My day usually starts at 6am because I have a lot to prepare for the whole day. And then I need to wash/sterilize bottles and breastpump, brew a day’s supply of red date tea and make breakfast.
Sometimes I get up three or four times a night when the baby cries for milk or change diaper. The baby usually wakes up at 7am. Then I will feed him milk and then let him rest for a while before I give him a warm gentle bath. We must take care of the cord, be gentle in cleaning it and then dry it using the alcohol wipe or the medicated powder. It is very important to take care of the cord and not let it get an infection. And I don’t wait for the baby to start crying; I take care of problems before they happen. Newborns generally needs to drink milk every 2-hourly and change diapers every 2-3 hourly. They urine and poop for several times a day, we must change diaper as many times as possible so as to prevent nanny rash. Sometimes they also cry due to fussiness or wind in tummy, or sometimes they just need a cuddle. This can be very stressful for the new parents when their baby cry and they do not know what the baby wants. New parents generally know confinement nanny care for newborns like a professional. They know our advice is best. Some have traditions like binding the baby with cloth, but we know it’s bad for the baby’s growth.
Mommies eat breakfast at around 7am before they breastfeed the baby. They need lots of energy to feed the baby, so I will prepare their food very early. New mothers usually eat several different kinds of breakfast. Sometimes I cook mee sua with egg and some minced meat and vegetables, sometimes its oatmeal cereal, sometimes its French toast and sometimes its fried bee hoon . I would make them milo to go with their breakfast. I would ensure they have a healthy and hearty breakfast to start their day. When the new mother breastfeeds the baby, I guide her to the right position and make sure she is breastfeeding successfully. Then I will go and wash the milk/sterilize the milk bottles before I go to do the laundry for baby and mommy. After that I will boil the herbs and prepare the herbal bath for mommy to bathe.
At around 10am, the mommy needs to eat again. In Singapore, we make plenty of lactation soup like papaya fishbone soup, black beans soup, pork ribs peanut soup, seaweed soup etc to help mothers enrich and produce more milk. The “secret” to abundance of breastmilk is to have plenty of rest and nutritious confinement food. This will help to kickstart your milk production and you will continue to have a successful breastfeeding journey.
Then I spend time with the baby and try to communicate with him/her. You need to understand the baby’s needs, so this time is important. Some babies cry when their family members hold them, but when I hold them, they’ll stop crying immediately. Babies are soothed by my voice and the way I hold them. I make them feel safe.
Around 11am, the baby sleeps again and then I’ll prepare confinement lunch for mommy, with herbal daily soup like dang gui soup,si tang, he shou wu tang etct. Some mommies don’t like herbs so I will make other kind of nutritious soup like chicken soup, mixed veges tomato and carrot soup, lotus root soup, dried seaweed with porkbone soup, fish maw soup etc.I ensure the mothers won’t eat the same meals every day.
After the mother had her lunch, she’ll keep the baby company. Then I’ll eat lunch, brew tonic soup like collagen rich soup or cordycep double boiled with chicken, chicken and ginger wine tonic, DOM with ginger etc for the mommy to drink at night. This is to help her to expel the wind in her body and keep make her warm. After lunch, the mommy and the baby will have a nap. It’s very important for the baby to get enough sleep. If he sleep well, he will eat well. Then I’ll clean the kitchen and sweep/mop the floor.
You have to pay attention if the baby has jaundice. Some families won’t spend money on hospital treatments, so we help them buy fluorescent lights and put the baby under the light for a certain amount of time or we bring them on the morning sun (before 9 am) or evening sunset. It is very important to get the correct timing of sunlight so that baby will not be overheated by the strong sunlight. I take care of babies at night, so in the afternoon I take a short nap when I am done with my chores. I don’t have free time even on weekends for the 28 days. I work 24 hrs continuously the 28 days. After 1-2 months, a confinement nanny is usually unnecessary because by this time baby is bigger and parents have already learnt the ropes from me.
Around 4pm, I will bath the baby again. I usually bathe for the baby twice day and wipe him again before night time. I massage the baby’s body gently too. It’s very good for the baby’s immune system. Every confinement nanny knows how to do it. Sometimes baby crying might be due to colic or re-flux. A warm massage helps him to sleep better. Then I will cook confinement dinner for the mommy. Then after dinner, I will serve desserts for mommy like sweet potato soup or red bean soup, it is important to consume these desserts so mommy will feel relaxed.
At night, I will serve mommy the tonic soup before she rest for the night. The confinement nanny usually sleep in the same room with baby. It’s more convenient for me to ensure a sound sleep for the new mother. We only bring baby to the mommy when she needs to breastfeed back, otherwise we will just bottle feed breastmilk to the baby so that mommy can have a good rest. When the mother and baby are fast asleep, I wash up and go to bed as well. And then my routine starts all over again. I will set a routine for baby on feeding and sleeping times so that new parents will have a easier time taking care of baby after I leave.
I don’t have to worry so much about home now, so I can devote myself to this job. I love this job. I can’t describe how close I feel to babies. A family hands their new mother and baby to me. I feel responsible for them. I’ve done this job for nine years and in that time, I’ve cared for more than 50 babies. I’ve done this for so long, some of the babies I’ve cared for are already seven years old! When they call me on the phone, I feel very happy and grateful. Still I haven’t been home for Chinese New Year for six years. Sometimes my mood is really low, since my own children are at home but I’m taking care of others’ babies. But when I see the mommies and babies doing well under my care , I feel very happy. I hope you will enjoy my confinement service for you and your family!