What Parents Want: How the Covid-19 Pandemic has Transformed our Priorities

2020 was a year of unprecedented difficulty and every parent encountered challenges they would never have anticipated. Home schooling became a daunting new reality, newborns entered a world filled with confusion and isolation, opportunities to socialise were put on hold and, ultimately, our lives were completely transformed, changing parents’ priorities irreparably. Now, as we embrace continued uncertainty throughout 2021, what do parents really want?

According to recent research, only 13% of UK working parents want to go back to ‘the old normal’, with many calling for employers to sustain remote or flexible working. Clearly, we have different hopes and expectations for a post-Covid world. Kevin and Suze Patel are the founders of Nini Baby, a family-led, purposeful business which has been created to enhance babies’ sleep and subsequently support new parents across the UK; as entrepreneurs within the parenting sector and parents themselves, they certainly understand both why and how parents’ priorities have shifted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To share insight into these adjustments and what our parenting future looks like, they’re sharing their expertise.

What struggles are parents facing?

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been an overwhelming experience for every parent, no matter the age of their child. We’re unable to see friends and family, our daily amenities have become comparatively limited and the NHS is under immense pressure; our sources of advice and comfort are restricted, meaning every parent’s essential lifelines have become increasingly fragile. Factors which may have been a struggle previously, for example enhancing our children’s sleep routines, have only become more prominent.”

How sleep has captivated parents.

“When we welcomed our son into the world (before the pandemic) we struggled to get him to sleep for any decent length of time; this in itself was stressful, without the complexities of Covid-19 being thrown into the mix. We were fortunate to have the support of friends and family, one of whom shared a solution with us which has origins in our Indian heritage; swinging cots. Overnight our son was sleeping soundly. We can’t imagine the difficulties that new parents are feeling without face-to-face support from their loved ones.”

Meanwhile, classic, simple solutions for getting babies to sleep are no longer accessible… we can’t go for long drives in the middle of the night to help drift them off to sleep, nor can we visit friends for lunch to simply share our frustrations and lift our spirits. As a result, parents have really had to focus on the resources they have inside their home; we can’t rely on soft play experiences at local playgroups or turn to solutions outside of our own bubble. Of all the changes ensued by Covid-19, this is quite possibly the most significant; we’ve had to become more self-reliant and self-sufficient. 

Kevin and Suze shared with YCB: 

“Before Covid-19 struck the world, we were determined to help fellow parents by creating a business, Nini Baby, which has brought premium swinging cots to the UK. Now, we’re more passionate about this than ever. As parents have struggled with their children’s sleep routines during lockdown (as children aren’t going to school many parents are finding that they’re much more hyperactive at home, whilst babies and toddlers are experiencing limited socialisation), this has become a leading priority for parents. Sleep really has become a key consideration. If the pandemic has taught us anything after all, it’s that we all have our own unique needs and there’s no ‘parenting 101’ guide which can suit every child and every scenario. Thankfully, this is why we’re receiving such a wonderful response to Nini Baby and we’re fulfilling our goal of helping parents; people are listening and trusting their instincts.”

It’s for this reason that parents are investing more heavily in products which aid children’s sleep. Sleep is crucial in supporting a child’s mental and physical development, traits which parents across the world are becoming increasingly concerned about in lieu of Covid-19 restrictions. As such, it’s no longer something we’re willing to overlook. As parents ourselves, we can safely say sleep is an incredibly important consideration for us. Small tricks help to hone a babies’ sleep routine, including playing white noise to your little ones, whilst choosing a supportive cot, like our NiniPod, ensures you’re ticking all of the necessary boxes.

Our revitalised commitment to shopping ethically

Meanwhile, being unable to flippantly ‘pop to the shops’ appears to have influenced parents’ attitudes towards food. As we’ve been spending more time than ever before within the comfort of our own homes, many of us have found joy in cooking homemade alternatives, whilst a preoccupation with supporting local, small businesses has captured the hearts of parents across the world. We are becoming more conscious, ethical consumers, not only for the benefit of our children but our wider community.

Kevin and Suze said: “For example, it’s been reported that ‘millennial parents’ demand for sustainability is far reaching’, with 42% saying they have ‘begun or deepened a business relationship because they perceive a company’s products or services to have a positive impact on society and/or the environment’. Importantly, it’s also been found that 49% of parents will remain loyal to a brand despite cheaper options; regardless as to the financial uncertainties created by the Covid-19 pandemic, parents are investing more time in researching the products and businesses they’re supporting, prioritising their children’s health and wellbeing, alongside the quality of a product and its longevity, above all else.

Covid-19 has demonstrated that we can never foresee what lies around the corner and this is undoubtedly reflected in parents’ current priorities – we want to be prepared, find long-lasting products and truly understand what we’re investing in.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed parents’ priorities, leaving us focusing more heavily on the very fundamentals of our children’s health; from sleep to nutrition, the solutions we have inside our home and shopping for our children ethically, a silver lining of this pandemic could be that it’s made us more conscious, open-minded parents and consumers.

Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and freelance writer dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and studies Interpersonal Relationships.