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Do you think there'll be a long term effect of babies toddlers seeing humans in masks?

(82 Posts)
waltzingparrot Mon 24-Aug-20 15:45:38

I've just queued in the co-op behind a mum with a baby of about 6/7 months over her shoulder. I was doing all that smiling and waving you do when you are faced by a very alert baby.

As I was wearing a mask it just occurred to me that all these babies are missing out the cues of smiles on strangers etc. Do you think it could have a long term effect?

OP’s posts: |
Sayitagainwhydontyou Mon 24-Aug-20 15:46:49

Nope. I imagine very few people are wearing masks 24/7 at home around their babies.

ChaBishkoot Mon 24-Aug-20 15:50:25

No because babies don’t spend that much time outdoors. There are entire societies where women are veiled outdoors. And while we can debate the pros and cons of that enough children grow up with entirely normal childhoods without developmental delays.

villamariavintrapp Mon 24-Aug-20 15:50:32

No, lots of people have always worn face coverings when out in public. Their babies are fine.

cologne4711 Mon 24-Aug-20 15:51:11

Babies don't get their main interactions from strangers in supermarket queues, they get them from their parents and other relatives and parents' close friends.

RiaRoth Mon 24-Aug-20 15:51:21

No of course not

waltzingparrot Mon 24-Aug-20 15:51:36

Yes, I get that in their own home, they'll be seeing their family's faces, but in shops they'll be seeing masked strangers. It will be their normal, until we all unmask and then it could be frightening.

OP’s posts: |
Watermama Mon 24-Aug-20 15:51:59

No. My DC spent the first few years of her life in the middle East with the majority of women covering their faces. I have to say she's one of the few kids I've known who has never been bothered at all by wearing masks or seeing others wear them. At 5 she happily wears a mask when in shops etc.

netflixismysidehustle Mon 24-Aug-20 15:52:11

They will see their families and siblings smiling at home and strangers outdoors who are mask less . I think under 11s are most likely to show the full range of emotions-angry/happy/sad etc and as they are generally maskless they will provide lots of interest to kids in buggies.

CKBJ Mon 24-Aug-20 15:53:01

No for all the above reasons

netflixismysidehustle Mon 24-Aug-20 15:53:04

Babies can cope with sunglasses obscuring eyes

Grandmi Mon 24-Aug-20 15:54:46

Yes it’s definitely something that I think about regarding babies ,the elderly and small children. They learn so much from facial expression and it is how they understand feelings etc.

bloodywhitecat Mon 24-Aug-20 15:57:35

My nine month old thinks masks are a source of great amusement, he still smiles and squeals at every person who looks his way or speaks to him. He doesn't appear to be suffering any long term damage.

My four month old (I foster both babies) seems ambivalent to masks, he's not yet at the stage of smiling at strangers (or anyone much really).

user1493413286 Mon 24-Aug-20 15:57:57

@Watermama makes a very good point; it’s not that unusual for some babies. Also my 6 month old DS can tell when I’m smiling even with my mask on and the chatter I do with him hasn’t changed. I think if nursery staff wore them it risks more of an impact as that’s a large part of the day children spend time at nursery. I think in general the proportion of time young children spend seeing adults in masks is fairly small.

Thisismytimetoshine Mon 24-Aug-20 15:59:33

Don't spend all your time in shops 🤷🏻‍♀️

GetTheSprinkles Mon 24-Aug-20 15:59:40

Babies are so adaptable and I already notice my 9 month old paying more attention to my wriggling eyebrows/hand gestures etc when Im wearing a mask in the supermarket. Somehow, he knows when I'm smiling and will smile back even when I have the mask on.
I don't foresee any long term issues.

Plussizejumpsuit Mon 24-Aug-20 16:03:32


NeurotrashWarrior Mon 24-Aug-20 16:05:02

I reckon there's more of an effect of the Gina ford methods of not giving eye contact and ignoring them when babies are crying.

No, my two year old is already tantruming if he can't wear a mask if I am.

Shitfuckoh Mon 24-Aug-20 17:52:53

My just turned 3 year old tells me I need to wear my mask! He's coping fine with the change of seeing people go from no masks to masks everywhere indoors (outside of the home obviously)

Cornettoninja Mon 24-Aug-20 17:53:51

I think they’ll be fine. There’s plenty of opportunity to see people’s faces still, masks aren’t mandated everywhere and we have plenty of media mediums for them to study facial expressions.

Maybe we’ll end up with a generation of fabulous, expressive actors and models who can communicate really expressively with their eyes (flash backs to Tyra Banks on ANTM banging on about smiling with your eyes grin)

CousinKrispy Mon 24-Aug-20 18:49:45

I watched a really cracking short drama that was part of the BBC's "culture in quarantine" series. This one was done by a theatre troupe that does all their work in full facial masks without spoken dialogue. I was amazed how much was communicated just with body language. So in addition to the unmasked people the babies and toddlers will see at home, remember that humans are awfully good at observing body language.

Derbygerbil Mon 24-Aug-20 18:56:26

I don’t imagine it will have any impact whatsoever... Also, how much of your day do you spend where masks are necessary?

Eaumyword Mon 24-Aug-20 19:02:25

Out and about today and a baby was highly amused by my brightly coloured and patterned mask! Kept smiling and laughing and pointing. He definitely enjoyed it! So cute!smile

mrshoho Mon 24-Aug-20 19:04:55

No, I'm sure babies spend more time with parents when they are not masked. I do wonder about their immune systems the longer this goes on. We are creating quite sterile environments and question whether they are going to be weaker because of it. Even in nursery and school the amount of extra wiping down of surfaces and not sharing toys. Is it a myth that being too clean is not good?

MarshaBradyo Mon 24-Aug-20 19:06:58

No I don’t think it’s frightening. Not to my 2.5 year old anyway. She did copy us and try to put one on the other day though.

The vast majority of the time is no masks. Inside the home, at the park / playground. It’s only in the supermarket she sees it.

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