But Dr Wass doesn't think that the lack of 'stranger' interactions will have a huge effect.
"This shouldn't have a long-term effect on their development, as long as parents continue interacting with them appropriately at home.
“We think that babies learn to process a prototypical face by staring repeatedly at their parent's face - and that more time spent learning how to see a face by looking at one face repeatedly might actually make their brains better at discriminating different faces during later development. Early learning works through repetition, and then later in development, diverse examples become useful.
“We do know that parents are actually interacting more with their children during the pandemic, because they are at home more. In fact, some parents, particularly those who may have been going out to work, report that they have extra 'play' time with their babies that they would have missed. Other parents are just glad to get out of the house to come and see us!"
The lab has raised £2.2 million pounds in external funding since 2016, meaning it can carry out its ambitious research programme and it has just started looking at the effects of nature and the environment on children's attention and learning. This is particularly relevant in a year where most schooling has been carried out through technology such as google classroom and zoom.
A new study will look at babies as young as two months. For the first time, using specialised equipment, researchers will follow what babies' experience in the first and most important environment they know - their homes - over the first three years of their life. Dr Wass says that this will give the lab a greater insight into what really happens in the babies' own worlds, at the time they are learning the skills they need to interact with the world in general.
The Baby Development Lab is now looking for 13 & 14-month-old babies to help with their current research into early word learning. They are also recruiting babies aged 9-13 months and newborn to age 4.
Parents and pregnant women who are interested in taking part in any of the studies can contact the lab at firstname.lastname@example.org.