Wednesday, July 26, 2006

First time parents coping with a newborn during the early days

I didn't have a confinement lady or a maid to help out after delivery of my baby but I did have a confinement man. Lol!

Here's how we coped with our newborn during the early days without any help. We...

  • used disposable diapers so there would be minimal laundry. Hubby helped with the diaper changes initially when I was too tired. In fact I think he probably changed a first diaper before me.
  • gave baby a tub bath and hairwash only once a week. The rest of the time, I merely did topping and tailing and gave baby sponge baths. And in case you are wondering, no, baby did not develop any diaper rash. In fact, they both did not have any diaper rash. I guess the fact that they're breastfed helped a great deal. I alwasy made sure their faces and bottoms were clean. For baths, I waited till the weekends when hubby was free to help me with the wiggly, slippery little body. (due to lack of time and confidence :P)
  • banned visitors from our home. I did not want to have to entertain visitors (not even relatives) one after another. This would have been too tiring for me and so.. I told everyone not to visit me at home.
  • catered special confinement/post natal food for me. Hubby offered to cook and tried to learn while I was pregnant but since he couldn't even differentiate between garlic and onions or ginger, I declined his kind offer. Haha. I was also afraid of the cleanup afterwards so we opted for food catering/delivery. This worked out great for us. I still got to enjoy the delicious confinement food that was supposed to be good for recuperating mothers without the work. The food did not come cheap though (almost the cost of hiring a confinement lady) and everyone thought we were crazy not to hire a confinement lady instead.
  • we let the housework go. Just some simple mopping and wiping once a week to make sure the environment is clean for baby. Other things can wait.
  • as for feeding, there are no shortcuts. I tried my best to breastfeed and when I couldn't, I gave baby milk using a spoon or cup. Hubby had to help out with the spoon/cup feed whenever I was too tired.
My confinement man boiled special ginger and lemongrass water for me to have a bath (for one bath) and he boiled or rather reheated the red dates tea that came with our food delivery package for me daily and put them in a big flask for me to drink whenever I was thirsty. He went out to pack his own meals or ate some of my confinement meals as we couldn't afford to cater for two since it was so expensive. He took the babies out to sun when they had jaundice. He helped with the housework and washed dishes (this is the only time he washes dishes for me so I enjoyed it to the hilt) and that was it. That was how we survived our early days with our newborn. Both times he took 2 weeks off work to help me out.
This post has been fun to write. Its fun to look back. I can almost smell the red dates tea as I write. Lol!

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  1. Wah, you sure have one good confinement man!! Can borrow ah? My confinement is coming...... (just joking ah) :)

    Your hubby is so kind and considerate. And the willingness to share the burden of caring for a newborn is very admirable act. I am sure without a confinement lady is no loss to you and I am sure you are better off in handling newborns than many people!

    Hey, hop on to my blog and read my latest post! :)

  2. cookie,
    You can have your own confinement man too. All it takes is a little training. Hahaha.

  3. Wow! I must show this to my man. Must learn from Mr. MG. But then again, he will make excuse like, "Got your mom mah!"!

  4. vien,
    Mine couldn't make that excuse as we really had no one to help unless we hired and he was the one who didn't want any strangers in our house, not even for a month so no choice but to help.

  5. I think most men will help out during confinement these days, as less are so ego already. It's their newborn baby too, so it's sensible for them to help their post natal wives. My hubby helped a lot for both, even if he didn't know how to carry a baby before our boy comes along. Until now I'm still appreciate his help, and don't mind going for 3rd baby, much later lah....

  6. shoppingmum,
    I agree with you. We are lucky to have a new breed of men these days. They're more ready to help out now.

  7. You are so lucky to have such a good husband. My husband refuse to change my son's diaper till today.He still has his man ego in him. His friend is even better. He was the confinement man for 4 of his children and he cook for his wife everyday too.

  8. sabrina,
    Oh, he doesn't change diapers anymore. Its only during the confinement period or on the odd days when I am too sick or tired. Hahaha.

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