Social Distancing, From Your Baby’s PerspectiveYou’ve been stuck at home for months - but how does all of this affect your little one? Read on to find some good coping strategies.
For parents of little ones, the global pandemic and subsequent quarantine orders across the country have brought about a new set of challenges not faced by parents of prior generations. With no clear-cut end in sight, parenting during the pandemic can be both exciting and difficult as we’ve learned to navigate parenthood largely without our “village.”
While there’s a big possibility you haven’t interacted face-to-face with another adult in several months, and haven’t been able to enjoy even simple pleasures such as going out for a special meal at your favorite local restaurant, your baby’s world is much different.
Her world is only as big as you’ve allowed her to experience - and most likely, she hasn’t done much traveling in her lifetime up to this point. Therefore, the stay-home orders haven’t diminished her world as much as it has yours. Her days probably consisted of mostly being in the home, with scattered play dates, lessons and classes, visits to friends and family, and errands thrown into the weekly rotation. Her day-to-day schedule during the pandemic might not look that different from your average week before COVID-19 ravaged the world.
So, what might be different for your baby or toddler during the pandemic?
Your little one may have been used to a routine. Whether you’re a stay at home parent or you go to work, your baby has likely had some time to figure out a typical daily schedule in your household. Now, he might have one or two parents working from home. The daily routine might look a lot different now - not having to wake up early, eating at different times, no carefree shopping trips, no time with friends, no trips to the park, later bedtimes, and more. It might take a while for your little one to adjust to the new “normal” - so be prepared for some mood changes or sleep disruptions.
- Divided attention.
Siblings at home.
Your school-aged children might suddenly be home, as schools across the nation have shut their doors in an effort to contain the virus. They might now be doing homeschooling or distance learning, and your little one must share the attention with older children now. Children of different ages have different needs, and it may be an adjustment trying to figure out how to balance your attention between your baby and his older siblings.
- Lack of diversity.
- Loss of time with extended family.
If you live close to extended family, your little one might be missing those special people in her life that she’s been used to seeing on a consistent basis! Whether it’s grandparents, cousins, or aunts and uncles, it can be a difficult time when your baby or toddler doesn’t understand why he suddenly can’t see his loved ones regularly. Help your little one adjust by doing video calls with relatives as often as possible. Some families have even opted for “distanced visits” where families bring their children to see loved ones but remain a safe distance apart.
- Fewer checkups.
Your baby might have fewer well checks during this time, as pediatricians have opted to keep their patients safe at home as much as possible. Doctors still recommend keeping your baby up to date on any scheduled vaccines, but other trips to the pediatrician’s office might be rescheduled for a later time.
However your new way of life looks, make sure to take time to comfort your baby and reassure her that everything will return to normal soon. As best you can, maintain a daily routine and cherish these extra moments at home with your little ones. Stay safe, and stay healthy!
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.