How to help little ones feel OK during isolation

African American woman with three child prepare for Easter.

Being in isolation is tough for anyone, but particularly little ones who are too young to understand why. Here’s a few ways to make it easier for them:

1. Children love routine, so try to have a routine that is as similar as possible to what they are used to, despite being house bound. Keep mealtimes and bedtimes the same and set up daily games that you can play together at certain times. Routines make children feel safe.

2. If they are old enough to understand, explain why things are different – using age appropriate language. Children won’t understand why they suddenly aren’t allowed to go outside to the playground or to see a friend. Say something like “we need to stay inside for a bit because outside is feeling a little bit poorly at the moment so we need to wait until it feels better.”

3. Make hand washing etc FUN. Challenge them to sing “happy birthday” three times whilst washing their hands, or turn it into a competition and see who can make their hands the “soapiest” whilst washing. You could even have a reward chart for every time they wash their hands well.

4. If you, as a parent, are unwell and have decided to send your little one to a friends/their grandparents to be looked after whilst you are in isolation, then make sure you communicate with them as much as possible. Video calls are something you can do every day to reassure them you are ok and miss them. 

5. If your child has been put into isolation then try and make sure they still have a chance to communicate with other children. Video call a friend who has a child of a similar age and let them see each other. 

6. If you feel happier if your toddler wears a mask, turn it into a game. Tell your toddler that he can be a “doctor” for the day and explain that doctors always wear masks when they are doing “important things.” Children like having fun so turn anything they might initially view as “scary” into a game.

Tune in @thebabyshow every Wednesday evening to hear from top industry experts sharing their top tips and advice on an array of topics.

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