For many working parents, hiring a babysitter should relieve some of the stress that comes with having to look after an infant.
However, for this Malaysian couple, employing one only made things worse.
Writing to a Facebook group on March 17, a woman known as Evelyn Tay aired her grievances with a babysitter after the latter allegedly broke her three-month-old’s right leg despite only taking care of him for just two weeks.
Tay started off the post warning all mothers looking for a nanny to “be careful”.
“This is my own personal experience,” Tay wrote in Chinese. “I thought about it for really long but have decided to share [my story] so that other children won’t be hurt too.”
The woman explained that she had taken to the same Facebook group a month earlier asking for a babysitter around Bukit Indah, a suburban neighbourhood near Johor Bahru.
Many people reached out to her privately, and together with her husband, they settled on one nanny after several rounds of interviews.
Baby wouldn’t stop crying
The unnamed babysitter started her job on Feb 15, and was updating Tay on the status of her newborn through photos and videos sent on WhatsApp.
But things started to take a turn for the worse just merely two weeks later.
“When I was fetching him home on the evening of Feb 27, I noticed that my son looked really tired,” she said.
Tay said her son went straight to sleep upon reaching home before waking up in the middle of the night. She changed his diapers and fed him milk, but her son just wouldn’t stop crying.
“It was only when we hugged him all night did he manage to sleep,” Tay explained.
Tay said that she and her husband didn’t find anything amiss at first, initially thinking that the son might just have been shocked at changes to his environment.
It was only in the morning after did they notice something when Tay’s husband was dressing their son up.
“Whenever we touched his right leg, he would retract it and start crying,” she added. “He didn’t like moving his right leg either.”
But they didn’t think much of the incident, she said, as they had to get to work and send their older child to school.
When the couple sent the baby to the nanny they had specifically told her to watch his right leg.
During the day, whenever Tay asked for updates about her son, the caregiver would reply that “everything was normal”.
“That evening, when we fetched him back, I noticed that my son’s right leg had become extremely swollen,” she said. “It was so swollen that his leg started to feel hot.”
The couple sent their kid to do an X-ray scan at the hospital, in which the doctor immediately asked them to make a police report, saying that it was “obvious that it (the injury) was caused by a human”.
The child was then referred to the orthopaedic department, and while waiting for his hospitalisation process, the couple returned to the nanny’s house to collect the son’s items – and to confront her as to what happened.
Shedding crocodile tears
“She became a completely different person when we visited her home, totally unlike the first day we met,” Tay recalled.
“She immediately acted out sequences like she was in a Taiwanese drama series, shedding crocodile tears and spouting a bunch of bulls***, acting like she had taken care of my child for a few years when it was just two weeks.”
When Tay’s husband interrogated the babysitter further, she revealed that she has a criminal record – and for a similar issue as well.
According to Tay, the nanny said that a parent had also reported the police on her previously, but she claimed that their child was only injured because of her stepchild from her husband’s previous marriage, victimising herself in the process.
“What’s even more ridiculous is that before we left, she even forced $50 on us…. this auntie (sic), my son got hospitalised and had to receive X-ray scans and bandage shots – those cost way more than that,” she vented in the post.
“Besides, he’s still young to see [if there will be any impeding medical conditions]; if by the time he grows up and more complications arise, how are you going to compensate that?”
“He’s only three months old… How can anyone do this to a baby? Besides, what did you even do to break his leg? You’re a mother too, how are you able to do this?”
Tay said that she was “heartbroken” when she first heard the results from the medical check-up, stating that she “can’t imagine the pain he is in right now”.
According to Tay, her son is now in the process of recovering, but he still suffers from periodic outbursts of tears that wakes him up from his sleep, and is also “easily shocked” now.
After the incident, Tay found out that this babysitter is apparently “infamous” for having a lot of “cases” after hearing about it from a nanny close to a family member, claiming that she “regularly changes names to find another baby”.
‘He was already crying’: Babysitter
The mother also attached a couple of photos to the Facebook post, most of which were of her hospitalised son. One included the X-ray photo, and another was of a screenshot of somebody telling her the babysitter had many “bad cases”.
One photo, however, was a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation with the nanny who seemed to absolve herself of all responsibility.
“In the morning when you sent your son to me, he wasn’t even swollen, and when I showered with him I didn’t even press on his leg,” she told Tay in the text message.
“After showering, he insisted on drinking milk, and he fell asleep shortly after. When you came over to fetch him, he was already crying.”
“In the afternoon, I did notice that he didn’t like moving his right leg, and I had already immediately texted you about that when I found that out.”
She also claimed that the right leg only swelled up when Tay brought her son back home, stating that if she had noticed it, she would have immediately contacted Tay about it.
“If you had already noticed something amiss with his leg on the morning of Feb 28, why didn’t you go to the doctor?” she said.
The babysitter then said that she had no guilty conscience over the incident, stating that she had never mistreated him at all from the very first day she took on her job.
“I was also taken aback by such a sudden incident. How did this happen, I would also like to know,” she told Tay.
AsiaOne has reached out to Tay for comment.
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