As one lockdown turned into 2 and eventually 4, your baby that was born during the first lockdown could almost be approaching the 1 year mark. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing restrictions which have pretty much been in place throughout, your little one still might not have had much early socialisation.
Socialising your baby is something that is encouraged from a young age, once they are ready to broaden their horizons and explore further than the tight knit family circle. According to Corina John, an early childhood educator, she says ‘Face-to-face interactions and conversations with newborns help them learn the different sounds of people’s voices and how they express emotions’. She also comments that 3-4 months is a good age to start welcoming in further socialisation.
We know how important social interaction is for a baby, but with a current lockdown and a sense of further restrictions when we come out of it, how can we make sure that baby is getting some interaction so that when restrictions do ease, it doesn’t leave any lasting impact on our little ones. We explore 3 ways you can make sure your baby is getting that important socialisation even during the current situation.
1.Your Interaction Is Still Powerful
Don’t forget that! Especially in the infancy, having your baby getting used to its parents and siblings voice and sounds is so important in the early socialisation of your baby. This part can’t be taken away from you. Babies will always get their most social engagement from their intermediate family anyway. Just because we can’t mix with other families or friends at the moment, don’t think that your interaction isn’t enough, because it is.
Ways to boost social engagement can be eye contact when speaking to baby, ask your baby questions, even when you know they can’t answer back! Having that range of vocal tones will help with that early socialisation.
2. Get Outside
Remember, those early days with just mum and dad are enough. Getting outside with them everyday in the form of a walk is also enough to start getting your baby interacting with the outside world. This is a really important part of building socialisation, especially during a lockdown. On your walks you’ll come across many different sounds, different voices, animals, how the weather changes. Subconsciously your baby will be taking all of this in. Much of the interaction that’s required for social development comes naturally, this being one of them.
3. Facetime & Zoom Calls
It’s fair to say that our little ones of today won’t be shy with having a camera thrusted into their face! As lockdown took over, zoom and FaceTime calls have become part of our life. An easy and accessible way to continue staying in touch with our families.
Some of your close family members might not have had the chance to meet the new arrival yet, so introducing zoom calls is a good idea. It gives your family the opportunity to stay abreast with their development and just by your baby hearing these voices, when they eventually get to meet them it won’t be so daunting. Babies can recognise voices from around 1-3 weeks, so whilst they can’t physically see friends and family, just hearing their voice is a great starting point.
If you’ve become a parent during lockdown, congrats! You’re doing an amazing job, and don’t worry if you think your baby isn’t getting enough social interaction. Just that interaction with their parents and siblings in the early days is more than enough. Do you have any other tips for socialising your little one during a lockdown? Keep an eye on our Instagram for more on our #BjarniJourney.