Five Parenting Trends to Watch for in 2021 – And Five to Leave in 2020

From Telehealth to online school: Find out what parenting trends you can expect to see in 2021 and which ones we hope to never see again.

Just like clothes, music, and media, parenting has trends. Some are great, and some, well, not so much.

Trends are usually temporary, but in the social media age, they spread like wildfire across the globe. Some parents love these trends, but others find them obnoxious. Whichever you are, here are five parenting trends to look out for in 2021, and five that will hopefully stay in 2020.

2021 parenting trends

In 2021, we can expect to see parents getting a bit more creative with their kids. From new foods to new discipline practices, here are five things you can expect to see out of parents in the New Year, according parenting experts interviewed by

More conversations about moms in the workforce

One of the things that we learned in 2020 was that working parents can work from home and get just as much work done when they have flexible schedules.

Couple this with the fact that many working moms are leaving the work force during the pandemic, and companies are going to need to have some serious conversations about moms in the workforce or risk losing them all together.

More intentional screen time and online school

Thanks to online school in 2020, it looks like we’re on track balancing productive screen time with leisure screen time in 2021.

In addition, reports that a recent study by the American Federation for Children found that a whopping 40% of parents plan to continue online school for their kids, so don’t expect virtual learning to go anywhere anytime soon.


Another trend largely influenced by the pandemic is Telehealth or getting a health diagnosis over video chat.

During the pandemic, many doctors found that some visits can be both easily and effectively done over a screen, which is particularly great for busy moms who may not be able to squeeze in a trip to the doctor or therapist’s office.

Online support services for parents

Along with Telehealth came the rise of virtual support services for parents.

These services ranged from lactation consultants to therapists and even doulas — Parent Lab, for instance, saw an increase in demand on online materials to help with quality time and communication.

Since these services are online, they’re open to all parents (no matter where they live) and are easier than a trip out of the house, which means they are unlikely to go anywhere in 2021.


One of the top five trends of 2020 was eco-friendly baby products and a focus on sustainability. This trend is likely sticking around in 2021 with an even bigger push thanks to the pandemic.

Brands and organizations that truly care about their impact on both people and the planet are on the rise as is the focus on sustainable products and practices. Meanwhile frivolous spending is declining.

Trends to leave in 2020

Of course, not all trends are good trends. Some of them should go the way of shoulder pads and butterfly clips. Here are five trends we at hope stay in 2020.

Gender reveal parties

How many parties can a baby have before they are born? Gender reveal parties have gotten so out of hand that they’ve started forest fires. A cake that says ‘guns or glitter?’ does not reveal anything about who your baby will be as a person, so wait until they decide who they want to be.

“Funny” onesies

A onesie that says “Don’t look at me. That smell is my dad” aren’t cute. Babies aren’t sandwich boards, and it’s a piece of clothing that is going to get covered in stains or outgrown in a month or two. A simple color or pattern can speak volumes and it’s much easier (and cheaper) to replace.

Babies on social media

Parents used to have a photo in a wallet of their babies and children, and it was the same picture for years. Now, kids are posted on their parents’ social media all the time, and sometimes the photos are not so flattering. If you wouldn’t want a photo shared of you with spaghetti all over your face, neither would your kids.

Curious what other parents think about posting about kids on social media? Check out one mom’s take that’s for it and another that’s against it.


There are plenty of parents that co-sleep, but it’s a dangerous habit, and SIDS is a real risk. There are so many options to have a baby in a crib in the same room, or even bassinets that attach right to mom and dad’s bed so baby is never far out of reach.

Elf on the Shelf

Sometimes, parenting is hard. And who wants to set up an elaborate scene with their elf and make a huge mess when the kids go to bed instead of just falling asleep yourself? Besides, aren’t Santa’s elves supposed to be nice examples for kids? Not to be a Grinch, but kids can just know Santa is watching without a tiny, mischievous spy.

Are there any parenting trends you want to see in 2021 – or perhaps some you want to leave in 2020? Tell us about them in the comments.

This post was originally published in 2019 and is updated regularly. 


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