Most expecting parents’ biggest mistake is underestimating how tough parenting a newborn can be. If you and your partner are expecting, chances are you are about to make that same mistake too. You may think all your baby will do is sleep, eat, poop, repeat – oh how heavenly would parenting be if those are the only things you deal with, wouldn’t it? Before experience (a.k.a the best teacher) shows you otherwise, we will let you know that the first few weeks or months after having a baby will most likely not be a breeze and you probably will not find yourself sleeping in a bed of roses while glancing over the crib at your peacefully sleeping child.
The first month after having your baby is crucial for both their growth and your recovery. You need to ensure your baby is getting enough milk and sleep, burping, and going number two for a healthy amount of times. Babies spend around two to three hours per day to cry – not at once. On top of all that, you are still healing from the delivery.
At this time, many parents find themselves unable to spend time for anything else other than the newborn. Even having the baby sleep for more than an hour is a blessing, and you yourself getting to sleep for more than 4 hours is a luxury. Of course, it is not all that bad. One glimpse of your child’s pure face will take the load off of any loving parent.
Taking care of a newborn requires absolute selflessness, but you do not have to be in it alone. You have various options out there that can be of help. If your family member or friends are not a viable option, opt for a confinement nanny. They know better, and they have been around a lot of babies with various types of behaviours.
A confinement nanny’s task is generally similar across all types, revolving around the mother’s confinement care, newborn care, and completion of basic household chores. Not only your CL will help you recover, but having them around also allows you to recuperate smoothly and get a relaxing rest while knowing that other important matters are left in good hands.
We have compiled several types of confinement nanny services for you to go through! Keep in mind that these nannies’ services are all for newly-born infants and mothers during the confinement period only. Hence, other types of nannies or babysitters that work solely with infants and take care of older babies are excluded from this list.
Full-time / All-Day / Live-in (Agency)
This is the number one option that most parents would pick, be it first-time or experienced ones. With a full-time nanny, you will have 24 hours guidance and supervision in your house. You can learn new knowledge and skills firsthand from watching how the confinement nanny takes care of your baby.
The biggest advantage of having a full-time, live-in confinement nanny is that she can tend to your crying baby at all times, especially at nights, allowing you and your partner to have ample sleep and rest. If your partner has to sleep all night to be able to work properly the next day, then opting for a live-in nanny is certainly the right thing to do. If you can pump enough breast milk for your little one, you can simply leave everything to your CL as well! This, in turn, allows you to get enough sleep and rest to heal smoothly throughout your postpartum recovery journey.
The job scope of a full-time confinement nanny revolves around the postpartum mom and newborn, with the least priority put on house chores. Undoubtedly, the longer they are in your place, the more they would be doing. Agencies normally provide a clear task arrangement for their confinement nannies in which they are required to perform household duties, usually twice a week.
Having a live-in nanny does not mean they are working 24 hours. You still have to ensure that they are given rest and privacy from time to time. When everything is properly settled, she should also be allowed to take a break. For many people, having to adjust to living together and adapt can be tough so you have to consider your own comfortability as well.
Part-time / Daytime / Live-out (Agency)
The only difference between this type and the former is that a daytime nanny will not live with you throughout their service. They will have their own working hours, normally begins in the morning and ends around early evening – quite similar to that of office hours. Regardless, this will still give them enough time to prepare at least two confinement meals for the mom, complete basic household chores, and tends to your baby.
One particular advantage about getting a daytime, live-out confinement nanny (often referred to as part-time) is that you get to have more privacy in the evening. This, of course, comes at a price. It may cost a good few hours of your sleep as you will have to wake up at least once or twice throughout the night to feed your newborn. However, since you are able to get ample rest in the morning with their presence around, this would not be too physically-taxing to do.
As obvious as it is, it is worth taking into consideration that you will not have a confinement nanny to tend to your baby at night, so plan beforehand with your partner about how to manage the nighttime feedings. You can strategize to take turns waking up to tend to your newborn. You should not be expected to keep waking up every night as you also need to restore your energy by getting sufficient rest.
As your CL does not have to live together under your roof, you do not have to prepare an extra room for them. Does that mean they will cost lower? Not necessarily. If your CL is not a local citizen or does not live nearby, she may have to rent a nearby place and the rate would then increase.
Talk to the CN or their agency regarding how much it would cost if you want them to live outside to set things clear. Despite having similar job scope in comparison to the full-time one, a part-time CL is most likely not going to complete as many house chores on a daily basis due to the restricted amount of time they spend at your place.
Many parents get a freelance confinement nanny based on other people’s recommendations. This is very common as reviews are always useful, especially if they come from people you already know or are close with.
However, the biggest problem parents often face when hiring a freelance confinement nanny is that they may not get to hire them at all in the first place! It highly depends on their availability and if they are a good one, there is a high chance that the CL may not be available when you book them at the last minute. To really secure the available ones, you need to start booking their service earlier than you think you should.
Apart from that, the job scope is pretty similar in comparison to the previous two, depending on whether she lives in or out. You may need to consult them personally to ask about their willingness to complete basic household duties as not all of them would include it in their proposed job guidelines.
A freelance CL may negotiate their duties when you want to negotiate the cost. You may think you can reduce the price by hiring a freelance confinement lady, but as described before, your plan could take a turn somewhere along the way. As freelance nannies are not attached to any agency, they have the freedom and right to pick their own employers.
In terms of service extension, you might not be able to extend service as they normally have other clients to serve right after your confinement period ends. A freelance nanny’s task may not be as crystal clear since there are no official guidelines that you can refer to. They may not be willing to do certain household chores like doing the laundry and cleaning the floor.
On the upside, you may be able to negotiate their rate! Even if you manage to reach an agreement during initial discussion, the CL may still back out at the last minute because there can be others who offer a higher price. As a result, you may have to bid an even higher price to get that CL again. Not to mention, if the confinement nanny is not a local citizen, you may have to settle the matters regarding their work permit first.
Temporary (Agency / Freelance)
Another famous option among first-time parents is the temporary confinement lady. Understandably, many couples are uncertain and become a bit wary when it comes to letting a stranger stays inside their house during the critical confinement period. Thus, even if they could afford one and can provide the accommodation for a confinement nanny, they still decide to not get one.
Be noted that a temporary CL would most likely have their schedule set up beforehand. They would go to work at your place according to the set time and after the scheduled time period ends, they may have to leave to the next employer, regardless of whether you wish to extend their service or not.
Regarding their availability, they may not be available when booked at the last minute, such as right after you have delivered. Of course, you cannot expect them to be available when you ask for them on the spot, basically wanting them to commence service right away on the very next day after reaching out to them.
Unlike the others on this list, a temporary confinement nanny is normally hired on ad hoc basis for a much shorter period of time, for several days or weeks. It is a good choice to reduce cost, but a risky one as well as you will only encounter the difficulty of parenting and the convenience of having a CL once you have delivered – by that time, it may be hard to turn your temporary nanny into a full-time one as they may be providing services for several mothers at a time.
For a temporary worker, there will be no commitment attached to serving your family and that may not be an entirely good thing for you. This is because a confinement nanny is supposed to take note of how your baby has been growing and be able to report it to you. Hence, for spending a short period of time living in your house, they could not get to know your baby well and understand their behaviour deeply. Likewise, a temporary confinement nanny can be freelance or from an agency.
Which one should you go for?
Unfortunately, just like most things, there is no one right option for everyone so we cannot answer this question for you. We can, however, help you find which one will suit you the most! In deciding which one you should go for, thoroughly weigh your options and see which one will benefit you more by comparing each type’s pros and cons, mainly in helping to reduce your cost and workload.
Decide on a temporary confinement nanny if you already have someone or people in the house who you can rely on. Depending on your lifestyle, some CNs may not be the right fit to live with you. It is normal for certain CN from the older generations to try to impose their traditional confinement beliefs on you, like how your mom or grandmother probably would as well. If you are easily thrown off by such suggestions, hiring a temporary or live-out confinement lady may be a better options for you to avoid undue stress.
On the other hand, there may be placement concern in which your house does not have an extra room to place another person. Under such circumstances, it is better to opt for a live-out nanny for the wellbeing of everyone in the house. If you already have another person who can lend you a helping hand around the house, you can consider having a temporary nanny to come in every now and then when there is too much to settle. For flexibility in all aspects, you can consider a freelance confinement lady. You can set their service period, arrange their task, and if you are lucky, negotiate their rate!
Comparing all in this list, a live-in confinement nanny will give you the most benefits by constantly being there for your newborn. Hopefully, we have helped make it clearer for everyone by listing these nanny services Singapore parents can refer to! Whichever you go for, remember that all of them are responsible for a crucial period in your baby’s growth!
Differences Between Confinement Nanny Services
|Live-in/Full-time/(Agency)||Day-time/ Live-out/Part-time(Agency)||Freelance||Temporary(Live-in / Live-out)|
|Service time period||One month (throughout the confinement period)||One month (throughout the confinement period)||Upon agreement||Upon agreement|
|Working hours||All-day||Limited hours||Depending on whether they live in/live out||Not fixed|
(May increase if the CL has to rent a nearby place)
|Negotiable||According to days/hours|
|Accommodation||Compulsory to prepare one private room||No extra room required||Depends whether the CL lives in or out||Depends whether the CL lives in or out|
|Availability||Guaranteed||Guaranteed||Not guaranteed||Not guaranteed|
(Note: This table only highlights aspects where there are clear distinctions worth noting)