Parenting Resource

Separated From Your Young Child?

Mar 23, 2020

While these days and weeks are filled with more questions than answers, there are still many ways for parents to keep their connection strong with their little ones.

Father talking to someone on the computer via video call.

Protecting our loved one from getting COVID-19 is hard on our families. Sheltering in place or self-quarantine frequently means being apart from our family, including our very young children. Those on our “front lines” in this fight– our medical personnel, our first responders, even our grocery store personnel—are making the very difficult choice of staying away, rather than risk infecting their little ones. They may wonder, “how will this impact my child? She is so young, will she understand?”

Our military families know this concern over family separation and have fine-tuned the art of being away while staying connected. ZERO TO THREE has developed resources to help with these separations, including our free app, Babies on the Homefront. Parents can download the app, and by setting up their profile, invite their co-parent or other caregivers (like grandparents) to share the account. Users can read tips and strategies for supporting their little one who’s missing their loved family member. The app—available in English and Spanish—also includes a library with parent resources on addressing challenging behaviors, ideas for activities when separated, activities to support development, and even guidance on parental self-care.

Parents and caregivers can also create short videos to keep their connection strong. The away parent can say “good-night” and the homefront parent can play it for their child at the appropriate time, because, let’s face it—bedtime and breaks while at work don’t always coincide. The away parent can take a short video reading the child’s favorite book, while the homefront parent can share it with the child before naptime. The homefront parent might also take video of daily routines and special moments so the away parent can watch and still feel a part of baby’s everyday life. Video-chat, even with babies, is a great way for keeping the away parent in the child’s mind. Check out this ZERO TO THREE resource on making the most of video-chats with your under-three.

While these days and weeks are filled with more questions than answers, there are still many ways for parents to keep their connection strong with their little ones.

Learn more about Babies on the Homefront or download it today from your favorite app store. ZERO TO THREE appreciates the support from USAA for the development of this app.

Looking for more information? Visit for our latest resources and updates for families.

Web Broadcast

As coronavirus threatens families’ physical, economic, and emotional well-being, Congress is working quickly to respond. Join us on 3/27 for a conversation with Rep. Rosa DeLauro about how Congress is addressing families’ needs.


This article was featured in Baby Steps, a ZERO TO THREE newsletter for parents and caregivers. Each issue offers science-based information on a topic of interest to parents and caregivers of young children—from sleep to challenging behaviors, and everything in between. Become a subscriber:

  • Contact

    Julia Yeary

    Director, Military Family Projects


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