28.4.14

Confinement

On Saturday I got out of the apartment for the first time since coming home from the hospital 8 days before.  We tried to sneak out late yesterday evening (admittedly, it was 8:30pm. It's all relative now) for a walk around the neighbourhood, but it started to rain so we ended up turning around half way through.  I just don't know if I'm ready to get out yet.  There's so many new things to think about now.  Where will I change him?  It's not like every Malaysian bathroom is equipped with a changing station.  Where will I feed him?  How can I keep him cool?  Where do I even take or do with a newborn here?

Malaysians practice a 30 day confinement period, where women stay at home (or go to a confinement centre to be taken care of).  All the locals are asking us, who is helping you?  When I point to Reuben they get a confused look on their face and ask "Who will help you wash the baby?  Who will cook for you?" Perhaps we really are helpless, but I think we're managing alright so far.

I am trying to practice baby wearing as much as I can for when we do get out.  I carried Ellis out of the hospital in a ring sling (very awkwardly, I might add.  Ring slings are an acquired skill) and I have been using a mei tai wrap (which is super easy and comfortable and I love) at home.  Ellis seems to like both for 30min to an hour at the most and then starts fussing.  


Enter problem number one: Ellis does not like to be confined.  Swaddling does not work with him (even the best swaddle he can escape from...he's very strong), nor does he like to be snug in a carrier when he is awake.  He flails, arches his back, and throws his head around.  Problem number two: the heat.  It's hot enough as it is, much less being wrapped in fabric and held against me.  Give it 15 minutes and we're both hot, sweaty messes.  Even in our air conditioned apartment.

I don't see many people carrying their babies and now I know why.  Go to the mall, though, and it's cool enough that I'm sure it would be fine.   Otherwise I don't know how hot is too hot for him.  He's already gotten several prickly heat rashes.





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