How to cope with being stuck at home with your baby

What can you and your baby do all day if coronavirus means you've got to stay home? Here’s how to make the most of your time…

There’s no getting round it. Lockdown with your baby might feel like a difficult prospect, especially if you usually have a busy schedule of activities. But it doesn’t have to be a prison sentence. You might find some unexpected upsides to enforced home time.

Of course, if you’re feeling really unwell then staying at home in bed is probably all you want to do. But if you’re not feeling too bad, here are some tips to help stave off cabin fever.

1. Make a photo album or memory book

That beautiful baby memory book that you were given when your baby was born but you just haven’t had time to fill in? All those photos that are piling up on your phone or computer that you keep meaning to print out? This might be the best chance you get before normal life resumes and before you know it, your baby is ten years old.

You could select photos to put into an album with an online photo printing company or stick keepsakes into a book before they get lost or forgotten. Your baby might enjoy helping you while looking at old pictures of themself. Yep, this is the rainy day.

For more ideas about activities to do indoors, read our article here.

2. Have a toy stock take

Empty out the toy box and sort toys into piles that your baby likes playing with, has grown out of or hasn’t had a chance to play with yet. Put any toys you no longer need in a bin bag to clean and for the charity shop or Nearly New Sale when they open again.

Let your baby loose on the toy mountain and they might rediscover some old favourites they’d forgotten about. Not to mention you’ll have a tidier toy cupboard, and you can do your bit for the environment by passing on or selling old toys. While you’re at it, you could go through old baby clothes too.

3.  Enjoy (some) screen time

Don’t worry, it’s ok, we get it. If you’re going to be at home with your baby and not seeing other people, putting on the TV for short periods might be an inevitability just so you can get things done. Or even just go to the loo in peace.

Now you’ve got nowhere else to go and not much else to do, this is a great time to actually sit down and watch TV with your child. Your baby will love having you there alongside him, and you could talk about what is happening. You might find you even like it – or at least wonder when Mr Tumble actually gets any time off.

4. Keep up with the news, but don’t get obsessed by it.

With such fast-developing and unprecedented headlines, it’s easy to keep checking your news feed. But not only will your baby object if you’re staring at your phone all day, blanket coverage of coronavirus and constant sensationalist headlines won’t be good for your mental health.

Stay informed but put your phone down, maybe in another room, for periods so you can focus on your baby. Resist the temptation to read shock stories on the internet at nap-time.

You could always phone a friend or relative instead, read a book or watch a TV show you’ve been meaning to. Or just get some rest yourself. If you are feeling anxious about coronavirus, here are some more tips for feeling more positive about things.

5. Stay in touch with friends

It’s important to stay in touch with the outside world, so phone, message or video call friends and family. It’ll keep you feeling more positive and they’ll be glad to know how you’re doing.

Here are some of the top apps that can keep you in touch with friends and grandparents.

6. Remain active

Running around after your baby can feel like a work out in itself but if you want to do some more structured exercise, stick on a fitness DVD or watch a yoga tutorial on YouTube. If you wear a fitness tracker, you can still aim for 10,000 steps a day by walking or running around the garden or climbing stairs (make sure your baby is in a safe place first).

Read our article How to stay fit when self-isolating with a baby for more top tips.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

Interactive, engaging and social, our live online antenatal course is a great way for you to meet other local parents, and get essential unbiased information and knowledge about pregnancy, birth and early days with your baby.

Read the the NHS advice on what you should do when you’re self isolating to try and prevent passing on the virus to other people at home.

Take a look at the latest public health guidance for pregnant women and parents.

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