2017’s biggest parenting trends

We predict the five parenting trends families will go for this year.

What will be the “in” things for moms and dads in 2017? We looked at online data and made some educated guesses to come up with our list of the parenting trends that will change the way we raise kids this year.

1. Nurseries go into the wood
Pinterest called it: Fairies, forests, antlers and other woodland motifs will be popping up in nurseries and kid rooms in 2017. Its annual Hot 100 list, which compiles pins with the strongest upward trend, says this nature-inspired décor theme is starting to go big. We love that it’s not too babyish to grow with your child, and it’s gender neutral to boot. Click here for ideas on how to create an enchanted woodland nursery.

2. Instant Pots will save family dinner
Are you still cooking chicken breasts for the full 40 minutes like a chump? You obviously haven’t caught Instant Pot fever. The Canadian-designed Instant Pot (available via amazon.ca at different sizes and price points) may very well be the kitchen gadget to render all others obsolete. Not only is it a multitasking wonder—slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan and food warmer all in one—but it promises to speed up cooking by two to six times, which makes getting dinner on the table that much more doable. Instant Pot’s breathlessly enthusiastic fans unite on social media: Instagram has racked up 42,114 #instantpot posts and on Facebook, a worldwide Instant Pot Community some 289,539 members strong is constantly chatting—trading recipes, trouble shooting and gushing over pics of their miraculous meals.

3. We’ll get wise to sugar
We all know that too much added sugar is harmful, but we’re now starting to learn to what degree. Some researchers say this generation might be the first to have a shorter life span than their parents, due to diet and inactivity. In the powerful new book The Case Against Sugar, author Gary Taubes argues that sugar is a contributing factor to not just obesity and diabetes, but to almost every long-term, degenerative disease out there, and it gets its hooks in us during childhood. Cutting out sugar can be especially tough when it’s hidden in so many products (sauces, dressings, deli meat?!), but as more and more health organizations ring alarm bells, many parents are getting hip to reading labels and reducing sugar to break the cycle. Find out how one mom cut it out completely—and how her kids fared with no sweets.

4. Old-fashioned play will make a comeback
The rise of screen time is necessitating a return to ‘70s-era basics to counteract all that passive consumption. In fact, experts say play is a child’s most important job, teaching them everything from social confidence to self-regulation to problem solving, and it’s increasingly being threatened by, yes, screens but also overscheduling and an overemphasis on academics in school. Pinterest has noted an uptick on content about how play and open-ended toys help babies and toddler develop critical skills, and play-based content like our card games how-to and list of fun indoor activities was some of our most popular in 2016. Read more about the value of play and how to help your kid get in the habit of doing it every day.

5. We’ll love the letter L
In 2017, parents will opt for names that roll right off the tongue, often using the letter “L” and smooth, soft vowel sounds, as in Liam, Luna and Lucas, says Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard. “The overall trend is gearing toward lightness,” she says, “meaning there will be lots of smooth names with no hardened sounds.” Monikers along the Ella continuum will also proliferate, predicts Duana Taha, author of The Name Therapist and baby namer extraordinaire at LaineyGossip.com. Variations include Elle, Evelyn, Lillian, Arabella and Isabella.

Read more:
10 totally attainable parenting goals for the new year
8 baby name trends for 2017
Screw New Year’s resolutions: Why I’m giving up on big promises this year

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