Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Like Tree2Likes

Helper and the baby

  1. #1
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    534

    Helper and the baby

    Our helper is pretty good with our 7 week old. She's genuinely loving and patient, and good at getting her to nap.

    But she's also overly anxious and rushes over every time the baby whimpers. Every time I turn around, she's swaddling and rocking the baby to sleep during the day, even when the baby doesn't seem tired.

    Usually, mom and baby have some alone time in the mornings before the helper arrives. (Helper is not live-in). From 7-9 am, we have a feed and then play time. Today, we got a late start! :) So we were only starting playtime at 9:30, when the helper arrived.

    Usually, I leave the baby on the playmat to kick and stretch and play while I make and eat breakfast. It's totally safe -- we have an open living room / kitchen and I keep an eye on her.

    This morning, my helper rushed over and fussed with the baby the whole time. When I told her to leave the baby alone she complained "When she's left alone she cries!" But this isn't true. She wasn't crying at all. Fed, burped and cuddled, and left with toys and music, my baby can amuse herself. She does so every morning when I'm alone with her.

    Then, when I took a quick shower, the helper had already bundled the baby up in a swaddle to sleep again! (No wonder the baby was crying. She was wide-eyed and awake. She wasn't even tired).

    Why is my helper so anxious? Is there some cultural difference that makes them coddle babies all the time? I've explained and demonstrated playtime and tummy time -- and that the baby has to learn to be alone for short periods -- but it doesn't seem to sink in.

    I know babies this age can't really "play" and do need plenty of daytime naps. I'm also not of the "cry it out" camp. If my baby cries, I pick her up.

    But my baby is no longer a newborn who ONLY eats and sleeps. I'm worried that constantly being bound up and rocked is bad for her.

    This is not a big issue. Like I said, the helper is generally good. I'm exhausted from breastfeeding every 3 hours around the clock, and it's great to have a second pair of hands -- and she's a godsend that way.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    elle is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    hk south side
    Posts
    386
    If she really isn't following your verbal instructions, consider exactly what you want from her, put it in writing and make it clear that these matters are important to you and your family and are non-negotiable. Explan to her that although her way of doing things with baby may work, it is your baby and your family and you need her to adapt to your way of doing things if she is to work in your home. This is not unreasonable. When I'm at work I do things my bosses way if he expresses a preference. If she does not understand or has questions, make sure she knows she can ask. But be clear that it must be done as you have instructed. You are not micromanaging it doesn't seem - rather there are some broad concepts that you want her to adhere to (observe basic hygene principals, don't over coddle the baby), which seem completely reasonable.

  3. #3
    charade is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    TKO
    Posts
    674
    I don't know if it's cultural or something they are used to doing in their previous job. My helper is also Filipino but not prone to what you describe. However, she is prone to rushing in to help sometimes when I don't want help. Like a recent thing with my helper - if I'm around and it's time for my baby's feed, I'd like to feed him as it's a peaceful time and I enjoy it. When I say I'll feed him, my helper will say: "Ma'am maybe you want to change" or "Maybe you want to eat first." Not sure what she's thinking - maybe genuinely trying to be helpful, maybe she wants to sit down herself (which she is free to do anyway; I have no objection to her sitting around doing nothing) - but I just respond with a firm: "No I'll feed him" and that usually works. Though I've had to repeat this routine about 10 times for her to have kind of get that when I say I want to feed him, I want to feed him.

    Your helper seems a little more aggressive with her 'help' than mine. I think it comes from a good place, but maybe try using a firmer or sharper tone (even if it sounds rude). And if this doesn't work after a few times, maybe sit down with her for a conversation about her work, start of with what you like about her work and then mention this. I think she will get that this is something that is really annoying you and desist.

  4. #4
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    534
    Hi Charade -- Yes, there is that "rush to help." Well put!

    I've been patient because I think her intention is good, like you say.

    In the beginning, she would even charge into our bedroom when the door was closed, every time the baby whimpered. One time I was half-naked! I had to remind her that the baby was absolutely fine, and that we needed privacy.

    I'm new to breastfeeding and still quite shy about it. I do it in the living room, where it's most comfortable. My helper makes me nervous by watching me, giving "helpful tips", pushing a cushion behind me, putting a shawl over me. Again, I think it's well meant, but her fussiness is strange to me.

    But I know her last employers -- a rich couple with a mainland wife and what sounds like a very spoiled child -- expected her to wait on them hand and foot, so maybe she just needs time to adjust to a more independent minded employer.

    I'm feeding on demand. So I told my helper that if the baby is showing signs of hunger -- hands in her mouth, crying alot -- and I happen to be napping or eating, to knock on the door gently and let me know. But she won't do this, I think because she thinks she's bothering me.

    Anyway, these are not big complaints. She means well, and it will take time for us to find a balance.

    But I will take your advice and try to be clear and firm in my instructions!

  5. #5
    charade is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    TKO
    Posts
    674
    Seems like she is over-trying to please her employer, probably a habit from her last job. For the breastfeeding, since you've not brought it up before with her, I'd wait until that feeding session is over and then in a friendly voice say something like: "You know I know you're trying to help but I feel very self-conscious when breastfeeding, so next time, prefer if you leave me alone during that time." I was the opposite of you - shamelessly walking around without buttoning up because I was so zapped those first few months, but I would still not like someone coming and putting a cushion or whatever, unless requested.

    If she still persists after a few times you need to be sharper... for the other stuff, since you've told her more than a few times, you need to use a firmer tone.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    while her "helpfulness" is well-intentioned, YOU MUST put a stop to behaviour you are not happy with now. if she is not following your instructions now, how will you ever be able to leave your child with her, knowing she doesn't do as you ask?

    i am usually in the helper's corner, but on this point, i am firmly in the "you are the employer, you must act like it" corner. now, please do not be uspet, i'm not meaning that in a bad way, but you must remember that you are the boss. she does what you tell her to....at least that is how it should be. you NEED that for future peace of mind.

    it sounds to me that she IS trying to be helpful, which is nice, but it is NOT what you want. you should not be uncomfortable in your own home! i think you need to be more straight forward with her and jsut say, ' i don't know what it was like in your last home, but this is how i want things in MY home: " and then tell her straight out. tell her that while you appreciate her kind thoughts, it's starting to infringe on your place. you NEED to know that she will follow your instructions when left alone with the baby.

    my former helper had a difficult time adjusting from a baby who sleeps all day to one who needs more stimulation. so, i just explained it to her... baby needs more stimulation, should not sleep all day etc. if i found that she was not following my instructions, i stopped her then and there and nicely explained again etc.

    my current helper took a little while to settle in with my two kids. she is still too easy on them, but is getting better. i thought we may have to terminate her (although she is really very good at everything else)... however, i've decided two things (1) my kids are getting older now, so shouldn't have to rely on her too much and (2) they are in full-day school, so again, don't have to rely on her too much..... BUT if my kids were still in 1/2 day school, i would probably have to terminate, simply because she has a very difficult time with disciplining the children and lets them walk all over her, with which i strongly disagree.

    anyway, you need to decide for yourself what you are willing to live with and what you are not. good luck! it's very difficult when you know it is all well-intentioned...
    rooj likes this.

  7. #7
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    534
    It seems like it's getting worse.
    From 4 weeks on, I had baby on a decent sleeping schedule. She fed at 11 pm / midnight. Then at 3 / 4 am. Then woke up around 7 am. In between she fell asleep quickly. This is different to daytime, when she feeds every 2-3 hours and is more awake and cries more.
    The last two nights, this has fell apart. She's crying to be fed every 2-3 hours through the night, just like during the day. I worked so hard to get her to understand day / night, and don't want it to fall apart.

    I talked to the helper about adding more playtime during the day, and not having her swaddled in a dark room during the day. Also not rocking her to sleep all the time, unless she seems tired. I said "She's not a newborn anymore and older babies need a little less sleep."

    And she said "No."

    She didn't argue. She just stared at me and said "No." I know she has many weird ideas about motherhood -- which she is allowed to have -- but this was defiance.

    I repeated (nicely, not yelling) that we must keep the baby more awake during the day for her to sleep better at night. And she said "No. The baby will cry."

    Newbie sent me a really nice PM explaining that for many Filipinas, a crying baby is a sign of failure on their part, which is why they rush over to shush them to sleep all the time. Also that in Filipino villages, there are networks of female relatives and babies are carried and fussed over all the time, and not left alone to play or sleep.

    I appreciate that cultural difference, but I'm still struggling here to make my decision heard. Am I being too nice to my helper? MAybe I'm too friendly and she doesn't really get that boss / employee thing?

  8. #8
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    534
    I'd like to add that we had this conversation while I was eating breakfast and she was in the open kitchen.

    And she continued to do the dishes while I was talking and didn't make eye contact. Honestly, there is minmum housework to be done here, so she's not overloaded with work -- there were just 2 bottles and a plate, I think. The point is that the dishes could obviously wait. She's not the most talkative or social person, which is fine.

    Do you think this is bad attitude I'm getting? Is this sulking? Or maybe she just didn't get how important the conversation was?

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Help! Baby is too attached to helper
    By premama in forum Baby Talk
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 07-06-2014, 07:31 PM
  2. second baby, second helper?
    By welshdad in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 03-22-2010, 11:32 AM
  3. Helper and baby
    By premama in forum Baby Talk
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-17-2007, 11:17 AM
  4. Baby first aid course for helper
    By berrymerry in forum Baby Talk
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-12-2007, 05:35 PM
  5. helper and baby
    By PreggerC in forum Baby Talk
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-15-2006, 07:43 PM
Scroll to top