Our network

Pandemic babies may be showing signs of underdevelopment |

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Pandemic babies may be showing signs of underdevelopment

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- As we inch closer to two years since COVID-19 first came into our lives, researchers are looking at the impact the pandemic is having on babies born during this time. 

Recent studies from Jama Pediatrics show that these infants may suffer from developmental issues.

Baby Mia is just about four months old, and if you giggle at her, chances are she will giggle right back. However, that wasn't always the case. 

"Her grandmas would come over and she would kind of see them but would be so wary," said her mother Mary Grace Rendina. 

Rendina didn't want to take any chances with her first-born Mia, so she had everyone wear a mask in her home.

"When I brought Mia home, I was so nervous," she said.

When Mia first came home, Rendina said she wasn't responding well to people wearing masks, but then the masks came off and she started to recognize everyone in her family.

"I thought wow, that is so powerful, like kids at such a young age can recognize faces and know these are my family, but when they are shielded, they don't have that opportunity," Rendina said. 

A baby's development during this pandemic is something Dr. Timothy Jeider, board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist with Nevada Mental Health, says parents should watch out for. 

"They can learn about their environment based on what their caregiver is showing them on their faces, so when you limit that information, they are going to have limited development," Dr. Jeider said. 

Dr. Jeider said parents who are opting to limit their child's socialization during this time should make up for that time at home without masks. 

He said babies should start saying their first words at 12 months of age, but if they aren't talking by 14 months, you should contact your pediatrician. 

For more information about developmental impacts of the pandemic on infants, follow this link.