Highlights

  • The pandemic may not have been great for newborns
  • Babies born in early pandemic months show slight developmental lags 
  • Pandemic babies performed slower on motor skills but better on communication skills

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The developmental lag is real in pandemic babies, says study

Infants who were born between March to December 2020 scored slightly lower on a screening of developmental skills than those born prior to the pandemic, finds new study.

The early months of the Covid-19 pandemic may not have been great for newborns, suggest the findings of a new study.

Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the study says that infants who were born between March to December 2020 scored slightly lower on a screening of their developmental skills than those born prior to the pandemic. This was regardless of whether their mother was infected with the virus during pregnancy or not.

SEE MORE The value of goo-goo ga-ga: ‘baby talk’ improves infant speech

The study is based on data from 225 babies born in New York City which was the U.S. epicentre in the outbreak’s early days. Although the differences observed were small, experts say it does make you question what is impairing the foundational skills such as motor skills in pandemic babies.

Interestingly, it was predicted that mask-wearing would affect babies’ communication but the study observed that pandemic babies, in fact, scored higher in communication skills.

Overall, the team cautioned that the findings may not be indicative of long-term lags in development.

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