Looking after young children during a pandemic | Building Attachments and Bonds Support Blog

Looking after young children during a pandemic

Looking after a baby or young child can be stressful. The global pandemic has made a stressful time even more stressful. Family, friends and the local community play such an important role in supporting young families but access to this support is heavily restricted at the moment. Your hopes and expectations of this time with your baby or toddler is likely to be very different to the reality you’re facing. It’s ok to feel disappointed about the current situation but there are also things that can help. We at Wigan BABS have put together some tips to help during this exceptional time.

What can help?

  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. We are living in extraordinary times. And, even at the best of times, there is no such thing as the perfect parent.


  • Feeling connected to others is key to our health and wellbeing. Video calls are a great way of keeping in touch. But video calls can also be difficult with little ones. Try out some of these ways to stay connected: writing cards, sending photos and videos or sending some of your little ones artwork to important people in your lives.


  • Try to go outside with your baby/toddler at least once a day, it can help “reset” everyone. Whilst you are out, talk to your baby/toddler about what you can see, hear, smell and touch.


  • You might feel under pressure to do lots of activities with your baby/toddler but it’s ok to just “be” with them too.


  • Shared moments between you and your little one can help you feel connected to each other. You might notice your baby looking at something, or making a noise. You can join them by sharing their attention.


  • Back and forth or serve and return interactions help your baby feel understood and close to you. When they babble (a serve), notice what happens when you respond by nodding or chatting back (a return), wait to see if they respond to you again and notice how you can take turns with your baby. They might need a bit of time to respond, and don’t be disheartened if they look away, they may just need a break and they’ll come back to you when they are ready. Doing this a couple of times a day can help you get to know each other. 


  • Try spending some time thinking about what your baby/ child might be thinking, feeling or experiencing. For example, watch them play, notice what they play with and how. Spending just a couple of minutes a day doing this can be really enjoyable and rewarding for the both of you.



  • You don’t need to buy lots of expensive toys for babies and young children. There are plenty of household items that make great activities. E.g. spaghetti and a colander, your toddler might enjoy pushing the spaghetti through the holes or filling the colander with pasta, or breaking up the pasta with their hands and feet. 


  • Looking after yourself well helps you to look after your baby or child.


  • This is stressful time and it’s normal to need to talk and share your feelings. It can be helpful to remember that babies, toddlers and children often pick up on how their parents are feeling and they are likely to feel more stressed and anxious during this difficult time. Try to keep to your normal routines, or start to put one in place, this will help babies and young children feel safer and more secure. Use age appropriate language to explain what is happening at the moment.


  • Ask for help and support if you need it.



For additional support / advice or consultation we invite you to visit our Wigan BABS website on https://www.gmmh.nhs.uk/building-attachments-and-bonds-support. Alternatively you can contact us on 01942 764 448.

As a patient

As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Find resources for carers and service users  Contact the Trust

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