1. No selection if you hire confinement nanny from agency
First, if you hire confinement nanny through agency, it is very unlikely that you have a chance to select. Because of uncertainty in the actual birth delivery date, the confinement agency will select available confinement nanny for you at the time when you actually need one.
If that is the case for you, you should state very clearly your requirement or job scope so that they can still select one that fit your requirement when more than one confinement nanny is available.
If you do not want to use confinement nanny, no worry, there are many freelance confinement nannies out in the market although some of them still take job from the agency.
If you hire them directly, they will be grateful to you as it helps them to save the agency fee.
Below we hope to give you some guides or tips on selecting a confinement nanny.
2. Language and communication
Local confinement nannies have become less and less. Most of the confinement nannies in the market are those from our neighboring country Malaysia. Confinement nannies of other nationalities are not allowed to work in Singapore as the Ministry of Manpower only issues work permit to Malaysian confinement nanny. Language and communication can become a problem as some of the confinement nannies from Malaysia speak only Chinese or Chinese dialect.
One of the most important requirement of confinement nanny is that she is able to communicate with you. This is because part of the confinement nanny’s job is to give you some tips or advice on what to do, what not to do, what to eat and what not to eat based on her experience and knowledge. If she is unable to communicate with you, her experience and knowledge cannot be of any help to you.
Hence, it is important for you to talk to the confinement nanny over the phone to learn her ability to communicate with you even the confinement nanny is recommended to you by your close friends or relatives.
3. What if you deliver later or earlier?
Unless you opt for C-section in which you can arrange with hospital and doctor for the birth delivery, it is impossible to tell the exact date when your baby wants to say hello to the world. It is very normal for the child to be delivered within two weeks before the due date or within two weeks after the due date.
It is important for you to know confinement nanny’s commitment before your due date, this is to make sure if you deliver earlier, the confinement nanny is still available to help you. It is also important for you and confinement nanny to agree on the arrangement if the delivery date is delayed.
4. Knowledge and Experience
Taking good care of new mother and newborn requires a lot of knowledge and experience. For example, the confinement nanny needs to know how to prevent colic, burping and spit up in baby.
Here we suggest you to ask the confinement nanny a few questions before you sign the deal.
Questions that you can ask:
1. What kind of food you will prepare for me during confinement?
2. How do you handle the umbilical cord?
3. How to prevent colic?
4. Are you able to advise me on breastfeeding?
5. How many children do you have?
5. Job scope
For some mothers, they like the confinement nannies to take good care of their babies at night. For some mothers, they prefer to have their newborns on their sides at night. This means that the job scope of confinement nannies will be different for different employers.
Before you search for any confinement nanny, you should define your job scope first and communicate with the confinement nanny to make sure she is able to fulfill all the duties.
6. Agreement on early dismissal
The confinement nanny may be recommended to you by a good friend and she is able to handle your baby, but you just cannot eat the food she has prepared for you or cannot tolerate her daily habit and want to terminate her service early. If you have made an agreement earlier on early dismissal, this can be done easily.
This agreement is important for another reason: if the confinement nanny falls sick like catches cold during your confinement period and is no longer fit for the job. You may want to dismiss her early to prevent the spread of virus to you and your baby.
Hence, it is important for you to discuss this before you engage the service.
7. Public holiday
If your estimated confinement period falls into some important festivals like Chinese New Year or close to it, you may need to discuss about the arrangement and the fee. This is because some confinement nannies do not want to work on some festivals like Chinese New Year, some will charge extra fee for public holiday.
8. Medical checkup
As the confinement nanny will be in close contact with new mother and newborn 24 hours a day for at least one month, it is important that confinement nanny does not have any long term illness or contagious illness.
You may want to check whether she did her medical checkup regularly and the outcome to make sure she is fit for the job.
9. Deposit and refund
Check whether the confinement nanny will need any deposit once you want to engage her service. You should discuss the refund policy if any party decides to end the work arrangement.
10. Daily habit
Taking good care of baby can be a energy-demanding job, that is why some confinement nannies may need to take a nap while baby is sleeping in the afternoon. It is important for you to know some habits of confinement nanny such as taking a nap in the afternoon, two apples a day and so on. Knowing all these will help the expecting mothers and fathers set proper expectation and avoid any dispute later on.
11. Age requirement
For Malaysian confinement nanny, you will need to apply a work permit for her. MOM requires the confinement nanny to be 23 to 70 years old at the time of application.
Hope the above can help you select a good confinement nanny.