The babies of 2020 will forever be extra special. Those tiny fingers and tiny toes made their way into the world when the world was in a real crummy place and they made it better simply by existing! When new parents look back on this year they will certainly remember the hard times, but they will also remember the pure joy of that first birthday!
All that being said, new parents deal with enough challenges in a normal year and this year was far from normal. Relatives couldn’t swoop in from around the country to help out in the early days, Mommy and Me groups were canceled, and even routine trips to the pediatrician were filled with anxiety, hand sanitizer, and masks. All of these challenges may have you worried about the impact lockdown has had on your baby and on you as a new parent, but we’re here to reassure you that it’s all going to be okay.
Easing into parenthood
We know now that you have a new baby you are going to naturally be more worried about your child than yourself, but you matter too so let’s start there.
In a normal year, your hospital room and home may have been a revolving door of visitors which is nice, but can also be stressful. As the mother, you’re exhausted and most often in some state of undress when visitors come to call. As the father, well, you should probably be clothed, but you’re probably still pretty tired. It’s hard to be hostess with the mostest in these circumstances.
However, this year you and your new bundle of joy...and spit up...can hunker down together and get to know each other without disruption. There’s a lot to learn when you become a parent, and every baby is different no matter how many books you read. Settling in as a family so you can understand your baby's cues and not have to worry about putting on real pants is actually very helpful for you both. If this was your scenario this past year, you may have actually had a leg up on figuring out this parenting business.
Plus, folks can still drop a casserole off at your doorstep. Dinner delivered without having to wipe off the counter as a car is pulling - that’s a big win!
Socialization in babies
As your little one grows, you may also be worried about socialization during lockdown. It’s true that socialization is important for babies, but keep these points in mind.
One, in those first few months, babies don’t need a bustling social calendar in order to develop. Babies are learning from being with their primary caregivers so you are all the socialization they need.
Also, there are ways to get creative with socialization. With a new baby at home, you’ve likely had your fair share of FaceTime calls with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to e-introduce your baby to the world. Keep those up because even over the screen babies can learn by seeing different faces.
There will be plenty of time for playdates in the future and the little ones will be stealing blocks from each other again before we know it.
Here’s some more good news for your 2020 baby. According to developmental psychologist, Dr. Aliza Pressman, babies living the lockdown life may be benefiting from all this time at home because of the secure attachment they are developing with parents. Secure attachment helps when it comes to building foundations for learning throughout life, including language development.
In the early stages of language development, babies pick up on language during diaper changes, baths, and as caregivers get them ready for the day. That’s why parents are encouraged to sing and talk to their babies during these times even if the conversation is only one way. When you get some baby babble back in return, or one of those big gummy grims, that’s your baby learning language.
If you’re working and parenting from home, it’s easy to think that you’re not doing enough of anything to be doing it right. However, remember that those simple moments with your baby are making a big difference. You’ve got this!