Things to consider before hiring a confinement nanny
A confinement nanny is someone who will help a new mother with the care of her baby in order to ease her transition process from a pregnant woman to a new mother. Here's what to consider before you hire one.
I didn't hire a confinement nanny when I had my son. I was blessed that my Mum happily took on the job because it was her first grandson. She helped me look after my son while cooking delicious meals and handled the washing.
I had time to rest and recover from my birthing wounds while she had ample quality time with her grandson before returning to Malaysia. Mum stayed with us for over a month.
Would I do the same self sacrificing act when it's my son's turn to be a father?
Unfortunately, my cooking skills are a far cry from my Mum's and I really don't like hand-washing countless layers of nappy cloth! I think I would happily hire a confinement nanny for him and his wife. Alternatively, I'll source around for good tingkat services for delivery of confinement food.
Role of a confinement nanny
To me, a confinement nanny is someone who will help the new mother with the care of her baby in order to ease her transition process from a carefree childless woman to a mother of a bundle of joy and often, frustratingly enough, unstoppable tears!
Apart from this primary duty, the confinement nanny would be expected to cook nutritious confinement dishes to revive the health of the new mother as well as tend to some household chores related to the care of the baby such as washing the baby's clothes and milk bottles.
Therefore, before you begin your search for your confinement nanny, ask this searching question and answer it honestly:
"Do I really need a confinement nanny?"
If your mother, mother in law, god mother or any other close relatives are willing to help you out during the first few months of your child's birth, then there really isn't a need to hire a confinement nanny. More so, if you currently have a domestic helper who can assist with the cooking and cleaning.
It's easy to find tasty confinement food recipes on the internet although I am confident that your mother / mother in law has a few secret confinement recipes in their family cookbook as well.
However, if your mother/mother in law is unable to assist you due to health or work reasons and you do not have anyone else you can turn to, do seek the assistance of your friends who had previously hired confinement nannies for recommendations on good nannies.
This is a better approach versus going to an agency direct as your friends would have had first-hand experience of having the particular nanny work for them and they can fill you in on her efficiencies, manners and even quirks. That way, you will be well informed of your potential confinement nanny.
If your friends have never hired any confinement nannies before, all is not lost. You can join motherhood/parenting forums online (we have one right here!) and post a query on "Wanted: Confinement Nanny". Many mothers have journeyed on this road that you are traveling on and would only be too happy to share their experiences.
Professional confinement agencies
If posting on such forums yield no positive results, you can look around for professional confinement nanny agencies such as the following
Charges range from between $2,400 - $4,500 for a confinement nanny, depending on experience and when you need their services. Prices surge during the end of year holidays and Chinese New Year Period. The nanny is also given an additional $500-$1,000 for buying marketing.
Once you have decided which agency to engage, do request for testimonials and references by other mothers who have hired the particular confinement nanny who has been offered by the agency to you.
You can also request to meet the confinement nanny in person, preferrably at her home and interview her. It's good to see her in an environment where she is comfortable in so that you can pick out snippets of her true character.
You can discuss the exact scope of work to be undertaken by the confinement nanny in order to avoid misunderstanding in the future.
Please check with the agency for the exact terms and conditions of your engagement of the confinement nanny. Will the agency give you a replacement confinement nanny if things don't work out? Are there any cancellation or hidden fees?
The key thing to achieve is that both you and your confinement nanny know what is expected of each other.
As long as you have a realistic expectation that your confinement nanny is not your domestic helper as in she certainly has the right to refuse your request to water the plants in your garden and she is clear of her scope of work (or your preference to a particular style of cooking), it will be much easier for you to resolve any conflicts if and when they arise.
Finding a suitable confinement nanny takes patience, time and research. So, start early, be realistic and be flexible. I wish you the best of luck!