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Set The Right
Boundaries With Your
Confinement Nanny
Dr Wong Boh Boi
Early parenthood consultant Dr Wong Boh Boi tells us why it’s so important to outline clear do’s and don’ts with your nanny – right from the beginning.

It’s a common misconception that a confinement nanny’s role is to help a young mother take care of her newborn. Which is why you often find situations where a mother, feeling uncertain and exhausted, takes a back seat – and her nanny becomes the baby’s primary caregiver.

And that can be a problem.

I have met so many mothers who find themselves at a loss once their confinement nannies have left. Not just because they don’t know what to do, but also because they suddenly realise that their babies have grown more attached to their nannies than them. Unbeknownst to many new parents, babies bond very quickly through sound, smell, sight and touch. And you often find that when the nanny is the one taking centre stage; when she is always the first to respond to the baby’s cries; then she becomes the mother figure in the baby’s eyes.

It’s important to remember that a confinement nanny’s job is simply to help with a mother’s recovery – not to be a ‘second mother’. That’s not to say that the mother has to bear the burden of taking care of her baby on her own, but there are certain tasks that are hers – and hers alone.

For example, if the baby has a heavy diaper, it’s okay for the nanny to help with the cleaning up. But the soothing should always be left to the mother. The same goes for feeding and bathing – such moments are critical for bonding and the building of trust.

The last thing you want as a mother, is to feel distant from your baby. Here’s a checklist to help you avoid that.



•   Let your nanny focus on your recovery diet. If possible, always soothe your baby on your own.

•   Start learning how to shower your baby by the 2nd week of confinement, with the assistance of your nanny (learn the proper showering techniques by attending antenatal classes).

•   Ask your nanny to assist with swaddling if you are unsure (best to attend an antenatal class to adopt the proper technique).

•   Always check with your GP and PD before consuming any traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).



•   Don’t allow your nanny to sleep with your baby.

•   Avoid using a Velcro swaddle – you could risk suffocating your baby.

•   Avoid using the ‘crying it out’ (CIO) method for more than 3 minutes.

•   Never use DIY home treatments for your baby’s rashes.


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