It takes a village to raise kids, but the generation you grew up in may determine who you keep on speed dial for those middle-of-the-night calls.

By Rachel Wermager
January 31, 2019

The parenting philosophies of baby boomers, Generation Xers, and millennials are all different, but have you ever wondered how their go-to sources for parenting guidance compare?

A recent Care.com study surveyed 1,000 current and expecting parents about pregnancy and parenting-related anxieties and the trusted sources they turn to. While all generations were most likely to contact a doctor first for advice on physiological subjects like breastfeeding and bathroom schedules, they split hairs on who (or where) they looked for answers next.

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Grandmother, daughter and granddaughter on couch at home

The Top Sources for Parenting Advice

All three generations were most likely to contact their doctor first for advice, but the percentages of those that contacted their parents second varied.

Baby boomers were hesitant to seek advice from anyone besides medical professionals, though they were equally likely to contact their mother as use a baby book. Gen Xers were three percent more likely to seek advice from baby books than their mothers.

Millennials, on the other hand, take the cake for being most likely to dial up their mothers and fathers for parenting advice. After seeking advice from medical professionals and their own parents, millennials are also more likely to consult online forums and articles to gather advice than the two older generations.

Related: 7 Things Every Mom and Daughter Should Do Together

How Men and Women Compare

Once again, men ranked doctors as their preferred sources for parenting advice. But here's where men and women differed: after the doctor, men were significantly more likely than women to turn to their network of friends and family members rather than written sources. In fact, men were almost 20 percent more likely to call their moms for advice.

The Source Parents Wish They'd Used More

The study also respondents who they wished they would've sought more parenting assistance from—including care givers like nannies, moms, dads, siblings, and grandparents—and moms, you win this one! More than a third of the respondents said they should have relied more on their own or their partners’ mothers. Turns out, mother really does know best.

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