”
Thinking back to their first days as a new parent, 47 percent wish they could have told themselves they’re going to do a great job even if they feel like they’re not, and 46 percent would reassure themselves that they’re not alone in the things they didn’t know about caring for a baby.