Ways to help your baby adapt to the 'new normal'

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives and we are unsure of when we can return to ‘normal’. We are all trying to adjust to a new way of life, from virtual learning from home and social distancing to lockdown and more. Children are known to thrive with an established routine. However, their day-to-day routine has been turned upside down and they may be experiencing increased negative emotions like stress, anxiety, anger or grief. As parents, we are all trying to work through this process with our children and that is a challenging task. Here are some tips on how to help your baby adapt to the ‘new normal’:
Spend as much time as possible with your kids
Due to the extended lockdown, parents are spending a lot more time at home but it is still important to give your time and attention to your kids these days than you normally do. Do not take this time for granted. Spending some quality time with your kids, keeping them occupied with activities, having meals together will make them feel secure and relieve anxiety.
Communicate and listen
During trying times like these allow your kids to talk about their feelings by asking questions and letting them know that it is okay to share their thoughts. While everyone is talking about the pandemic, it is easy for a child to get confused and not understand what’s going on around. It is your responsibility as a parent to address the uncertainty, explain them the situation and acknowledge that adjusting to all of these changes can be hard. Be sure not to overburden your kids or instill a feeling of fear.
Reassure your child
Since it is not possible to step out now and have playground time, or meet friends at school and meeting relatives, life may get frustrating for a kid. Engage them in indoor games, exercises, meditation; arrange video calls with friends and relatives. Staying connected is vital at this time to avoid boredom.
Be extra patient
You must remember that a child’s developmental needs and capacity to accept change are different than an adult’s. Notice the regressive behaviors in your kid and try to stay calm and handle them. Try to limit news and media exposure regarding COVID-19. Patience on your part will ease your child through a major change.

Prepare your child for the change to come
Explain your kids what will soon be different, using simple, concrete examples relevant to their age. Tell your toddler that they can soon go to school where they will meet new friends and have a new teacher. Teach them the importance of maintaining proper hygiene and social distancing with friends, neighbours.

Though times of transition may never be easy, these practices will help your child feel more secure through life’s changes after a pandemic. Young children may have a difficult time understanding the rationale for staying away from others and might behave awkwardly. If there is a positive side to COVID-19 it is that we're having a lot of time to spend at home with our loved ones. Try to keep your child’s eating and sleeping routines regular. ‘Homeschooling’ plays an important role, utilize this time and encourage your kids to take up a new hobby. This will help keep his natural process from being disrupted.