Millennial Dads Turn to Digital Devices in Their Moments of Need

Across the U.S., Millennial dads are becoming much more involved in raising their children. In fact, fathers have nearly tripled their time with children since 1965, according to the Pew Research Center. And a Pew analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows that the number of stay-at-home dads has nearly doubled in the past two decades.

Rising Expectations Lead Millennial Dads Online

As the roles of fathers grow, so do expectations and the gap between what they know and what they think they’re supposed to know. These rising expectations are leading to a lot of anxiety for new dads.

To help them get there, young dads are doing what they always do when they need information: They’re turning to the web. Google data shows that searches for baby-related terms on mobile have grown 52 percent year over year (YoY).

As dads increasingly have mobile moments-Google refers to these moments of need as I-want-to-know moments, I-want-to-go moments , I-want-to-do moments, and I-want-to-buy moments. What are they looking for? And how are they finding it? Are they finding it?

I-Want-to-Know Moments

No matter what stage of fatherhood they’re in, men have questions, and they aren’t necessarily relying on traditional sources for answers. For example, Google sees that mobile peaks in the evenings for baby-related feeding and sleeping questions. After all, if baby doesn’t sleep, neither does dad.


And then comes the time when dads have even more questions-when their child learns the word “why?” More than half of millennial dads say they’ve used a phone to find out the answer to a question asked by their children, according to a Google Consumer Survey.

I-Want-to-Go Moments

One reason they’re using mobile so often is because new dads are constantly on the go and looking for nearby activities and baby products.

This isn’t just a dad thing. More and more, people are using local search to find things nearby. Google search interest in “near me” has increased 34 times since 2011 and nearly doubled since last year, according to Google Trends. The vast majority come from mobile-80 percent in Q4 2014, according to Google data.

I-Want-to-Do Moments

From the moment a man learns he’s going to be a dad, he has to do many things he’s never done-or even thought about-before. Suddenly he needs to know how to babyproof a house, burp a baby, warm a bottle, and on and on. Learning how to do these kinds of things used to be time-consuming, but today, dads can find out instantly. A Google / Ipsos survey found 91 percent of smartphone users turn to their devices for ideas while completing a task. And on mobile, baby-related how-to searches are growing 49 percent YoY, according to Google data.

These I-want-to-do moments change over the course of fatherhood. And for many dads, mobile has become the new instruction manual. One in three dads has used a smartphone to help install or build a product he bought for his child, according to a Google Consumer Survey.

Online video is especially helpful for time-strapped parents in search of quick answers. We see that baby-related searches on YouTube are growing and watch time of parenting videos has doubled in the past year, according to YouTube data.


I-Want-to-Buy Moments

As more parents divvy up responsibilities, the shopping list is being split as well.

On smartphones, dads can chip away at these purchase decisions in small moments every day. For example, searches for “strollers” on mobile have grown 80 percent in the last year, while “baby gear” is up 72 percent, according to Google data.

New dads also make online purchases once the baby comes-for everything from food to financial services. Mobile gives them constant access to this information and can strongly influence what they end up buying.


The Perfect Moment to Win Customer Loyalty

Brands that understand these windows of opportunity, these micro-moments, stand to win over the hearts and minds of a highly valuable audience. And since starting a family, many of them report switching brand choices across a range of products, especially food/beverage/groceries and household cleaners.

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