If anything has become clear over the past year, it’s how important the people close to us are. Here’s some tips for new mums on how to stay connected with family and friends when you can’t be there in person.
1/ Virtual diary
Set up a WhatsApp group with your loved ones to update them regularly on how you and your baby are doing. This can include updates and key milestones that you can send daily or weekly, whatever works for you. The selected pictures and videos will give you a ready-made album and will blow your mind to see the timeline of how much your baby is changing, especially in those first few months. You can also keep a memories diary, even if it’s just in the notes on your phone which you can add to as and when. Jot down the little things that your baby does, like the noises they make when they’re sleeping or that big cheeky grin they give you when they wake up, things that you don’t want to forget years down the line. You can even try to capture those moments in a photo or video that you can keep for yourself, as well as share with your loved ones. You may even find that sharing regularly encourages you to take more pictures that you’ll cherish forever.
Another option is to set up an Instagram account and create content around your baby - similar to the above but you can get creative with all the features Instagram has to offer. You can keep this private and just invite family and close friends, or you can set it to public and build a community to share your journey with.
2/ Footprint post cards
Make your own baby milestone footprint cards to send to close family. All you need is a piece of A5 card, water-based paint, a pen, stamp and your baby. Apply the paint to the palm of your baby’s foot and press lightly down on the card. Repeat for the other foot. Write a little message on the back along with the address and a stamp and you’re good to go.
3/ Bedtime stories
Something a bit different to the dreaded zoom call! Try inviting your family and friends into the precious moments that you spend at home with your baby. As long as your baby doesn’t get distracted with the phone or laptop, you can set it up so that they can be a part of your daily routine moments such as bedtime stories, play time, or always a favourite if your baby is weaning – mealtimes! This is great as it lets you share your world and make you feel closer to your loved ones, after all they may not have shared these moments with you if they were just visiting for a couple of hours in the day.
4/ Make connections
Just because the baby groups are not running, doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with other mums in the same situation. It’s amazing how many mediums there are out there to stay connected, which you may not have even thought of. Facebook groups are amazing for connecting with other mums and sharing knowledge. Just be sure that the group is for you by hanging out in it for a few days to see if you feel comfortable, and if you feel that it’s not for you, just leave and find another group more on your wavelength. The Peanut app is also fantastic for making new connections. It’s a social networking app where you can engage with other likeminded women based on shared interests. You can even set it up to only suggest connections within your local area, with mums who have babies the same age as yours. It even has some chat prompts integrated if you can’t think of anything to say to spark up that initial conversation.
5/ Virtual baby groups
A lot of baby groups and classes have now moved online. It's not the same as being there in person however virtual classes do have a lot of benefits. They can give structure to your day and allow you to set aside a time where you are fully focused on engaging with your baby. Oftentimes you can find online classes that are cheaper than the in person version, or you can get two classes for the price of one. It will also test you to get creative and look for existing household objects to act as sensory props for the sessions. Your class should give you lots of ideas on what would work to replicate the in person classes. Online classes are often recorded and the link sent out after so you can always repeat the class the next day if you are struggling for ideas of how to keep your baby busy. Try streaming from your smart phone to your TV if you have the technology so that your baby is not distracted with phones or laptops.
We hope you enjoyed our tips and tricks for staying connected during lockdown. If you have any other tips for staying in touch, tell us in the comments below.