#1. My nanny didn’t wash the bottles properly!
“I was in a lot of pain for two weeks after my emergency C-section. I thought I had found a gem of a confinement nanny, who was always so caring and cooked good food for me. I left the bottle washing to her (I pumped exclusively), since she said she would take care of everything. With her 20 plus years of experience, I trusted her. One day, I checked the milk bottles in the steriliser and found milk residue in all of the bottles! Worse still, there was accumulated black stuff inside the steriliser! We kept her on since there was only a week left, but I made sure to wash all the bottles and steriliser myself from then on.”
Kaylene Koh, mum to Jacob, 4 months.
#2. My nanny covered my baby with her germs!
“We engaged a confinement nanny through an online forum recommendation for my first child. She was a sweet Chinese lady in her 60s. However, having a newborn baby in my arms, I noticed that she was sniffling a lot from the moment she arrived. I asked her if she was ill and she said it was nothing, she had sinus, so she sniffled regularly. Then, on her fourth day at my home, when my baby was just over a week old, I caught her coughing badly while changing my baby’s diaper! Her hands were on the diaper and she wasn’t even covering her mouth! My husband and I gave her a huge lecture and decided to terminate her services.”
Yap Siow Qin, a mum of two.
#3. My nanny completely did not support breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding exclusively for at least six months was something I really wanted to do. I engaged my first nanny through an agency, telling them that I wanted someone who was pro-breastfeeding. I ended up with Aunty H, who joined us when my baby was 5 days old. Aunty H saw that my baby was crying, and told me straight up, ‘not enough milk, you must give formula’. I was upset, but I gently told her, no I will breastfeed. She paused a while, and said, ‘Then you must look after baby yourself at night. I won’t wake up to help feed breastfed babies’. I was completely bewildered and called the agency for a change immediately.”
Arya Dharmawan, mum to Joseph, 2.
#4. My nanny kept asking for money.
“A family friend recommended our nanny when Jamie was born. When I first contacted her, the agreed-upon price was $2,800 for 28 days. When she arrived here from Malaysia, she said that she had forgotten to say that this year was the Dragon year, so the price should be $3,200. We were annoyed, but decided that it was too last-minute to find another nanny, so we stuck with her. When she came to our place, she casually mentioned that by cooking confinement food for people other than myself ― she was referring to my husband ― we had to pay her another $400 for the 28 days. She even added, ‘I don’t mind washing his plates for him after that’. We were so disgusted with the way she kept adding on to the cost, we decided to do without a nanny (and survived!) and sent her back the next day with a $300 ang pow for doing basically nothing.”
Jasmin Chia, is mum to Eton, 2, and Jamie, 5.
#5. My nanny made me feel like prisoner in my own home.
“I understand that confinement means having to stay at home, but mine made my 30 days at home such a nightmare. She spoke loudly on her phone, burped and snored loudly. Even though she was really experienced and good with our baby, my husband and I felt uncomfortable around her, so we kept to ourselves, staying mainly in our bedroom. Even though she slept in our guest room, she soon took over our whole living room, because she said she wanted to watch TV. So, for 30 days, the TV was on, pretty much all the time. She also made a mess of our living room by leaving her personal belongings such as her towel and clothes hanging on our sofa. I don’t know how we tolerated it, but I was so relieved when my confinement was over.”
Ho Wei Ting, mum to Hannah, 2.
#6. My nanny seemed like she was on holiday.
“I engaged a confinement nanny when my first son was born. The first thing that struck me about her, was that her nails were long, manicured and painted. As a first-time mum, I was puzzled ― was she allowed to have that? Next, within 30 minutes of her stepping into my home, she had laid out an array of skincare products in my common bathroom counter. She cooked a quick dinner for us (which was average at best), and by 8pm, she had changed into her pyjamas and said she was going to bed. I don’t know if it was the hormones talking, but I had had enough by then. We sent her packing after less than 5 hours, and decided not to have any more confinement nannies for our subsequent kids!”
Michelle Tan, a mother of three.
Of course, there are also many fantastic confinement nannies who receive nothing but rave reviews, so follow this guide to find yours. You may also want to turn to a confinement nanny agency for help to locate a suitable one.