Socializing Your Baby Amid COVID-19
Little Yawn Collective - May 04, 2022
You probably didn’t expect the words “social distancing” or “bubble” to be such a big part of your vocabulary at the beginning of 2020. As most of us were sent home to conduct work and school from home, we shut ourselves in from the world and each other to avoid any germ spreading.
We found the pros and cons of socially isolating in our attempts to “flatten the curve.”
During this time, the effect that COVID-19 has had on children has been greatly discussed. It may be too soon to see any lasting effects, but we strive to have our children experience a life as close to “normal” as before the pandemic.
Parents have had the general worries of taking care of children plus being safe. We have also found creative ways to socialize and stay in touch with friends and family in our social isolation. For young children growing up amid this pandemic, socialization has become a unique experience that other generations have not experienced.
When it comes to your baby, you may be concerned about socialization and how to do it safely. Let’s take a look at socializing your baby amid COVID-19.
We know that being social is important for our mental health and overall well-being. Feeling lonely or being socially isolated is not a good feeling and can affect our health.
Fortunately for babies, the urge to socialize with others doesn’t really begin until they are around two years of age. If you’ve had a playdate with another baby under two, you may have seen them play alongside each other, but this is simply the babies playing next to each other and not necessarily with each other.
For babies born in 2020 and after, the pandemic’s impact on socialization won’t be felt as much as these babies are just now getting to the age where socialization becomes a part of their everyday life.
Socialization with parents and caregivers fills your baby's social cup at this young age. Once your baby reaches two years old, they enjoy interacting with others and start to make those early friendships via daycare or playgroups.
However, children who were forced to isolate themselves at home during the pandemic were not exposed to daycare and playgrounds. As a result, parent interaction and possible daycare activities on video would be their prime social outlet while isolating.
How Can I Socialize My Baby Safely?
We know the importance of being social with other people, and as cases start to wane, people will start to pencil in more social opportunities. Those with babies may still feel cautious since babies do not have mature immune systems for the first few weeks of life.
Getting back into the swing of socializing can be a positive experience for all, given the right precautions and proactive planning. For example, plan play dates outside rather than inside. Meeting at the park gives everyone a chance to get some fresh air and sunshine.
Social distancing is also much easier on a swing set rather than sharing inside toys.
You may want your baby to meet all of your friend’s babies and create the ultimate baby friend group. As appealing and adorable as this sounds, keeping your contacts to a limited number helps to ensure fewer chances at a possible exposure.
Wherever you go places, keeping sanitizer wipes and antibacterial solution on hand gives peace of mind in making sure that any surfaces you touch are thoroughly cleaned. If larger crowds are expected, you may consider wearing a mask. You can also keep to the fringes of the crowd so you can socially distance yourself as you like.
Parents have been nervous about socializing their babies with other members of their family and with friends, especially at large events like weddings or family reunions. This worry is understandable, as there is no way to know who the guests have had contact with. You also know most of the people at this event, so trying to stay at the fringes may be difficult.
In situations like this, having your baby in a wearable baby carrier can help from too many approaches to see those chubby cheeks and cute grin. It’s much easier to get close up to a baby when they are in their stroller or stand-alone carrier. When your baby is attached to you, people will likely give you more personal space.
If keeping your baby in a stand-alone carrier is the best option, cover your baby’s carrier with a thin blanket. Most will get the hint that you are protecting your baby from any outside elements. If your little one does not care for a blanket obstructing their view, you can also attach a tag to the carrier that implies that visitors “can look, but please don’t touch.”
Smart Everyday Precautions
As we hopefully start getting back to normal, some practices are smart to keep in place to help reduce the spread of germs.
One practice is washing your hands before handling your baby. If you’ve been out and about, especially after touching high-touch places like public door handles or elevator buttons, hand washing is good practice. Request that any visitors also wash their hands before handling the baby.
When you have a brand new baby, your friends and family want to shower your new addition with kisses. While this is a difficult thing to refrain from, kindly ask any visitors to keep the kisses to the air variety. Like RSV or the flu, many illnesses can be passed by kissing.
For the first few weeks of your baby’s life, limit visitors. Those who work in settings with many people may want to wait until your baby’s immune system is a little stronger. People may also need to be isolated if they are experiencing any symptoms.
You may not be able to control what goes on in the world, but you have a say over how to best take care of your family’s health. A growing body of research has shown that getting a good night’s rest can help support your immune system. This is the body’s defense network that helps prevent and limits infection in your body.
Having a consistent bedtime routine is key in ensuring that your child is getting enough sleep. This sets your child up for success in later years, as healthy sleep habits can influence academic performance and social skills.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a confusing time for the whole world. Adding parenting to the mix can make the most relaxed person worry. One thing you don’t have to worry about is melatonin-free sleep help for your little one.
Your pals at Little Yawn Collective help make bedtime a breeze with our products specially formulated for your baby. We use gently, naturally sourced formulas that have been tested by dermatologists and approved by pediatricians. These products help your baby relax and unwind before bed.
Check us out and help your baby get cozy, snoozy, and happy!
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