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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Should I get a confinement nanny? PROS & CONS!

One of the most frequently asked question is... should I get a confinement nanny? What's their responsibility ah? Wah, very expensive leh. Must get one ah?

I know, I know, I've been through twice already. So let laojiao enlighten you regarding your burning questions.

First things first.
What is a confinement nanny? 
A confinement nanny is someone who helps the new mother and the newborn, usually for the first 28 days starting from the day of discharge. This allows mummy to recharge and recuperate after performing the most noble job of mankind - childbirth. 

What's her responsibility?
Her role mainly revolves around the following:
- Take care of mummy, prep herbal bath, etc.
- Take care of newborn, bathing, feeding, etc. (even at night)
- Cook confinement meals for mummy (usually they will cook for hubby at no additional charge)
- Basic household chores (laundry for mummy and newborn, sweeping, mopping floor)
- Breastfeeding advices (most, if not all, do not provide any form of breast massage, or massage of any kind)

As confinement nannies differ from agency to agency, private or agency, it is recommended to understand the exact job-scope before hiring one. Mummy will be extremely tired during the confinement month. Coupled with a possibility of post-natal depression, it is best to get everything sorted beforehand in case of a fallout.

Here are some things you might want to clarify:
- Previous experience, how many years? How many babies has she cared for?
- Is she cooking the confinement meals? How many times per day? Does she mind cooking for another pax? (On some days, we requested her to cook for our elder daughter too.)
- Is she getting the groceries?
- Where is she sleeping? Any requirements?
- Miscellaneous fees and cancellation charges.

What's their price?
Probably one of the more important questions. We had experience with full-time nannies from both private and agency. Private costed us around $2800 (year 2018), while agency was around $3800 (year 2022). Usually, the agency will provide various packages, such as postnatal massage, herbs, photoshoot add-ons. Please note that the pricing excludes all forms of levy ($60 as of 2022) and work permit application (~$35 as of 2022). 

As per their customs, you must give an angbao when they arrive AND when they leave on their last day. Rates vary from $100-500 per angbao, depending on their performance. 

On top of these, you are responsible for their three meals too.

Private/Independent vs Agency
It really depends on your heng suay (luck). We thank God that both of our nannies are pretty good, except for some minor issues which we rectified as soon as possible. This period is extremely sensitive especially to mummies, I highly recommend to communicate expectations beforehand and to handle conflicts in time. After all, this nanny is here for 28 days.

- Private/Independent nannies
Usually "highly recommended" by someone you know.

✅ Usually more flexible
✅ Usually (much) cheaper than private nannies
✅ You get what is recommended by your friend/relative
❌ No insurance covered
❌ No way to verify exact experience
❌ No agency to handle dispute (if any)

- Agency nannies
Probably googled "best confinement nanny agency". There are several well-known agencies, do check their reviews.

✅ Agencies will ensure proper and adequate training and experience. In short, anything regarding the nanny, please look for them.
✅ Usually covered by insurance
✅ Agencies will do the sourcing and assign you based on availability (you could add money to request for specific nannies)
✅ Agencies usually offer one time complimentary replacement of nanny.
❌ Way more expensive
❌ Might have rules to ensure nanny's welfare, such as "undisturbed rest for 2 hours during the day", "minimum mattress thickness", etc. (I understand where they are coming from though.)

To summarise, here are the pros and cons of having a confinement nanny

✅ Someone to take care of mummy and newborn. Anything don't know? Ask the nanny.
✅ Delicious meals (hubbies get ready to be fatfed).
❌ Could be expensive for most people (can buy one LV bag).
❌ Could be a bit of a gamble of who you get.
❌ You have a stranger living in your house, you better pray it's a good stranger.

So, the ultimate question..

Should I get a confinement nanny?
Quick and obvious answer - up to you. But here are some considerations:

- Do you have the finances to get a confinement nanny?
- Who is going to take care of the newborn? Do you have help from your parents, in-laws, relatives, helper, or any trusted person to see the needs of a newborn?
- Confinement meals are important, who is going to cook it? Or are you going to get confinement meals ReLacto, Tianwei, TMC, etc.)

Ok, if you ask me.
Get one if you have the financial capability AND if you do not have any help. Confinement nanny is a great investment to support this transition, reduce your stress and to relief your parental duties for 28 days.

When should I hire one?
If you are interested to hire a confinement nanny, it is best to source for one AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (possibly once you hit second trimester). Availability might be tight in certain periods of the year, so it is highly recommended to reserve your slot fast. The last thing you want is no one to assist you during a difficult period.

I hope this post has helped you in making a more informed decision in hiring a confinement nanny or not.