Oh Baby! It’s toys, noise and a whole lot more
A year of lockdown has been tough on everyone and new parents have
found the past year particularly hard going, with the traditional support of extended family, friends and baby groups having been abruptly taken away.
A ‘Babies in Lockdown’ survey conducted by three early years
charities - Best Beginnings, Home-Start UK and the Parent-Infant Foundation – found that parents worried that their babies were missing out on learning social skills, one-third said their
relationship with their babies had changed during lockdown and almost half reported that their little ones had become ‘more clingy’.
For more information about parent/carer and children’s groups:
• Barrow Baptist Church website at
• Holy Trinity Church email to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Village Website at https://barrowuponsoar.org.uk/childrenyoung-people-s-groups/childrenyoung-people-s-groups-details.html
Babies were losers too - missing out on grandparents’ cuddles, good times with friends and those fun baby groups with heaps of toys and noise.
Like most social groups, Baby Buds, a group run by volunteer members of Barrow Baptist Church, for babies and parents, or carers, had to close in March 2020 - a blow for babies and an even bigger blow for mums. The group continued with online Circle Time, which included songs and Bible stories.
When restrictions eased in October, the group opened its doors. Only eight parents were permitted at each of the three, once-weekly support groups and babies had to be non-mobile. Now, 15 adults are permitted, with social distancing in place, and the group meets on Tuesdays from 11am to 12noon. Each baby has toys supplied by the church, there is no sharing and toys have to be quarantined after each session.
This has meant that more toys are required - and fortunately, Barrow Co-Op stepped in earlier this year to give a donation of £250, which enabled organisers of the group to go toy shopping.
Helen Jones, who runs Baby Buds, with childminder and mum of two Lizzie Moore, said the additional toys had made a big difference and they were very grateful to the Co-Op for the donation.
Helen, also a mum of two, wife of the church’s lead minister and a part-time pharmacist, said she was hopeful that more parents could be accommodated as guidance changed.
“It’s a chance for mums - and we have one dad - to chat and meet others in the village. Tea, coffee and wrapped cake is served and, when you have a baby, it’s a lifeline to get out of the house and chat to other parents, particularly if you have had a bad night! We’re passionate about sharing God’s love with the community and welcoming people into the church premises.”
Research mirrors how hard it’s been. A ‘Babies in Lockdown’ survey conducted by three early years charities - Best Beginnings, Home-Start UK and the Parent-Infant Foundation - reported that nearly seven in 10 parents found that their ability to cope had been impacted negatively by the pandemic. Some 5000 parents were interviewed and answers were mixed, with some parents enjoying a slower pace of life and more time at home, and others experiencing anxiety, confusion and loss.
Many parents worried that their babies were missing out on learning social skills, one-third said their relationship with their babies had changed during lockdown and almost half reported that their little ones had become more clingy.
This delightful little group is just one of many for children and families at the church, all held in school term dates. You don’t have to be a member of the church - they are for anyone in the community.
● Little Buds, for mobile children and their parents/carers, is held weekly and children play with an assortment of toys and enjoy crafts, Bible stories and singing (when not limited by COVID restrictions).
● Who Let The Dads Out is a monthly get-together where dads, father figures and their children can have fun. A Father’s Day celebration and BBQ is planned for Sunday 20th June. Check out the group’s Facebook page - or Barrow Baptist Church for updates.
● Messy Church, at 4pm on the first Sunday of the month, is for the whole family to enjoy and includes crafts, challenges, Bible stories, singing, food and much more.
● The church, which does not baptise babies, offers baby Blessings and Thanksgiving services, which can be part of the Sunday service or held as a private ceremony. The service and promises made can be tailored to your Christian beliefs.
For more information, see www.barrowbaptist.org.uk