Advanced search

Social distancing with toddlers advice

(25 Posts)
AllTheUsernamesAreAlreadyTaken Sat 30-May-20 19:31:41

I have an 18 month old and a (just turned) three year old. My in-laws want to come and visit us in our garden next week after not seeing any of us since March.
I'm getting a little anxious about it. My children are too little to understand and observe the 2m distance rules. They'll want to jump and hug etc.
Ideally, I'd like to keep isolated until they're allowed physical contact because I think telling them to not touch or hug their grandparents is more damaging than not seeing them for a few weeks longer. My husband disagrees.
What is everyone else doing?

OP’s posts: |
palacegirl77 Sat 30-May-20 19:40:02

Speak to your husband, raise your concerns. Maybe a compromise would be to meet in the park (theyd be in a buggy?) if theyre running about theyre less likely to want hugs.

ScarfLadysBag Sat 30-May-20 19:40:35

We haven't met family as they are far away but we did meet a friend and her little boy (they came to our garden for an hour or so - we are in Scotland so were allowed from Fri) and we decided we were comfortable not enforcing social distancing with them as we felt the risk was so low as to be basically non-existent as we had both been at home for eight weeks (not even going into supermarkets) and we wanted them to interact as they wanted. The two of us stayed socially distancing, however.

It'll get trickier I think when kids are back in childcare and life gets back to more of a 'norm' as at the moment I think most of us are as unlikely to have it as we ever will be until it either burns out or we find a vaccine, as we've all been home for so long.

AllTheUsernamesAreAlreadyTaken Sat 30-May-20 20:07:09

Mine don't go to nursery or child care so I suppose that makes things a little easier

OP’s posts: |
10storeylovesong Sat 30-May-20 20:22:09

I have a 2 year old that I've been taking out for a walk each day, gently reminding him to step aside and stay 2 m away from people. Obviously, he doesn't know what 2m is, but it's a prompt to step away. We've met my mum on the park and he asked her for a cuddle at first. We didn't make a big deal of it, and just reminded him to step away. Today we were walking around a lake which was pretty busy, and he stepped to one side each time, and at one point shouted to me 'stay one side mummy'. It's surprising how quickly toddlers get used to things and accept what they're told!

xtinak Sat 30-May-20 20:29:22

For honesty's sake, we aren't social distancing with the grandparents as of this weekend because we are moving into a childcare scenario.

AllTheUsernamesAreAlreadyTaken Sat 30-May-20 20:39:00


We've been out every day with them and they're fine following the rules out and about but it'll be the first time we've had anyone to the house since March and it's that and it being their grandparents which I think will be the struggle.

That's completely understandable. If they're going to be providing childcare then they've got to have physical contact. smile

OP’s posts: |
ForeverBubblegum Sat 30-May-20 20:39:50

Think about how your garden is set up, and how you can use it.

Eg. We have decking at the bottom that is about 3m wide, so place chairs at the back of it for visitors, and we stay off the deck. DS seem to fine that easier to understand/follow than just 'stay away'.

I also got DS to play on the trampoline when mum arrived and left so I new where he was, and the zip on the netting would slow him down enough for me to intervene if he did try to go over to her.

AllTheUsernamesAreAlreadyTaken Sat 30-May-20 20:44:26

Thank you, ForeverBubblegum

That's really good advice. I'll put some thought into how it will work logistically and hopefully that will ease my anxiety about it all.

OP’s posts: |
EyeDrops Sat 30-May-20 20:44:59

I wouldn't try and enforce social distancing with family members, it would be too upsetting. I've posted on a similar thread, we've decided to see our parents this week before eldest goes back to school on the 8th - none of us have been anywhere besides walks for the last few weeks anyway, so we feel comfortable that the risk is minimally low. Adults will distance but I'll let the kids hug their grandparents then just encourage running around play in the garden so they're not too close.

Once eldest is in school again we probably won't see them again till summer. It's tough!!

Newmama29 Sat 30-May-20 20:50:13

Are your in-laws a big risk? Have they been isolating for the last 12 weeks & have you been isolating for the last 12 weeks each with minimal to no contact?

If so then I don’t really think the risks of anything being passed between them & your DC is very high.

KitKat1985 Sat 30-May-20 21:04:44

I have a similar issue. Am taking DD's to see my Mum next week to sit in her garden having not seen her since March. DD1 is 5 and autistic with quite impaired language skills, and DD2 is 3; and neither of them really understand coronavirus or social distancing, so I've been putting some thought into the best way to manage it.

I'm not prepared to tell them not to hug their Nanny, as I think that'll be really damaging for them long term to think that hugging their Nanny is 'wrong' or a 'bad thing'. We're lucky though that I can walk to a side path straight to my Mum's garden, so I don't have to take them in the house so my plan is to take them straight to my Mum's garden where she's going to leave various garden toys out as a distraction from her, so hopefully they run to the toys when we get there rather than straight to her. If that doesn't work my Mum has a window in her house that directly overlooks the garden. So I've said if it's really becoming impossible maybe she would just sit indoors by the window and I'll leave the kids in the garden so they physically can't get that close to her.

Any chance you could also put up some sort of 'subtle barriers and distractions' to keep your kids and your in-laws apart?

AllTheUsernamesAreAlreadyTaken Sat 30-May-20 21:06:55

FIL is a key worker. MIL works from home. We think my husband has had the virus (didn't test but had all the symptoms and a doctor semi-confirmed it over the phone 🙄). Me and the kids showed no symptoms of it at all.

OP’s posts: |
Newmama29 Sat 30-May-20 22:08:27

If you think your DH has already had it then you have already been exposed to it so I don’t understand why you are so concerned regarding your DC hugging your in-laws? I say let the little ones have some normality & embrace their GPs, you never know how much longer you have with them.

AllTheUsernamesAreAlreadyTaken Sat 30-May-20 22:13:58

I'm just trying to be conscientious and follow the rules. As far as I'm aware, there isn't a clause that says if you or someone in your house has shown symptoms of the virus, you can ignore social distancing.

OP’s posts: |
Newmama29 Sat 30-May-20 22:24:03

I’m not trying to be rude, I just find that the risk is very small so I would be inclined to allow my DC to have some physical contact with their GPs. The “rules” the government are laying out can be ridiculous at times & considering they can’t even follow them themselves then you should use your own judgement smile

Pebblexox Sat 30-May-20 22:40:29

I’ve a 17 month old, and we’ve seen a couple family members since you’ve been allowed to meet one person outside at a social distance. She’s actually been really good, however doesn’t understand the word no and very rarely responds to her name so there have been a few occasions where family members have had to back away from her to keep distance. In those instances they’ve turned it into a fun game of chase, so therefore when she’s gone towards them my husband or myself go and scoop her up so it’s as if we’ve caught her instead of her catching the other person. I also find sometimes just popping her in her pram with a snack is really good at keeping her calm, and ensuring a safe distance between people. I also think this is such an important time in her life for bonding and social interaction that I felt it was the right time for us to start seeing people. However we haven’t allowed anybody near her yet.
However if you’re set in wanting to keep them away until they can have physical contact then I’d just speak to your husband and be very strong with how you’re feeling.

Pebblexox Sat 30-May-20 22:42:40

Also we’re trying to teach my daughter about her no no square, and that only mummy and daddy currently are allowed into it. Obviously she’s still very young so doesn’t actually understand, but it could be useful for your three year old if you were to change your mind and visit with people.

Risotto4tea Sat 30-May-20 22:44:52

I have a 2,3 and 10 yr old. My older daughter gets it but I'm not teaching the little ones not to hug their grandparents its un natural. If we meet when guidelines change there will be hugs. We have all been isolating for so long that I think if we are outside there is a minimum chance of passing anything on anyway

Spacemonkey2016 Sat 30-May-20 22:53:05

I know he's slightly older, but my 3 year old managed to keep distanced from my mum when we met her in the park this week. They're extremely close, and he is a pickle by personality, so I was very surprised. She sat on her blanket, we sat on ours and it was fine. Have plenty of toys available to keep them occupied?

ChocolateCheesecake20 Sat 30-May-20 23:33:19

I'm. Not stopping my dd hugging grandparents.. How is a toddler meant to under stand that for weeks in end. Then when it's lifted is to say.. Yeah go on hug nanny or whatever.
I'm sorry but for me it's not happening. They will hug if wanted their grandparents and 1 young teen aunt who lives with grandparents . They are all low risk. And all take good precautions.
We have said the 6 in garden thing will onyl be grandparents and 1 set of friends who has a dc the same age. They have bumped into eachother at the woods and gave a hug and held hands. They're 2 so not exactly understanding.

Dinoctoblock Sat 30-May-20 23:57:16

I for one would be really interested to hear how/if people make this work. I have 3 DC aged 7,6,1 and I am confident the older two can socially distance from adults but the baby is another matter. I am not scared abut her or me or anyone in our house catching covid but I am worried about accidentally giving it to the GP. If they got it after hugging baby DD, even though we wouldn’t know if we were definitely the cause, it would just be horrific. I’m hoping to see them but I only want to do it if they socially distance from baby DD too.

SatsumaZoom Sun 31-May-20 08:39:32

Yup. It's so hard. I agree the risk is minimal for us too as children aren't back in childcare and adults aren't back at work. YET. It worries me how these risks are about to escalate as we are all due to return in June.

Does anyone else struggle with different interpretation of the "rules" to their family? My whole family seem to think kids don't count in the 6, (when they blatently do) and I'm being told I'm overly worrying for not wanting us all to be together. If we include the kids (all toddlers/babies and 1 8yr old), there will be 5 adults 5 children 😔 it's such a hard situation as it would help the kids no end but I'm not comfortable with it at all.

Bananasandorangesss Sun 31-May-20 08:52:23

@AllTheUsernamesAreAlreadyTaken if you aren’t happy for your children to be up close with grandparents then don’t see them. It’s not fair on kids or grandparents to socially distance from each other. We’ve all been isolating and now see grandparents on both sides “properly” eg my MIL has just stayed over this weekend. Honestly more harm than good can come of separating them. I may have to reconsider when schools go back.

Cocacola12 Mon 01-Jun-20 23:18:48

I have. 6,5 and 1 year old. We’ve met both our mums (they came to our house) and they hugged the kids. Both our mums are in their 50’s and live alone with no underlying health problems. I feel the risk is so small. My husband is a key worker ( not nhs) and has to be in different houses every day as part of his job. I don’t see an issue with us seeing two other family members who both live alone (and are not working)...I’ve had people in Tesco come closer to me than my own mum did. She hugged the grandkids but we didn’t.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »