Parenting is a daunting task in its own right and the pandemic has made it all the more challenging. Especially for first time parents. Between ensuring that everything at home is sanitised and making sure your family is comfortable as you self-isolate, things can get rather overwhelming. Fortunately the UK is slowly easing lockdown restrictions but this doesn’t mean you should stop being meticulous about you and your child’s health.
That being said, here are a few tips to care for your baby during a pandemic.
Social distancing and self-isolating continue to be the most basic protocols to prevent COVID-19, even if it means skipping birthday celebrations. During this time you need to prioritise safety over everything else. So while you may be itching for a family reunion, try to keep it virtual for now. The same goes for any appointments with your baby. Thanks to telehealth, you can choose to schedule virtual check-ups with your paediatrician. They’ll be able to examine your little one and address any concerns via a video call. Remember, the hospital is the last place you want to be at the moment, as you risk being around infectious patients.
While we’re past the panic-buying stage experienced during the early stages of the pandemic, it’s still important to stock up on the essentials so you don’t have to keep making multiple trips to the store. To this end, Healthline’s list of items to stock up on include medicine for fevers, food that doesn’t spoil easily, and baby essentials like nappies, snacks, milk, and wipes. Alternatively, you can choose to shop online, so you don’t have to leave the house to go to a busy supermarket. Either way, be sure to disinfect all products before using them.
It seems counter-productive to suggest going outdoors in the middle of a pandemic. However, The Conversation outlines that time outdoors is integral to mental development and well being especially amid these stressful times. Plus you can take this as a chance to bond with your baby. Just consider the direction in which your baby is facing when you use a pushchair. As noted in a study on The Bump, parents tend to talk to their children more when using parent facing pushchairs therefore promoting language development. On the other hand, world facing is ideal if your child is older and wants to interact with the world. The good news is that you don’t need to buy two separate pushchairs. iCandy’s pushchairs demonstrate how many models can be easily customised to be parent facing or world facing, allowing parents to adjust to their child’s needs and save money in the process. Either way walks will give both of you a change of scenery from being isolated indoors. Just be sure to practice social distancing and proper safety protocols, of course.
Being stuck indoors doesn’t mean being limited in the activities you can do to help your baby’s development. For instance you can try reading with them. Reading is ideal for promoting brain development and building their vocabulary. If they can’t read yet, the Strategist’s recommended baby books show that there are many titles today with vibrant pictures that will pique their interest.
At the end of the day there is no blueprint for navigating a pandemic as a parent. So amid all the stress over ensuring your family stays safe, you need to remember to take care of yourself too. Start by creating a schedule with your partner (and perhaps any older children) so you can carve out time for self-care. Use these moments to catch up on your own hobbies from working out, to catching up with a friend. After all you cannot pour from an empty cup and ensuring you’re in the right mental and physical state will allow you to provide better care.
Looking for more baby advice and tips? Check out our other posts on Parenting.
Article written by Olivia Wilson