PARENTING A NEWBORN DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Parenting a newborn during Covid-19 pandemic has become a bittersweet experience for most parents. Postpartum period is usually filled with happiness and excitement. But most new parents are now worried and anxious about how to keep the baby safe and healthy amid the pandemic.

A newborn is most vulnerable in the first six weeks of life. Parents should be very careful to protect the baby from possible exposure particularly during this period.

Here are 6 tips for parenting a newborn during Covid-19 pandemic:

#1. How to visit your doctor: Many paediatricians have switched to virtual visits during the outbreak. A video visit is always better than a phone call. Depending on doctors whether they are asking you to visit their clinics in person or seeing you virtually, new parents should never skip a visit. Paediatricians can examine the baby through apps such as Zoom or Skype. They can interact with the new parents and find out if there is any problem. If they feel any test is required, they can always ask the parents to visit the clinic with the baby.

#2) Vaccine appointments: It’s usually not advisable to delay the vaccine appointment of a newborn. But since we are going through an unusual time and there can be greater risks for newborns if they get exposed to the coronavirus, one should consult a paediatrician and fix an appointment. Though video check-in is okay for a regular visit to a doctor, one needs to visit the doctor’s clinic in person to get the vaccines for the little one.

#3. Be careful while stepping out: While parenting a newborn during Covid-19 pandemic one should keep in mind that it’s better not to take the baby outside unless there’s an emergency like visiting a paediatrician. One should always try to stay indoors. One can take a stroll in the terrace or in the balcony to get some fresh air but it is better not to take the baby outside. The new parents can join several online support groups or chat forums of parents who recently gave birth for parent-to-parent interactions. That can help the new parents to communicate and interact with others who are going through the same ordeal.

#4. Keep the supplies in stock: It’s good to keep at least a week’s stock of essential supplies such as diapers and baby wipes. While it’s not advisable to go overboard, one should keep a note that one should not run out of stock. It’s also better to keep the suppliers’ numbers so that in case of shortage one can directly contact them to get the essential supplies. It’s always better to order stuff online and take advantage of delivery services during the current atmosphere.

#5. Split parental responsibilities: Make a routine and divide the parental responsibilities among your partners so that one parent doesn’t have to go through excessive pressure. It’s very important to take care of mental health as well. Excessive responsibility on one parent during the pandemic can take a toll on the mental health. It can increase anxiety and lead to postpartum depression.

#6. Follow safety practices while allowing visitors: Once a newborn comes home, relatives and friends might come to see the baby. It’s better not to allow any visitor in the first six weeks. Follow all the safety protocols that are needed. It’s best to keep the baby in a separate room and maintain a safe distance from the visitors.

We are going through a tough time but new parents should try to keep calm and need not panic. Other than following the above tips while parenting a newborn during Covid-19 pandemic, new parents should practice good hand hygiene, maintain social-distancing guidelines and keep baby’s bedding, clothes, bottles and toys always clean.

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