Babies in Lockdown
05 August 2020
Today we release a new report sharing families’ experiences of lockdown during pregnancy or with a baby.
Babies in Lockdown is based on a survey of over 5000 families, conducted in partnership with charities Home-Start UK and Best Beginnings.
The report tells us that:
- COVID-19 has affected parents, babies and the services that support them in diverse ways.
- Families already at risk of poor outcomes have suffered the most.
- Without action, the pandemic could cast a long shadow on the lives of some babies.
Nearly 7 in 10 parents felt the changes brought about by COVID-19 were affecting their unborn baby, baby or young child. This was felt most sharply amongst parents under 25 years old and those on the lowest incomes. One quarter (25%) of parents reported concern about their relationship with their baby and one third of these (35%) would like to get help with this.
The report contains insights from parents about how lockdown has affected their baby and their early relationships.
“I have been crying for hours on end, having anxiety and panic attacks which are all out of the ordinary for me. This has affected my nine month old son who has seen me experience this and has been more tearful and clingy with me… “
“I worry about her development, the changes in her routine… loss of family contact. I am more snappy with her and I worry about how this will affect her emotional development and our relationship.”
“… we imagined life as parents much differently than this. Our child has no relationships with other family members and no exposure to the outside world. I worry about how this will affect her…”
In the report, we make three policy calls for the UK Government:
- A one-off Baby Boost to enable local services to support families who have had a baby during or close to lockdown.
- A new Parent-Infant Premium providing new funding for local commissioners, targeted at improving outcomes for the most vulnerable children.
- Significant and sustained investment in core funding to support families from conception to age two and beyond, including in statutory services, charities and community groups.