The spectrum of digital child-rearing resources for millennial parents is huge. Beyond social media and forums and Google, there are smartphone apps that log the duration of every breast-feeding session, record an infant’s nap times to the minute, and send push notifications reminding parents of upcoming developmental milestones.
Those tools can be useful. But when it comes to parenting, “we’re using technology to try to solve things that are really, inherently human,” says Jenny Radesky, an assistant professor of pediatrics at U-M whose research focuses on families’ digital media use.
“It’s really good that there’s more readily available information out there for parents, but there’s a tipping point,” she said, “and past that — when it’s a lot of conflicting information, or a lot of information that’s trying to tell you how to do the more nuanced parts of parenting — it’s better for parents to trust their own instincts.”