I had a very bad experience in hiring this confinement nanny called Jenny Loo Lai Moi. I’m a first-time mother and first time engaging a confinement nanny. My original confinement nanny got into a minor incident the day before arriving at my house and injured her leg, so she was unable to come and “recommended” this nanny who is supposedly her friend. Hope my review helps so that people will be mentally prepared beforehand and make an informed decision.
Her rates were the same as the original nanny which was $3900, excluding transport fee of $35 and 开工红包 and 收工红包 and the work permit. These are pretty much the standard for this industry.
Starting with the bad stuff first. TLDR; she is basically the embodiment of a bad MIL.
Firstly, she has a rotten mouth. She would scold my husband and my mother as 蠢(idiot) and 傻(stupid) in Cantonese every day. Even though they told me that they did not take these to heart, honestly who would like to be scolded these a few times every day? In the first two weeks, she also questioned why I am still so fat when honestly, I only had a small bump like the start of my second trimester and would ask if I wanted her recommended masseur (which is probably just her trying to upsell and get some middleman fee). She also commented that my MIL had a lot of white hair even though she is younger than her. She also called us by 喂 most of the time instead of by our names. Also, she would comment on my baby such as 调皮(mischievous) when he just wants to drink more milk (which honestly her comments don’t make sense to me). For a couple of times, she would slap my shoulder and say 喂 loudly as well. She also commented on our own personal stuff. For example, my husband was playing a game and then she would loudly say 哇 这么大声 and when we were watching some show together and laughed together and she would comment 笑什么笑 (laugh what laugh). At the start of the month, I was also especially tired and had slept a lot. Whenever I just woke up and came out of the master bedroom, she would comment like 哇 这么多红枣茶还没喝 . Once, I had only been awake for less than an hour including eating breakfast and had just stepped out of the master bedroom 1 hour before lunchtime. Then she suddenly scolded me 为什么到现在还没喝这么多红枣水. Being very annoyed by her tone and legit do not understand why she would expect me to finish drinking liters of tea when I was barely awake the whole day, I had to scold her that I can take my time to drink the tea before she stopped scolding me every morning. Also, when I was talking to my mother and MIL about bathing, she scolded me saying 你最好不要跟我冲凉 in a demanding tone and I was just thinking even my mother and MIL allowed me to and who is she to stop me from keeping my own hygiene. When I did take my first bathe and I told my mother I was going to bathe, she overheard and commented 她说什么 她要去冲凉? Like seriously its none of her business. Once I noticed that she was using a later breast milk (5PM) instead of the breast milk at 2AM, so I asked her “Jenny how come we are using 5PM breast milk instead of the one at 2AM”. Then she said that that is 2PM milk and I was really confused and said that it says 2AM, not 2PM (also that it doesn’t make sense for 5PM to come before 2PM so I have no idea what the confusion is about). She walked over to the fridge and said “Oh your handwriting too ugly so I can’t tell its 2AM”. Then I asked her how she is expecting me to write and then said that "oh maybe leave a space before 2 and AM". I ended up using a label printer so she can’t talk back anymore. Also, after spending the month in the house, I wanted to go out for a short walk at the last week of confinement to see if my body recovered for some light exercise for a short while. When I came back, she started scolding “You dare to go out of the house?!” in Chinese.
Secondly, she orders people around. For most of the days, she would order me, my husband, my mother and MIL to buy things. Some things are still ok, since they might be used for cooking but some things really weird and make little sense. For example, she ordered my mother to buy 马油 for her, to which my mother asked her why she wanted her to buy that and what is the purpose of it and that she had never seen it before in NTUC. Then she responded saying that she is stupid and it is obviously for applying on the skin and that she should take a photo and go buy it for her. My mother was confused and asked if it was for the baby and she said it was for herself. I stepped into the conversation and asked her if she is getting my mother to buy stuff for herself which she promptly said yes. So I asked her why she is getting my mother to buy stuff for herself and she said that since my mother is so free so she might as well help her buy stuff. Even though she said that she would return her the money, but the point is why would anyone ask her employer to run errands for her? She apparently did a similar thing to my MIL for miso sauce from donki for her to buy back to Malaysia as well which my MIL decided to ignore her entirely. Sometimes my baby likes to lie down on the baby cot quietly and just look around his cot after we just played with him and put him back down instead of sleeping immediately, and she will command us 喂放点音乐啦 baby无聊. All the commanding also made us hide in our master bedroom as much as possible to avoid talking to her or bring our baby to the master bedroom to play instead of in the living room to avoid her.
Thirdly, she is so bad at cleaning and washing. Every night, when I stepped into the kitchen, I would find food stains and drips of red oil on the countertop, fridge, kitchen appliances, washing machine, etc and I had to clean them myself. My breast pumps were not cleaned properly, and I keep finding stains/marks on the valves (hopefully my baby bottles were ok). Towards the end of the month, I also found myself stepping onto tiny stones (which I will elaborate on later) around the kitchen and living room. The kitchen floor was perpetually oily and dirty as well and I found my feet black and oily throughout the month. After she left, I have been spending the past few days (at the time of writing) mopping the floors and rewashing all my stuff in the kitchen like plates and tupperwares and found that most are not washed properly. Oil stains aside, I had found yellow liquid flowing out of my tupperware, white stuff stuck onto the utensils and sticky brown stuff stuck onto my plates, etc. Most of these stains were also readily removed with either a damp cloth or the similar kind of sponge provided to her (since she decided by herself to throw our original one away and got my mother to purchase $10 sponge to use instead that does not have the usual green scrub on one side). Who knows what other stuff I would find after rewashing everything. My non-stick pans were also left with scratches and scars despite reminders not to scrub the non-stick pans. Not sure if they still work properly now.
Additionally, she is not good at taking care of my baby. Right from the first day, I had pointed out that she was not holding my baby properly as his head was dangling backwards and she responded saying that 我们会的啦 (we know what to do). On one occasion, she even applied 如意油 , a chinese ointment, on his asshole which made my baby started screaming at the top of his lungs and woke me and my heavy sleeper husband up. I was damn angry and scolded her for putting that ointment on his asshole as that is only for stomach area and not for genital areas and she claimed that she saw that the baby was having a hard time shitting and she wanted to help him. And I told her that the baby is not even constipated and had passed motions earlier that day as well and got her to wash the ointment off. Then my baby started shitting and she went to wash his buttocks. After that, my baby still took quite a bit of time before calming down while I hugged and coaxed him back to sleep. Later that day, she said sorry which I replied nonchalantly, and she had the face to still say that she did it to help the baby. Don’t understand why she is “apologising” when she is not even sincere about it. Till the time of writing, my baby is still having redness on that area applied. Also, she had the mindset that if the baby does not sleep, it means that he wants more milk and kept trying to feed my baby. When my baby refused to drink and just wanted some hugs, she would comment saying that he is very 坏蛋 (naughty) as if that milk is all that a baby need.
In addition, she is a busybody and pokes into our businesses. She would sit and monitor what we are doing at times, and we ended hiding in the master bedroom as much as possible. She also goes through our letters and parcels. I did not know of this at the start, but when I mentioned to my mother that I had been pumping one side at a time (as I have some condition so pumping one side at a time is easier for me) and she started questioning me why I do not use the hands-free set that I had bought earlier the month. Being very confused, I said I did not buy such a thing and she replied saying that she saw one of my parcels stating that it was for hands-free pumps. And this made me realised that she had been going through our parcels, etc. She also had the tendency to ask things like “your boobs should be able to produce more milk. Why are you producing so little?” and “how much milk you just pumped?” in Chinese.
Also, she broke a lot of my stuff. Initially she wanted our mop which we only had a steam mop, but it was too modern for her, so my mother took her mop that has a bottle attached to it to spray water out. Somehow, she broke the bottle and my MIL brought over her brand-new mop and pail. Later after she left, we found out that she broke the pail as well. Also, she wanted to use our vacuum cleaner, which is Dyson. Towards the end, she broke the Dyson as well and the repairman told us she applied too much force on the trigger button which broke it. Spent almost 300 to repair the Dyson. Back to the tiny stones, I later found out while rewashing my dishes that she chipped one of my porcelain plates from Table Matters and had not told us about it and all those tiny stones were fragments of the chipped portion. After all this, we still paid her the agreed sum of $3900 and did not deduct her pay.
To add on, she is very insistent on doing things her way. Diapers must be wrapped in her specific way, if not she will 喂 要这样子包 and hitting our arms, even when we were occupied with cleaning up the baby poop. She also insisted on washing our baby’s buttocks every poop with soap despite us repeating multiple times not to as the baby’s skin was drying up. She also rearranged most of the items in the kitchen. She also insisted on us bathing my baby in her specific way and that we all need to go through her training before we can bathe the baby. Our mothers ended up telling us that her way is too complicated (it required at least 4 pieces of cloths of different sizes and 2 pails) and to bathe our baby in another way. She also required us to take photos of the food she cooked before we could eat (we are not really people who take photos before eating a meal) so that we can do a photo collage for her review (not sure why she does not want to take the photos herself and do the collage her own instead of asking her employer to do so).
Most importantly, she did stuff behind our backs. Other than the Chinese ointment incident mentioned before, she also went to cut my baby nails without asking us beforehand. At the start of the month, when the topic of cutting baby nails was brought up, we discussed infront of her that we should use an electric nail cutter instead of the traditional one and she said ok. As I wanted to cut his nails myself, especially his first nails, we had bought an electric nail cutter and kept it aside to use later. When we questioned why she did not ask us before she cut, she said that since my MIL said that is ok to cut my baby nails, so she just cut his nails TWICE. Both times without asking us. So we questioned how she cut her nails (cause the electric nail cutter was obviously untouched), she still had the cheek to smile and said that she had used HER OWN NAIL CLIPPERS THAT SHE HAD BEEN USING FOR HER HANDS AND FEET. God knows what fungus or germs are on those clippers. When I checked my baby nails, all were cut slanted, and some parts were close to the nail bed. So glad that he did not bleed and hopefully no fungus or any infections. Additionally, my mother caught her using the BABY BOTTLE CLEANSER for CLEANING VEGETABLES. No wonder my baby bottle cleanser of 750ml was depleted at an alarming rate but just glad that our tummies are alright for now.
For a fair review, these are the good points as well.
Firstly, her cooking is good, and most were to our tastes as well. She cooks fast as well and can quickly whip up two dishes for every meal along with white rice and herbal soup for me. She is ok to cook the portions for my mother and husband as well.
Secondly, she did wake up at night and tend to my baby. Usually, my baby would wake up twice through the night (around 3AM and around 6AM). For some nights, my baby would wake up three times for feeding instead and for the whole day she would comment how naughty my baby was and kept waking her up.
Also, to give some credit, she did clean up my fridge and cabinets, etc before her last day, albeit it was done poorly. She would also run the washing machine and hang up the clothing even for my husband’s.
Also, some side notes:
She is probably an avid gambler. She kept boasting about how she won 4D for every job she did and bought few hundred dollars’ worth of 4D during her one month here (and did win first prize for one of the draws). She had also requested some time to go out to buy 4D as well.
She also loves to talk about her two sons and husband and that she is a very rich tai tai who does not have to work but decided to work as a nanny as she wanted to save up some money for her son to start his business. Also, she boasted several times that she did not take care of her two sons when they were infants as she had maids to do it instead.
She also talks badly about her previous employers, which should have been a red flag thinking back now. She always claimed that her past clients were not good at handling things and would not be able to handle things without her around.
All in all, this honestly affected my whole experience, and I did want to kick her out almost every day, but my husband persuaded me otherwise, which I still regret a lot for being persuaded. We had still paid her in full without any deducts and still gave the angbaos for starting and ending work and transport fees as well, but I don’t think I will ever hire a nanny or even a maid any more in the future. Now I am just glad that we are relatively unharmed in this whole ordeal.