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Little Bundle, Big Price Tag.

U.S. birth rates are falling fast, but spending is not slowing down. In fact, the baby market is bigger than ever before. Consumers are expected to spend more than $66 billion on baby products in 2017 — three times more than what was spent four years ago. So what’s causing this spending to skyrocket? You can blame that on Millennials.

Millennials are having children at an older age than previous generations — the ripe old age of 26. With the same gusto Millennials apply to any new journey, they are trading their independent lifestyles for a totally new experience — parenthood. Because they’re waiting until later in life to have children, more Millennial mothers are in the workforce with higher incomes and busier lives when they start their families. More money and less time means Millennials tend to be more willing to pay for premium and niche products and services that will make their lives easier.

Trends in Pregnancy

Health Tracking, Just to Be Safe

Millennial moms are using new tech products to keep an extra eye on their baby’s and their own health during and after their pregnancy. For example, Biobands and Bellabeat monitor a baby’s progress within the womb, and Lullabelly lets you sing songs to the baby and teach your baby lessons. Post-birth products such as tracking socks and tech-enhanced changing pads keep an extra eye on your baby’s heart rate, weight and overall health.

But Millennial pregnancy isn’t all “Inspector Gadget.” When it comes to the actual birth, more Millennial moms are opting for a more holistic experience, employing midwives and delivering at birthing centers for their home-like and comforting feel rather than going to a traditional hospital.

Changing Social Norms

Last January, #BeyTwins took the Internet by storm, but Beyoncé isn’t the only Millennial parent to tweet about her pregnancy in the 21st century. From hashtags to gender-reveal videos, sharing updates online with friends, family and even strangers is on #trend. As more families and friends live farther apart, Millennial parents use the internet to share their pregnancy experiences.

Trends in Parenting

Fewer Ashleys and Jacobs, and More Camerons and Dakotas

Millennial parents are taking a less gender-specific approach to parenthood by allowing their kids to dress however they’d like, choosing more unisex names and enrolling their children in co-ed sports. Oh, and kiss traditional gender roles goodbye — with more moms in the workforce, the number of stay-at-home dads has doubled since 1989.

Relaxed Parenting Approach

No helicopter parenting here — new parents are more hands off. Today’s parents tend to encourage their children to explore and discover organically rather than being told to behave a certain way. With “third-child style” parenting, Millennial parents aim for children to develop independence, creativity and responsibility by solving problems on their own, and asking parents only for guidance.

Millennial Consumer Trends Translate to the Baby Market

Consumer trends driven by Millennials are shaking up the baby market, including the emphasis on safe, eco-friendly products; nutritional organic food; functional design; and cross-brand, upscale products.

From diapers and mattresses to dishwasher soap, Millennial parents want natural, eco-friendly products that are non-toxic and chemical free. They also demand that products be easy to use, mess free and nutrient rich to better fit with modern families’ on-the-go lifestyles. Practicality and convertibility are also important. Products should save parents money, grow with each child’s life stage and lessen environmental impact. Millennial parents also want to use preferred brands for their children, influencing a trend in cross-brand outfits and furniture for children.

Implications for Brands and Marketing

So how do you captivate new parents in this sea of products? To appeal to the modern parent, brands need to connect digitally, stay relevant and promote value. Companies can cater to Millennial parents by developing high-tech, stylish, quality products and staying in touch with consumers through culturally relevant messaging.

To learn more about how this shift is impacting brands and marketing, request our full report.

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