Who we spoke to
  • 7 vetted mothers
  • Have children under 3 years old
  • 24 - 38 years old
  • Residents of India
  • Urban dwellers
  • Engagement in November 2019
Topics we focused on
  • Information gathering practices of "new" mothers
  • Role of female-centered networks in early childcare
  • Purchasing habits for babycare products
  • Influencers in the lives of new mothers
Questions we asked
1. What does a mother's support network look like?

Analysis:

Mothers equally relied on their support networks and online research to get answers to pressing questions about their child’s needs. The degree of reliability on each varies with time since mothers with older infants are more likely to trust online sources as compared to mothers with newborns.

Primary data:

"The WhatsApp group is more for advice and practical tips rather than emotional support but if someone needs emotional support on the group I always reach out and then share my experiences." -Piyali, Working mom
"I just go online and see the craziest of things... First child so don't know much but Google is so apt 😀." -Rashi, Working mom

2. What is priority for new mothers with children under the age of 6 months?

Analysis:

Mothers in India are likely to have support with childcare in the early months of their delivery. Since they do not prefer leaving their child in the care of others, baby services is not a priority. They are, however, actively seeking help/advice around parenting, personal care and emotional support.

Primary data:

"But my aunt gave me some advice today about feeding my baby... she said he's probably bored and that I could introduce some new food in his khichdi🤷🏾♀." -Anaita, stay at home mom
"I don't leave my baby alone with the maid yet... She just helps me with small stuff... I am running the show myself." -Anuradha, working mom
"In this case (I) would get help if there was a maid or a family member to help. Other than this, there is no other way to help me with the baby right now." -Siya, stay at home mom
3. What is priority for new mothers with children between 6 - 12 months of age?

Analysis:

As the baby grows and mothers go back to work/ take on more home responsibilities, their needs for baby services, baby products and personal care increases. They have a fairly good grip on taking care of their baby's needs so the urgency of information/advice around parenting is not that significant.

Primary data:

"I want a girl who is 18-19 years old who can help me and the baby. Mostly what happens is that most maids, they leave their contact numbers with the security guards so that we can tell the guards and they can directly send them to apartments in the building." -Piyali, working mom
"Once my maternity leave gets over... Will try to keep one nanny and put him in day care once he is 8 months." -Sanjana, stay at home mom
"My mother-in-law also helped with how to make the baby sleep, and how to bathe my baby. I even called my sister. Now my baby is 7 months so now I know all these basics." -Rashi, working mom
4. How do mothers make buying decisions when they are still pregnant?

Analysis:

Pregnant mothers tend to buy more than they need because they are absorbing generalized information from a range of sources. They tended to choose stable, well-known brands at this stage of their pregnancy. This decision was partly a product of wanting to play it safe and partly about having limited market knowledge.

Primary data:

"So we went to FirstCry… the FirstCry outlet... he was not even born yet so you know... you know how it is... they sell it to you like, 'Oh! It's the most superior quality'.. So we just bought like a big stock of only Sebamed... no other product... In fact, the massage oil... it wasn't available at that outlet and so we ordered it… like you know." -Sanjana, stay-at-home mom

5. How do mothers make buying decisions when their child is under 6 months old?

Analysis:

Mothers are particularly conscious of quality, reliability and safety during the early months of their child’s life. We also noticed a preference for organic and localized products. This leads to mothers in this category visiting online websites/forums/communities to gather more information, compare notes and read product reviews.

Primary data:

6. How do mothers make buying decisions when the child is over 6 months old?

Analysis:

Once the child is over 6 months old, the mother has a better handle on the needs of her baby. Owning to her being well-informed, she is interested in “better” and different products and more likely to buy more online because of more choices available.

Primary data:

"I ordered a night suit which I didn’t like (on FirstCry) so just returning that! If you haven’t realised it by now, all my shopping is online. Haha." -Rashi, working mom
"FirstCry today… For sale below Rs. 999… So generally check out Amazon, FirstCry, HopScotch… the emails just come to my inbox." -Sanjana, stay at home mom
"Umm yes… ordered teething sticks… I was checking Insta stories and these sponsored ads pop in… so checked there." -Piyali, working mom
7. How does the age of the child impact the kind of information mothers seek?

Analysis:

Caring for a child less than 6 months of age requires more critical attention thus the urgency of information is higher as compared to later. Mothers get more experimental as the child grows. They have more hands-on experience and start exploring options as far as baby products, baby services etc. are concerned.

Primary data:

8. What is the first point of contact for new mothers getting information around babycare?

Analysis:

Women in the family play a big role in offering support and advice to new mothers. Indian mothers greatly value insights given by females in their family. This is especially true if the latter were physically present during the first few months of delivery. 80% of mothers had live-in help from a female family member during the first few months of delivery.

Primary data:

Q: "How did you know what to do when your child was born?"
A: "Till three months, the baby needs a lot of care so my mother was also here. My mother, my mom in law, and I have my chachi, she is very very knowledgeable. If I have any doubt, I call her. Like my baby used to vomit a lot. I used to ask my chachi and she would advice me."
-Rashi, working mom
Q: "Why did you switch from Johnson & Johnson to Himalaya?"
A: "I have seen most people using that only. Johnson has issues that was there in the media as well. Also heard that Johnson also causes allergies in kids. My sister who have kids are also using Himalaya. And I also think that it is more natural."
-Anuradha, working mom
Q: "Do you often share news about your baby with them?"
A: "Only with my mother and my sister."
- Siya, stay at home mom
9. Other than family, where do mothers go for information around their newborn's care?

Analysis:

Mothers look up various avenues when they need information on baby care. Groups on various social media platforms are a reliable resource while online reviews also have a plethora of information.

Primary data:

"It's actually a Facebook page, like it because there are personal mommy advice/ recommendations etc. So more reliable rather than other website or network which usually is biased or advertised." -Siya, stay at home mom
"There are few mommies I’m close to on WhatsApp and sometimes if there are specific more detailed information I might call one of them. There are 7 mommies on this close mommy friends group. We have become quite close." -Meera, working mom
10. How do new mothers self-educate?

Analysis:

The ease of accessing online resources has made it easier for women to empower themselves to make informed decisions about their child’s wellbeing. Women are likely to encourage their friends-who-are-moms to join the same online forum if they like it. The most popularly used platform for self-learning was YouTube.

Primary data:

"For knowledge. But also it shows you the whole procedure. If I want to see how to make home-made Cerelac, it is a full video of how to make it, what quantity. So I check YouTube." -Anaita, stay at home mom
"At the hospital we had prenatal classes where they guided us on different feeding positions and when to use what position… And also they told us how to feed from each side and for how much time. But YouTube videos also helped… I forgot the channel name but I can see later… her name is Vidya… She was very good and said exactly what the hospital told us." -Sanjana, stay at home mom
11. What is the biggest challenge new mothers face while buying babycare products online?

Analysis:

The biggest challenge faced by new mothers buying babycare products online is the reliability of the quality of the product. They trust online reviews and purchase products only after thorough research.

Primary data:

Q: "Have you looked up anything related to your baby today? shopping/ parenting/ anything?"
A:
"Yeah shopping. FirstCry."
Q:
"Did you find what your were looking for?"
A
: " No still selecting."
Q:
"Do you care for reviews when you select or are you looking for other things?"
A
: " Yes. I do see everything. Reviews as well."
-Piyali, working mom
12. How do mothers leverage WhatsApp?

Analysis:

Doctor-led WhatsApp groups are critical to new mothers for the following reasons: 

  1. Get direct access to the doctor and her/his team for expert (and free) advice
  2. They are a platform for new mothers to share and receive information in real time
  3. Get localised advice as these groups are centered around a local doctor

Primary data:

"If I have a question, I'll definitely reach out to the mommy group. They are very resourceful. In fact I wanted to order something for someone, and I asked and I got an answer. So it was like, wow. Because they are all different people, close to home and further away from where I stay. So I can ask and viola! There is an answer always." -Anuradha, working mom
"There is a group of moms. They have suggested various ways. U get solution for almost all the queries. Either by Dr. or by experienced moms. That's a trusted group. My Dr. herself is there and if anything used to get incorrect, she used to give the correct suggestion." -Meera, working mom
"There is a sense that we are all in it together. Like a community in sleeplessness and in rocking the baby to sleep😂." -Anaita, stay at home mom
* We use pseudonyms to protect participant identities.
Methodology
Our process is 100% digitally driven. We connect with audiences online and use hybrid methods (qualitative and quantitative) to uncover their lived experiences. Learn more about our methodology here.
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