Guide Health

Baby Bootcamp for Newborns: How to Take Care of a Baby

We all know that the first few weeks after childbirth are challenging. The physical changes, hormonal shifts and sleep deprivation can make it difficult to get through each day on your own. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a supportive partner or other family members helping you out during this time. But what about those of us who don’t have the luxury of a partner-in-crime? Or maybe you just want someone with more experience than yourself at home with an infant for a little extra help during the early days. 

When I was pregnant with my son, I knew exactly what kind of help I needed when he arrived: A zuo yue zi nanny. Confinement nannies are professional caregivers who come into the household to care for newborns while their parents take a break from work or school. They provide everything from feeding assistance to playtime guidance. Many confinees offer in-home childcare as well. These positions are usually filled by older women who have been raising children themselves. While these types of jobs used to be hard to find, they’ve become increasingly popular over the past decade as more families seek out help with their young ones. 

Confinement nannies aren’t cheap, but they can be one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your child’s life. Nannies can help you recover from labor pain, give you time to bond with your baby and give you some much-needed peace of mind as you navigate the transition to parenthood. As a new mother myself, I remember how much confidence I gained having a confinee at home with me. She helped me put my son to bed and she fed him every two hours so I could go back to work. When I returned to my job, I felt like I had a new lease on life because I wasn’t completely helpless without my caretaker there. I was able to focus on my son while she was caring for him. It gave me a chance to catch up on some work, which is always nice! So before you decide whether you need a confinee, here are seven reasons why you should consider hiring one: 

  1. You will gain confidence 

Having a confinee around to help you care for your new bundle of joy will boost your confidence. No matter how capable you think you are, you’re going to feel better knowing a professional has your back. Your confinee not only serves as a guide for you throughout the process, but also gives you some added assurance that you’re doing the right thing. 

  1. You will have more time to bond with your baby 

A confinee provides the perfect opportunity to spend quality time bonding with your baby. During her visit, your confinee may feed your son, change his diaper or bathe him. This gives you a chance to see firsthand how much she loves your child. 

  1. Your nanny will serve as an emotional support system 

Your confinee will be present for all your important moments, such as birthdays, holidays and graduations. Having someone around who knows you and your family will give you comfort and support in times of need. 

  1. It can relieve some of the stress of being a stay-at-home parent 

If you have a full-time job and a demanding schedule, it can be a challenge to juggle both responsibilities, especially if you’re also trying to adjust to life with a newborn. Having a confinee around to help you with some of the chores can allow you to enjoy more free time to relax and rejuvenate. 

  1. You might be surprised by how quickly you’ll get adjusted to being a parent 

It may seem obvious, but having someone else to care for your baby can make it easier to adjust to the daily routine. Once you learn how to do things like breastfeeding, changing diapers and burping, you won’t realize how much you actually have to learn. Having a confinee around to help you with these essential tasks makes it easier to feel confident about your parenting skills. 

  1. You will save money 

I never thought I’d say this, but it turns out that confinees cost less than babysitters. While confinees are expensive upfront, depending on where you live, you can expect to pay between $8 and $12 per hour. Babysitters often charge more than $20 per hour and you are responsible for gas, insurance, liability, etc. 

  1. You will be able to keep your sanity 

Being a new parent is tough. Between juggling work and family obligations, it can be overwhelming to handle everything alone. Having someone to help you out relieves some of that pressure. And if you feel overwhelmed, simply tell your confinee, “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.” If you’re having trouble getting anything done, she can help you organize your schedule or even just run errands for you. 

Once you hire a confinee, she will become part of your household and family unit. Your confinee will become a member of your circle of friends and family, and if you choose, she can even move into your home — provided you have room! In fact, many confinees prefer to stay with a client until their child reaches age 6 months (when their services end) so they can continue to grow as friends. Having a confinee in your home can also encourage others in your circle to reach out if they need support too. 

Of course, not everyone needs a confinee, and if you don’t need someone around to help you raise your child, then don’t hesitate to pass. There are plenty of wonderful babysitters out there, and most families have enough people to split up the duties among themselves.

James Norris’s editorial director. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from New York University and a BA in English Language and Literature from Rutgers.