A year like no other: the Corby baby born on the stroke of lockdown

Millie Eliza Best was born into a locked down world

By Alison Bagley
Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 5:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 5:46 pm

While March 23 marks for many people the anniversary of Britain's first national lockdown, for Millie Best and her parents it is a day of celebration as it marks her first birthday.

Little Millie from Corby has celebrated her first 12 months making her one the UK's first coronavirus lockdown babies, coming into the world at 11.37pm just hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new laws to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Chelsea and her husband, Matt Best, had travelled from their Oakley Vale home to Northampton General Hospital to give birth and as Chelsea was preparing for the final push of her labour midwives at the maternity unit informed the couple that the UK was in lockdown.

Happy birthday Millie!

Chelsea said: "It's been a strange year but it's also been the best year of my life.

"For eight solid weeks it was just the three of us. It gave us so much time together to bond. It was such a special time."

Due to restrictions already in place on the labour ward new dad Matt could only spend an hour with his wife and new daughter before he left for home.

The couple didn't know what was happening because of the rules changing and were concerned that he could have been stopped by the police.

One today - Millie Best

Although the family were only together briefly during reduced visiting hours, the new family then spent the first eight weeks without seeing anyone except through a window or online.

Grandparents Dorothy and Neil Carter, who live in Little Harrowden, had to content themselves with waving at their new granddaughter from the car while delivering a food parcel.

As lockdown restrictions changed, Chelsea shared time with members of her NCT antenatal classes and used Whats app to ask for advice and help from other new mums.

She said: "The group has been a godsend. I can ask their advice and chat about what our babies are doing.

Matt, Chelsea and Millie

"We signed up for swimming classes as soon as we could and have taken part in Tots Play classes online as well as distanced."

Chelsea, 29, has returned to work for the family firm Carter Vehicle Movements Ltd while her mum looks after Millie as part of her childcare support bubble.

Millie, who started rolling at 10 weeks and crawling before six months, is now starting to take her first steps.

Chelsea said: "She's not walking yet but she's not a still baby. She's such a good girl and so happy.

The lockdown came into force as Millie was born

"We were worried about the first few weeks not seeing anyone but we have been able to spend so much time with her.

"We are so lucky, It has really helped us bond. She's quite happy to go off and explore. She's such a confident little girl. She's always smiling."

For her special day Millie has received a balance bike, some books and some bath toys as well as a homemade cake.

"Chelsea added: "She's gone from a little tiny baby to a toddler. It's been an absolutely crazy year."