Parents Make 1,750 Tough Decisions in Baby’s First Year, Survey Says

The hardest decision? Picking a name.
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Jul 2020
mom holds baby while dad kisses her cheek
Photo: Getty Images

Parents make thousands of tough decisions in baby’s first year—1,750 to be exact, a new survey says.

The survey, commissioned by formula brand Enfamil and conducted by OnePoll, looked at data from 2,000 parents with an infant. According to the responses, parents face about 34 tough decisions per week.

The most difficult of these decisions? Unsurprisingly, it’s choosing a name for baby (37 percent). In second place is deciding whether to breastfeed or use formula (34 percent). Furthermore, if parents did opt for formula, 29 percent said picking which formula was best for baby was one of the hardest decisions they made in the first year.

Photo: Enfamil

Over half (52 percent) of respondents reported using formula, either exclusively or as a supplement for breastmilk. The survey found that parents usually tried three different formulas and put in around four hours of research before finding one that worked. The most common concerns? Being overwhelmed with the number of options (66 percent), finding one that supports baby’s immune system (41 percent) and brain-building (40 percent), easy-to-digest nutrition (34 percent) and supports eye development (25 percent).

“There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to feeding your baby, and I encourage parents to do what works best for them, among the many decisions they have to make,” Dr. Valentine, M.D., neonatologist, pediatrician and registered dietitian specializing in maternal and infant nutrition, stated in a press release.

While picking formula was among the top difficult decisions parents made in baby’s first year, others included finding childcare, the right pediatrician and decorating the nursery. Below are the top 10 most difficult choices parents made during the first year, according to the survey.

  1. Choosing a name: 37 percent
  2. Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding: 34 percent
  3. Figuring out childcare: 30 percent
  4. Deciding which formula to use: 29 percent
  5. Deciding where baby sleeps: 27 percent
  6. Decorating the nursery: 21 percent
  7. Finding the right way to sleep train: 20 percent
  8. Whether or not to post pictures of baby on social media: 19 percent
  9. Finding the right pediatrician: 19 percent
  10. Whether to follow in their parents’ footsteps and parent as they did: 19 percent

While parents certainly make many decisions in those first few months, one that the survey found was the easiest was deciding between cloth or disposable diapers.

If you’re a new parent and you’re currently deciding whether to incorporate formula into baby’s diet, check out our tips on everything you need to know and how to choose the best option for baby’s specific needs.

The Hidden Danger Inside Baby's Sippy Cup

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

Q&A: Is My Baby Hungry?

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist

Q&A: Can Baby Drink From a Cup?

Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC

Q&A: Nighttime Feedings While Away?

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist

What to Know About Infant Tongue Tie

Anna Davies
Contributing Writer

95 Percent of Major Baby Food Brands Contain Toxic Metals, Study Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor

Q&A: Keeping Baby Hydrated?

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist

Milk Protein Intolerance in Babies

Jennifer L.W. Fink
Registered Nurse

Top 5 Facts You Need to Know About Informal Breast Milk Sharing

Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH