In an era where parenting roles are continuously evolving, Onoco, the award-winning AI-driven baby care app, has conducted research that challenges views of fatherhood. This research, based on an analysis of over 6 million feedings and 4 million nappy changes, uncovers surprising insights into the actual role of dads in early childcare.
Revealing Findings: Dads, More Than Just a Helping Hand?
The analysis presents a complex picture of modern fatherhood. In the first 6 weeks, fathers were responsible for 26% of bottle feedings. However, this involvement decreased to 22.95% for children under 3 months, suggesting a decline in paternal engagement as the child grows. On the nappy-changing front, dads were involved in just 19.35% of the instances in the first year. This anonymised data, excluded single caregiver families to focus on shared parenting dynamics. While families with multiple mums or dads were included, their relatively low representation in the dataset indicates their impact on the overall results is minimal. Are modern dads as involved as we think, or are they merely scratching the surface of their potential in childcare?
The Onoco Effect: A Catalyst for Change
Onoco – Shared Baby tracker, featured by Apple as an App of the Day and named a “lifesaver” by parents in reviews, has been pivotal in reshaping the narrative of shared parenting. User testimonials rave about its impact, with one parent sharing, “Onoco’s real-time logging and shared access has been a game changer, ensuring both of us are equally informed and involved.” But the question remains – is technology enough to bridge the gap in shared parenting responsibilities?
A Societal Shift or Surface-Level Involvement?
While the data shows fatherly involvement, it also highlights a discrepancy between expectation and reality. Despite advancements in parental leave policies, the actual involvement of fathers remains inconsistent. The UK, for instance, has extended paternity leave options, yet the uptake of these leaves could be much higher. Societal expectations, workplace cultures, and financial implications play significant roles in these decisions. This disparity between policy and practice underscores the need for a broader cultural shift to fully embrace the role of fathers in childcare. This issue requires more than some flexibility in when to take two weeks of paternity leave or the new change in Statutory Paternity Leave (SPL) and Pay (SPP) that will take effect from 6 April 2024. It requires bold reform to change ingrained attitudes in the workplace and society as to the gender divide in childcare.
A Call to Action for More Equitable Parenting
Onoco’s CEO, Margaret Zablocka, emphasizes the importance of evolving our perception of fatherhood and recognizing the significant role dads already play in parenting: “It’s time to redefine fatherhood beyond traditional stereotypes. Our data shows fathers start challenging outdated norms. To further this progress, policymakers must introduce improved paternity leave policies. Such changes would ensure the promotion of a more balanced and equitable approach to family responsibilities.”