Musings: Reflection on mistakes made since the arrival of Baby E

Just a short post on some of the things that I’ve regretted since the arrival of Baby E. While I’m unable to turn back time and undo these things, I hope this post can be of some help to new parents out there.

Regarding confinement 

  1. Not hiring a confinement lady: My initial thought was that there was no need for one since I intend to latch at night, but in the end my mum had to come and help out because the baby generates a lot of laundry and things need to be done in the day as well. I felt bad watching her do chores and stuff and couldn’t have a good rest because of the strong urge to help her out.
  2. Believing in confinement myths: I was forced to carry out confinement practices like no fan, bathe in super hot herb water, lots of ginger in food etc. My elbow and back ached like mad during confinement so I thought that there was some truth in it. But after 2 years, I’ve realised that whenever Baby E keeps us up all night, both the hubby and my bones will ache like mad. Hence it is the lack of sleep that causes it, and really not because I washed my hands during confinement etc.
  3. Engaging a caterer for confinement food: Food arrived really early and my mum had to heat it up for me to eat later on. All that effort spent heating up food etc led to me thinking that I can get nicer and better food by just engaging a confinement lady who can cook or even just let my mum do the cooking.

Regarding my stay at the hospital

  1. Not bringing nipple cream: I ended up having to purchase one from the hospital at an exorbitant price because I mistakenly thought it was only necessary later on at home.
  2. Not registering the birth at the hospital: It cost more to register the birth at the hospital so we thought we could just run to ICA to do it later on. We were so wrong. It was all hands on deck afterwards and nobody had the time to run to ICA. We ended up doing the registration at another hospital before my gynae visit and paying the same exorbitant price. The hubs also had to use his extensive smooth-talking skills to convince the hospital to let us do it.
  3. Not sleeping whenever i had the opportunity to: I was exhilarated at the birth of Baby E and couldn’t sleep. I laid awake gazing at her or chatting with visitors who came by and regretted it when I got home. I really should have slept.

Regarding buying equipment and items

  1. Rotating out items thinking that they’re unnecessary/not suitable: I’ve bought plastic bibs that I later carousell-ed out at low prices thinking that they’re not suitable for Baby E, only to buy them again when she’s older. I’ve given away washcloths because I overstocked on them but later on they became useful again and I had to buy some. I’ve bought some bottles (like pigeon) when trying to get Baby E to take to the bottle, only to realise that certain teats fit other bottles. I’ve since learnt to keep things for awhile.
  2. Buying unnecessary things: I bought a playpen against the advice of a friend, and ended up carousell-ing it for half the price 6 months later because Baby E refused to be trapped in there anymore and it was taking up way too much space. I’ve bought two nose cleaners before to vacuum out mucus but ended up not using them at all.

Regarding nursing

  1. Being too fixated on nursing: I was a fanatic and a supporter of total breastfeeding. I was so afraid of nipple confusion that I refused to let Baby E get fed by the bottle until 6 weeks of age and by then she started to refuse the bottle. I held on to nursing until 18months and it was only after I stopped that I realised that I should have stopped at 13-14months when supply was dwindling and work stress was killing me. Baby E slept for longer intervals on formula and things became more sane afterwards.
  2. Stocking up on too much nursing pads: As mentioned in an earlier post, I stocked up too much and really didn’t need them beyond 1 year.
  3. Nursing Baby E to sleep: I regret not having established a proper sleep routine that doesn’t require me nursing her to sleep. She currently takes me as a human pacifier and I haven’t had success stopping this habit even after switching to formula.

Regarding relationships

  1. Not giving the hubby the opportunity to be hands on: The biggest thing I regretted is criticising the hubby’s nappy wrapping skills/ baby dressing skills in the early days. That resulted in a ‘You are better at doing it’ syndrome. Hence my biggest advice to new mummies out there is always:

So long as the baby is not in danger, it doesn’t matter whether he/she is dressed strangely or have his/her diapers front to back. The husband needs encouragement to be hands on so just leave him to it. It will make your lives easier in future. 

That’s about it for now! Not too short a post it turns out…

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