Some days, it just feels as if you’re stuck at home with your baby, while everyone else is out in the world doing their own thing. Extended family may not be nearby, partners and friends are at their jobs. And you’re home on your own, caring for a tiny infant.
The increased social distancing we’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic has likely only exacerbated the situation.
But even in more normal times, feelings of isolation and loneliness are common among new parents. This is especially true in a baby’s first year, when the primary parent’s daily life is consumed by feeding, diaper changing, comforting and trying to entertain an otherwise helpless little person.
Parenting is a team sport, for sure. But stay-at-home parents, weekend primary caregivers or even both parents as a couple can feel isolated, bored and even trapped sometimes with their babies.
So how do you overcome this? Here are some tips and ideas to get you out into the world, or feeling less adrift:
- Join a new parents group. Check with your community’s churches or temples, organizations, or our hospital for info on area groups. Here, you can meet, share experiences and do fun activities with parents and their babies. During COVID-19, these groups may have moved online to protect against in-person exposure to the virus. But these are still wonderful ways to connect with other parents!
- Register for a fun infant class (baby yoga, music or movement). It’s a great way to meet other parents and have fun with your baby. Keep in mind that these too may only be available online during COVID-19.
- Get outside and walk at least once a day (weather-permitting) with your baby in a stroller or backpack. It’s good exercise and a great way to feel more connected with the outdoors and your neighborhood.
- Make regular dates to see your friends. Your partner or a close family member can watch the baby while you get some adult time. During COVID-19, it’s best to limit gatherings and to wear face coverings, socially distance and regularly wash hands when with people outside of your own home. Outdoor activities, such as a walk or dining outside, may be best. Consider also regularly getting in touch with friends online or by phone.
- Above all, remember that this time alone with an infant is fleeting. All too soon, your days will be consumed with busy family schedules and getting an active child to and from school, activities and friends’ houses!
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This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.
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