Raising a Baby During Quarantine
It takes a village to raise a child.
How many times have we heard that in our lives? But what happens when a pandemic takes away our village? Quarantine certainly has not been easy on new parents.
Approximately 3.7 million babies were born in the United States in 2019. Millions of new parents had to figure out how to make a very small village succeed.
Below we have answered some common questions we get from parents about raising a baby during quarantine. Hopefully this will help ease some anxieties for new parents.
What effects come from seeing faces in masks so frequently?
“At this point in pandemic, there are no long-term studies to tell us what the effects of this may be. But there are a few important points to keep in mind. First of all, even if your baby is in daycare full-time, your baby is likely spending most of their 24 hours with you—someone who is not wearing a mask. In the early years, a baby’s parents are the most important people in their lives, and they learn the most about communication and love from you. In addition, babies are more resilient than we think. Spending time cared for or among other adults wearing masks is something babies can adapt to. Remember, too, that babies pick up on social cues beyond facial expressions—including tone of voice, touch, and other gestures of care and warmth.” Very Well Family
Will quarantine and isolation affect development?
“It’s natural to be concerned that keeping your baby sheltered and separated from others may be detrimental to their development. Again, there are no long term studies yet on this phenomenon in light of the current pandemic.
However, “socialization” with other babies or children isn’t something you generally need to be highly concerned about when you are raising a baby. Many babies spend their early years primarily with their parents and siblings and turn out just fine. Child development and socialization with peers is usually more of a concern from the preschool years and beyond.
That said, parent bonding is important for babies, so do take extra care to spend time connecting with your baby during this time. Babies are hard-wired to fall in love with their parents, and spending some good one-on-one time with them now will be good for your soul as well as theirs.” Very Well Family
How Do I Keep my Baby Safe?
As with all viruses, hand-washing is the best way to keep babies safe. Check out our article on How to Keep Your Baby Safe from RSV. These tips are the same way to keep your baby safe from the coronavirus, as well.
Is it Safe to Breastfeed?
As of this date, the American Academy of Pediatrics states it is okay to breastfeed during the pandemic. Mothers with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 are encouraged to breastfeed while taking proper safety precautions not to spread the virus to their babies. Mask wearing and frequent hand washing are important in these cases.
Mental health is something that is worth mentioning in this article, as well. This year has impacted the mental health of millions of people, so understand that you are not alone. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, or showing signs of a postpartum mood disorder, contact your doctor or a therapist.
Although this pandemic has been stressful, we have hope. We believe there are good days on our horizon! In the meantime- be safe, wear a mask, take precautions for your new baby and family, and research the vaccine to decide if it is right for you. Please reach out to us with any questions.
As always- like, comment, and share!
Jeri Ford, RN, BSN, CPN