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Isolating with a 4 month old...(33 Posts)
Hello, we are isolating with our beautiful little girl who is 4 months old. We are so luck to have her after years of IVF but my goodness this is a challenge. Desperately trying to keep her entertained, hitting her milestones and make her happy without the company and support of her loving wider family. I am terrified that she will somehow become infected, or that I will be and end up unable to care for her. My husband is great but I feel the responsibility. On a selfish level the 'groundhog' day element is also taking a toll. No activities, swimming or play time with her little pals. I know people are dying, losing their homes and are dreadfully lonely so this is not a poor me thread. I would love to hear from other parents with young babies as to how they are giving their little ones the stimulus that they need and staying sane in the process! Thank you and very best wishes to all of you at this tough time x
Honestly at 4 months, all she needs is you. Probably the easiest age to do this whole thing tbh. The only reason people go to baby groups for children that young is for their own sanity, so make sure you are talking to lots of people. I’m sure there are only baby groups etc too (I know there are toddler ones but I’ve managed to do precisely zero of them!) But please don’t worry about your daughter, just enjoy her, talk to her, read to her let her look out the window and lie in the garden if you have one. Honestly, the only person she needs to help her hit milestones is you.
Also - you can still Netflix as much as you want! Very jealous... you will never get this chance again so watch as many box sets as you can!
Thank you, I really appreciate the reassurance x
I agree about baby groups, don't worry about missing them in terms of your little ones development. In terms of keeping her entertained, if you search on YouTube for baby sensory videos there's loads of good ones, the ones with the fruits in are especially good! Plenty of cuddles, TV, pop her in the bouncer if you need a bit of a breather, there are also some baby groups streaming online for free as well if you do fancy a sing song. It sounds like you are doing great.
In the same position as you OP with our 4 month old! We are lucky that our baby sensory class moved online so we do that once a week, plus we have lots of play time with her baby gym and rattles/musical instruments/books we bought before lockdown. I’m making full use of our one outing for exercise too and taking her out for walks in the pram round our estate where it’s quiet. Selfishly I’m really enjoying all the quality time that me and DH get to spend alone with her (but I do miss our families dreadfully ☹️). Enjoy the precious time with your little one, a and remember as every day passes by we are one day closer to all this being over
I have a 6 month old and know exactly what you mean about groundhog day. Honestly I ordered some more baby toys from Amazon, but that was for my benefit, not his!
Do you have a play gym? They are great at that age. Also musical instruments like rattles or drums (make your own out of kitchen stuff if necessary!) If you have any floaty scarves, use them to tickle her/play peekaboo. Honestly there's loads you can do. Right now my DS thinks me making silly noises is the funniest thing in the world.
She will meet her milestones just fine. Babies have grown up for years without baby groups etc (although I miss ours too). You tube has some great stuff. If she is being fussy and you need a breather, Little Baby Bum is brilliant for shutting my DS up for 5 minutes!
You might get bored, baby will be fine! She'll have you, she doesn't need anything else.
Just be glad you're on maternity leave. Working from home and trying to educate 3 children 5, 9 and 13 years old isn't easy.
I don't think this is a poor me. I remember how going outside daily (when my now 13 year old was a baby) was saved my mental health. I can't really think of any helpful words but if anyone is mean to you on here, ignore them. It's not easy x
really? 4 mo is no problem at home all day... in a way it has taken the pressure off me as i can dedicate my life to nap schedule with no FOMO. the only problem is that i also have a 3yo to entertain and he loves to bugger up a perfectly executed nap.
seriously, all your baby is interested in is you, enjoy relaxing with them.
4 months is the easiest time ,all she needs is you, she doesn't need to be entertained constantly, forget milestones........relax.
When mine were that age once they were fed, cuddled a bit, they were often left on a mat under the playgym, or on the floor on a mat in eyesight whilst l got on with things......
Tiny babies don't need too much stimulous, just to be fed, held, chatted to and smiled at. The rest can wait...the activities you mention are as much for you as her at this age!
Take this time to relax and do things for yourself, paint your nails, watch a movie, have naps when she does....once the lockdown lifts you can be out and about.
I think the people making dismissive comments have forgotten what 4 month olds are like - not sleeping so much any more, wanting stimulation rather than lying contentedly in your arms, but too little to be able to play with most toys, etc. It's definitely the stage where going out of the house with them is much easier than staying in.
No real advice, OP - just another person saying I share your struggle
Tummy time, rattles, play gym, and a sling to get jobs done around the house if they aren’t happy under the play gym or bouncy chair, and cuddles is all you really need! Much easier for under babies/ under 1s, they really don’t pay much attention to others, she doesn’t realise she has little pals!
Mine were happy sitting in their rocker or baby gym and watching me do house work at that age! I agree you should just relax, they certainly don’t need ‘pals’ at that age and don’t require huge stimulation, just chatter away as you get on with a few jobs, play games like peekaboo, sing songs, count toes and give her a few different rattles or things to chew on. Plus loads of cuddles. I think this would actually be quite a lovely time to have a little baby. And you can go out once a day for a walk with them of course. Try to enjoy it op, it’s easier said than done but looking back I wish I had relaxed and enjoyed more.
I have an 18 month old and really miss the baby groups as it was a good excuse to get out of the house, but DS doesn't seem bothered and I'm sure your DD won't care either, especially at 4 months.
If you want something similar to a baby group I'd highly recommend The Baby Club on BBC iPlayer. It's not quite the same as a real group but passes the time.
I have a nearly 4 month old and a 4 year old. I am rushed off my feet all day looking after the 4 year old, playing games like hide and seek or chase as he is rubbish at entertaining himself. The baby has to be fed and cuddled while all this is going on. Entertainment for her is watching her older brother. I would love to have just a baby right now, would feel so much easier!
That being said I remember it being very hard with my first, I did want to get out every day. It’s all so new being a first time parent. There are sensory kits you can buy online, things like foil blankets or rattles. You can massage their legs and sing to them. If you can get some baby books they will also love being read to.
I’ve worked with and looked after babies for a long time. Life with a baby is pretty Groundhog Day regardless, but that will seem more so at the moment where choices are limited. Tbh getting out and about is more for your benefit that baby’s at this age. There is lots you can do at home, baby toys, garden if you have one, bouncer/rocker etc. Honestly spending time with your baby talking and singing to her is so beneficial x
I have an almost 4 month old. Play mats/gyms, bright toys, sensory toys (like an o ball) and sensory experiences in the garden have all helped him. He loves going on walks and will reach out for blossom on trees etc
You could make a little picture book for her to look at later - cut a few pieces of card, fix together with ribbon or keyring circles, then draw or cut out and stick in pictures of things she's getting to know. Or you can draw and write a simple story eg a rabbit looking for her rabbit hole. You can write under the pictures too if you want. She will love them in a little while and will go back to them when she's learning to read. Fun for you, too!
From the baby's point of view, please don't worry! Baby groups are for you at this age, not for her. At 4 months, you can do tummy time, different textures and sounds (mirrors and feathers are fun!), music etc. Might be a good opportunity to get into a really solid routine and good sleep habits? This is really precious bonding time for her and she's got everything she needs!
For you though, I really feel for you. My daughter was really difficult at that age and I'd have struggled a lot without support and being able to get out. I think it's important that you ask your partner for some regular breaks. Have a bath or a lie-in, or just spend an hour or two in another room, doing something for yourself.
Hang in there, this won't last forever. And don't feel guilty for finding aspects of this situation hard.
My baby is a bit younger but I was similarly worried - mostly sad about not seeing family and friends as he is changing so much at this stage. But honestly, a child that’s too young to crawl or walk is by far the easiest age to weather lockdown or social distancing. Like PPs have suggested, make good use of your exercise time, spend time outside if you can, call & text friends and family for support. They love repetition at that age so the same toys, songs and stories are not boring, it’s just what they need! Likewise, I know it’s tough to not have in-person support from family and friends, but mum & dad are a baby’s favourite people, they won’t mind at all if you’re the only ones around!
I have a four month old and it is no bother at all. They will reach their milestones or not regardless of what you do, it's nothing you can really help with (bar doing some tummy time).
Anything you do at that age (baby groups, socialising and stuff) is for you, not them.
I get that it can be a little monotonous but asides the lack of sleep, it's a piece of piss really. Feed, change, sleep, repeat.
I'm laughing at the idea of keeping her entertained, my poor baby must feel so deprived. His daily entertainment is his mobile, me tunelessly singing and watching me cook or do the dishes. You're stressing over nothing, they have no capacity for boredom at this age.
I don't really think it's any use telling you this is the easiest stage, because it's the stage you're in and you're finding it mentally hard. Doesn't matter if it isn't physically hard. The only thing I can recommend is getting a routine in place for your own sanity. Get up and ready every day. Exercise whilst baby watches you. Use the time to get some baby food in the freezer (breakfast muffins etc) for when weaning starts. Do you have a garden? If so get a blanket outside and put her playmat on it. Use an umbrella for shade if it's really sunny. But most of all remember this won't last forever!
And pals? My baby has never even met another baby...As far as he's concerned, he's the only baby on the planet.
Also to add - sorry that after so long trying and having to go through IVF you are not getting the experience you spent so long dreaming of.
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