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Hiring A Nanny: Questions to Ask the Confinement Agencies

Having an experienced and trusted adult who knows how to take care of your newborn, and your post-natal care makes a positive difference for many mums and dads. That is the reason why many families in Singapore hire a confinement nanny to help so mama get the rest she needs.

If you are currently pregnant and are planning to engage a confinement nanny, my advice to you: book her as soon as possible! Hiring a confinement nanny is often done during the first trimester because the truth is – good nannies are often booked back-to-back, and if you have a specific nanny who is with a confinement agency, it’s also a first-come-first-served basis!

If you are hiring one for the first time, do you know what questions to ask?

Congratulations on your bundle of joy! The new adventure begins with your newborn and the confinement period for you to rest while learning the ropes of caring for your baby.

Freelance nanny or confinement agency?

First things first, where will you get your nanny from?

In Singapore, we can hire freelance confinement nannies directly, and they are often recommended by friends through word-of-mouth. This also means we can interview different candidates either through a phone call or meet up if she’s already in Singapore. Most of them are Malaysians and would require some paperwork before hiring. The cons of not going through a third party – should you decide to terminate her services, it would be tougher to get a replacement within short notice.

On the other hand, to support post-partum mums in their recovery amidst the additional waiting time due to COVID-19, confinement agencies in Singapore are another option. While we are unable to interview the prospective lady assigned, we can let the agency know of any specific requirements or concerns so they can assign the best fit for your family.

How much does it cost to hire a confinement lady in Singapore?

Next, cost is another factor to discuss with your spouse just like whether to send your older child to preschool or to enrol your soon-to-be-born baby in infant care when your maternity leave ends. Unlike infant care or childcare where there are subsidies, hiring a nanny looks set to start from SGD$3,000 for a 28-day work and other costs like herbs and fresh food to add-on. After checking in with 5 confinement agencies in Singapore, I’m sharing my research so parents have an idea on the budget to plan for, and what their services include. Traditionally, red packets (ang baos) are given to nannies before they start and on their last day as a blessing or good luck.

These days, confinement agency packages are pretty competitive too with all the additional freebies thrown in. Some include special discounted rates for prenatal and postnatal massage too. Note that additional fees apply for caring of twins and during the Chinese New Year period.

Confinement agency nanny rates start from $3,100 onwards with other additional costs for mummies and daddies to plan their budget. Information obtained and accurate as of March 2021.

What are some questions to ask the confinement agency about your nanny?

Understanding the job scope:

  • Will she be willing to take care of my newborn at night?
  • Does she need any afternoon naps? If yes, how many times and for how long?
  • Can she sleep with me or another of my family member who is a female, or does she need to have her own room?
  • What are some of her specialty confinement dishes?
  • How many meals a day will she be preparing during my confinement?
  • How flexible is she to allow me to have non-confinement food during this period?
  • Will she be eating the same food as me, or would she be alright if we get other ingredients for her to cook her meals? Do we have to provide allowance for her to get her own food?
  • Is she willing to cook for my husband/other children? *This usually requires a top-up depending on the confinement agency.
  • Will she go to the market/supermarket on her own, or will she need my husband/another adult to go with her?
  • Will she be washing my baby’s and my clothes?
The first month with your baby is a chapter of learning baby’s cues and getting into the new routine of your new role is mum. Having an experienced and good confinement nanny can be a great help.

Experience, knowledge and setting expectations:

  • How supportive will she be with breastfeeding, or will she push for formula milk only?
  • Has she gone for any lactation courses at the hospital?
  • Is she very strict about following confinement beliefs or imposing her views on you? (Some mums like myself prefer not to follow them totally.)
  • Does she know how to tell if baby has colic?
  • How many babies has she cared for?
  • My mother/mother-in-law will be around to help us during this period. How comfortable is she with having another family member at home?
  • How are her review ratings like?

If mummies prefer a pro-breastfeeding nanny or someone who is more relaxed about following confinement rules to a T, these are some points that should be mentioned to the agency’s consultants so they can shortlist someone who meets your needs. Some nannies are “modern” and knowledgeable and that is very helpful when mummies need help with breastfeeding or caring for their newborn, instead of relying on old wives’ wales. The right support can make a big difference to a new mum’s mental health especially during this hormonal period after birth.

Are you looking for a good confinement nanny or have anyone to recommend? Do share in the comment box below so other mummies can benefit too! Post-partum mums should rest well, eat well and recuperate to allow her body, mind and emotions to regulate especially with a big change in their lives. I hope you enjoy my sharing and do hop over here to read more mummy’s tips, fun family activity ideas and more!

*Information obtained and accurate as of March 2021. Do check with the respective confinement agencies for their latest quotations and service agreement terms.

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