Technology for parents: what's new?

Released on: 15 October 2015

As a new parent, have you ever googled something about teething or colic at 4am? Well, it’s not just you. Parents across the UK are searching for content in the early hours and technology is playing a vital role in helping them find what they need.

At an event in London earlier this week, Google UK revealed insights to an audience including NCT about what mums across the UK search for online...and at what time. If you've googled something in the early hours - for reassurance, out of worry, desperation or curiosity - you're definitely not alone. Among the most-searched for questions among mums in the UK this year were: 'When do babies start teething?' and 'When do babies crawl?' These searches generally happen between 3am and 4am when many new parents find themselves awake with their baby. 

Parents inform us

As the UK’s largest charity for parents, these search trends are so useful as they tell us what information new parents are looking for. We cover a wide range of pregnancy and parenting information on our website, and being led by what parents actually need is important. 

We also know that new parents - especially first-time mums and dads - want access to information and support anytime, anywhere; and technology can play a huge part in enabling this. Nishma Robb, a senior marketing executive at Google and mum to seven-year old twins, summed this development up well: “Technology has revolutionised mums and given them a gateway to content, as well as other ways to help their journey.” 

Latest technology trends

As a voice for parents, we’re really pleased to see Google develop technology that keeps new parents in mind and helps make the First 1,000 Days of pregnancy and parenthood a little easier. We’ll continue to make sure new parents needs are considered when technology providers like Google are developing new products.

The Google app, for instance, allows parents to access information whenever they need it. We think one of the most useful features is the voice search function. As a new parent, a lot of time can be spent with babe in arms feeding or comforting them, so being able to search for information or tap into social networks hands-free can be helpful. Don’t forget though that too much screen time can reduce the ability to get back to sleep at night. And sometimes the chance to bond with your baby and just enjoy the moment without distraction can be all you both need.

Another interesting development is Google Photos. We all love taking photos of our babies - those adorable sleeping poses or food covered faces. Google Photos allows parents to save, manage and share photos in lots of really simple ways. The ability to search instantly for a particular photo without having to scroll through hundreds, for instance, is great. You don't need to tag or name images either; the search function will pick up photos based on search terms like 'park' or 'smiles' using recognition technology.

Becoming a parent is a steep learning curve and technology can make your journey a little easier – even at 4am!

If you’re interested in what other parents are googling in the early hours, take a look at the list of search trends from Google UK below. It can be reassuring to know that other new mums and dads have exactly the same worries and questions. And don’t forget you can find the answer to these questions and more on our website: pregnancy, birth and parenting

Top questions on babies [UK, 2015]

1. When do babies start teething? Most searched 4am

2. When do babies crawl? Most searched 3am

3. What will my baby look like? Most searched at pm

4. When do babies smile? Most searched 2am

5. When is my baby due? Most searched 8pm

6. How to have a baby? Most searched 2am

7. When do babies start talking? Most searched 11pm

8. When do babies sit up? Most searched 11pm

9. When do babies roll over? Most searched 3am

10. When will I feel my baby move? Most searched 10pm

Top questions on newborns [UK, 2015]

1. How to make baby sleep?

2. How many feeds should a newborn need?

3. Which type of bedding should I use for a newborn?

4. What should the newborn baby sleep in?

5. How much milk should a newborn drink in a day?

6. How much milk should I express for my newborn baby?

7. How do I handle and carry a newborn baby?

8. How soon can I take my baby swimming?

9. When does attachment to a newborn baby begin?

10. When do babies cry tears?

Top questions on breastfeeding [UK, 2015]

1. How to stop breastfeeding?

2. How to breastfeed?

3. How long should I breastfeed?

4. What can’t I eat when breastfeeding?

5. How many calories does breastfeeding burn?

6. Can you drink alcohol when breastfeeding?

7. Can you take Ibuprofen when breastfeeding?

8. When does breastfeeding get easier?

9. How can I lose weight while breastfeeding?

10. Can you get pregnant when breastfeeding?