Couples who were expecting going into 2020 were faced with the impossible task of preparing for a newborn in the pandemic’s jumbled confusion. For the United States, 3.6 million babies were born in 2020, according to the CDC.
“Having a first child in general is scary, but you add an unknown of a pandemic while they are a newborn, and it was terrifying,” said first-time mother Lyndsay McClintock.
Lyndsay and Ray had to prepare for Delilah’s May 2020 birth without any help from family members or friends. Lyndsay and Ray chose to wait until Delilah was six weeks until they let another person hold her. “Ray and I constantly felt like we needed to shield her from everyone and everything,” Lyndsay said.
But, luckily she got to be around Ray and I 24-seven so we were able to still show her expression and she could see our lips move to help understand sound and formation of our mouth to speak,” Lyndsay said.
To combat the social deficits Lyndsay and Ray saw in their newborn daughter, they implemented different techniques to help Delilah further her development. “When we would walk or drive her anywhere, we would always explain to her the things we saw and colors we saw, which helped her to identify her surroundings even though she was cooped up in the house a lot,” Lyndsay said.
The first time that Lyndsay and Ray saw first-hand that their daughter struggled socially was an instance at their local park. Lyndsay pointed out that Delilah would see other little kids playing yet she would play alone. She showed no interest in playing with other kids.
Lyndsay worried that Delilah hadn’t socialized enough in her life because of social distancing. However, as time had passed and Delilah became more comfortable with other people, she began to catch up on her social skills.
Lyndsay and Ray chose a cautious and steady approach to Delilah’s social development, after not having very much interaction early on in her life. But with the pandemic on the decline, Delilah’s ability to socialize is right where it should be for her age.
“The biggest problem raising a newborn in a pandemic has been the toll on mental health for both parents. The mental load of raising a newborn in a pandemic was nothing I could ever have prepared for,” Lyndsay said.