While raising a child is wonderfully life-changing, it is also complex and challenging. ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, but opinions come thick and fast from all directions, how do parents balance competing advice and learn to trust their instincts?
At Nestlé we are proud of our heritage of being there for parents and carers for over 150 years. We work hard to understand the challenges and experiences faced by parents and carers around the world, so we can help make the journey easier.
The Nestlé Parenting Index
Commissioned by Nestlé with this goal in mind, the Nestlé Parenting Index is a first-of-its-kind study into global parenting experiences. We spoke to 8,000 mums and dads from around the world to understand how they feel, the challenges they face and where they need further support.
In our search to identify the universal truths and challenges faced by those raising a child, our team in Australia wanted to dig deeper and explored the issue through a local study* as well. Together, these studies allow us to listen to and understand the real-life experiences of parents and recognise where Aussie parents need more support.
The findings: we are all under pressure
No matter where in the world a person is raising a child, the Nestlé Parenting Index found pressure to be the single biggest challenge. Some of this pressure is internal; setting high personal standards and reporting feeling unprepared for the realities of raising a child, resulting in a need to make more compromises than expected.
But external pressures are far stronger and can have a huge negative impact. Even well-intentioned actions and comments can leave parents and guardians feeling overwhelmed.
Our local study identified several parallels with the global Nestlé Parenting Index. We found that 50% of Aussie parents across the country feel intense social pressure on how to raise their baby.
Almost three quarters (72%) of Aussie parents claim that everyone has a point of view on how to raise and feed their child, whether they want to hear it or not.
The research also revealed that 62% of local parents found becoming a parent more difficult than they thought it would be with Mums (70%) finding it harder than Dads (48%).
Supporting the journey
These findings have shown us something we can help to change.
The reality of parenting is complex, and everyone’s parenting experience is different. We know that for all its joys, parenting is not always easy. We believe all parents should feel informed, respected and supported with the choices they make for both themselves and their babies.
Today, more than ever, we remain committed to helping 50 million children worldwide lead happier and healthier lives by 2030. We want to drive real change, and it will require all of the ‘village,’ to make a difference. We want to work with those who share our vision to make this world an easier place to raise healthier, happier future generations.
The full research report and supportive information can be found at www.theparentingindex.com
Practical advice and support for parents can be found online at www.mumandme.com.au
*- Australian research
Local study conducted by McNair Yellow Square, December 2020. The research study included 206 Australian parents with a child under 2 years of age