Bad Nanny Warning - Manhattan/New York

Received Wednesday January 13, 2010 - Rants and Warnings
Do not hire this Nanny. Her name is Crystal. She is a nanny from Mexico. She is in her twenties. She is thin. She has no papers. She gave my neighbor’s son 3 times the amount of Benadryl that a 3 year old child should have. He was unconscious last night when she arrived at home. He was rushed to the ER, but he is fine now. The nanny was fired on the spot. My neighbour suspects she has been doing this to keep him quiet during the day. She has been his nanny for nearly a year and a half. To our knowledge, she has no children of her own. She works in New York City and Manhattan.

Confession time:
I feel like a right @ss in this situation. Flashback to another episode when I actually saw this nanny with the little boy (LB). Last November, I bought the little boy (LB) a book for his birthday. When I went to their flat to deliver it, I heard the nanny struggling to get him into the stroller. It was freezing rain that day, and not sure why she needed to go out. He didn’t want to go out, probably the reason for the struggle. The lifts in our building where broken. When we finally got a lift, it was completely full, so I just jumped on (with my baby in tow) because I didn’t want everyone to see me snooping at my neighbor’s door. When we got to the lobby, my instincts told me “Just go back up for a minute.” By the time I got back up to her floor, the LB was quiet, completely dressed in his jacket, in the stroller, and the nanny was locking the door. The LB had a HUGE sippy cup in his hand. And I hate seeing the kids with these, because I suspected the nannies are just giving the kids sugary drinks all day to keep them happy/quiet. (Little did I know something more sinister is going on.) So I gave her the evil eye. She saw in my face that I didn’t like what was going on, and she lifted up the plastic cover on his stroller, without me asking. I think she wanted to let me see that he was okay, so they could go on their way. I called his name several times, but he didn’t answer. He was just sobbing hard as if he had been crying. She asked me who I was, and I asked her who she was. She took the birthday gift from me and chucked it inside. Then his puppy ran out, so we spent some time getting the puppy back into the flat. Long story short - I let her go. I let her go even though my gut was telling me that she had just done something wrong to the LB. How on earth could she get him subdued so quickly? Why on earth did she need to take him out in that kind of weather? I stayed up that whole night thinking about it, and still didn’t tell the mom. The mom said she was very happy with her nanny, and that he loved her, so why should I be the Biddy in the Building whose in everyone’s business? Would I dare question the judgement of the mother by criticizing her choice of nanny? Especially without proof of foulplay?

Well, I made a mistake, and I failed that little boy that day. I know there are some good nannies out there, but I’m telling you parents to please think about it? Do you ever see a crying child with his nanny? I NEVER, EVER see a child crying with his nanny. Have you ever noticed how the children look so despondent and limp when they are in the strollers with these nannies? Now I know, when I see a child crying, the person he is with is his PARENT!

Please monitor your medicine cabinets as soon as possible. All of us parents know that a child’s crying can grate on us, and wear us down during the day. But if a person cannot take a child’s fussiness, they should not be working with children under any circumstances!! The bigger a child gets, and the more he cries, the bigger the dose the nanny will have to give him to keep him quiet. This could kill a child easily.

How many other children has Crystal done this to? How many other nannies out there use this as standard practice? Is Benadryl a trade secret amongst nannies? If so, feel me in, because I am a new mom, and new to all of this. I know one thing, this is criminal, and it must stop. Why are mothers (and fathers) constantly pushed up against the wall if they dare go back to work or try to have a life outside of motherhood? Our choices are so few, and it is so unfair.


you're a waste said...

sorry but bullshit. This mother is to blame for hiring a nanny who is not legal to work in this country. You say she does not have papers, yet it took the kid getting an OD on Benadryl to find this out?

Parents pushed up against a wall? Please. Give me a freaking break. Parents need to put more care into who they hire.

Bloomfield Babysitter said...

The parents failed this child by hiring a nanny without papers. She probably can't read the instructions on a medicine bottle. Parents like this should be held accountable. I am disgusted but not with the nanny with the parents.

mananny said...

absolutely agree with what's been said. I feel like the OP, although her intentions are good, is like, she said, a new mom.

There is no guarantee that this nanny was a 'bad, sinister nanny' . . but also, it's fairly likely, she wouldn't know how to read the instructions on the bottle, either. Let's not all jump to conclusions that she was doing this every day to the kid.

However, the point is, is that you really just ought to do things the right way. Try to save $ and doing something illegal . . is not exactly going to get you anywhere good. DUH

TC said...

No most nannies do not drug the kids nor is a trade secret.

Is it the norm for negligiant parents to hire ILLEGAL nannies? Is that a trade secret in the mommy world? Are parents to cheap to hire some LEGAL to watch their kids?

Anonymous said...

I call BS!

Soleil said...

what a shame. that poor little boy.

but i have a slight bone to pick with the witness/neighbor. i sympathize with the guilt you feel about not speaking up, but to say that children "never cry with [their] nanny" is inaccurate. children cry, be it with their parents, nannies, grandparents, teachers, whatever. i've nannied for a little girl since she was three months old, she's 18 months old now. she cries with me sometimes, even when we're in public. but that doesn't mean i don't love her or that i treat her badly.

advising someone that kids never cry with nannies, and implying that if they do cry then lawda mercy something's horribly wrong, is setting up some unnecessary conflicts. in reality, the kid could be tired. or hungry. or frustrated. or startled. or bored. or a combination of a few of those things. kids cry. it doesn't mean they have a bad caretaker.

A Mom said...

Do you really live in NYC/manhattan? Odd that you are still calling elevators lifts and apartments flats. I guess you could be from England and still use that slang, I just find it odd that you say this happened in Manhattan.

Plus, you say you don't understand why she was taking the child out in the rain that day you saw them, yet, you were taking your child out in the rain, correct? Why was it ok for you to take your child out and not for the nanny to take hers out? As for the huge sippy cup, why does that bother you? Most kids have water or milk in their sippy cups, not sugary drinks, I don't see why you see "huge sippy cup" and immediately think "sugary drink"?

Just some odd points about your post that bother me

dadiswrongonthisone said...

I hope OP reads our responses and sees how ridiculous she comes off as. Totally this mother's fault for hiring someone illegally and not caring enough about her child to check out this nanny thoroughly. Also, we do not know the whole story. I smell a rat.

The sippy cup thing just was the icing on the cake for me. OP obviously just wants to create drama in her life. Keep the drama to the Lifetime Movie Network, honey. We aint buyin it.

TC said...

A mom, look how she spells neighbor I would suspect that she did indeed come from England

TC said...

BTW OP benadryl doesn't work that quickly. You said you got on the elevator rode down and then decided to go back up and he was subdued? Unless it took you 30 min to an hour to go down and come back up benadryl is not the cause of the child being subdue.

Even if the kid had an empty stomach I don't see the benadryl kicking in that quickly.

oh well said...

OP, are your neighbors sure that she gave him the extra dose on purpose? This sounds awful. But it did not seem like you had any evidence against her, so I am not sure whether you could have changed anything. And I agree that kids will act up more with the person they feel most comfortable with, but I do not see why they would never act up with their nanny.

A Mom said...

"snooping at my neighbor’s door"

She spells neighbor the American way

Momkat said...

Excellent post!!!!! Thank you. Hopefully your warning will keep other parents from mistakenly hiring this nanny. You sensed something wasn't right and it wasn't.

Princes Raja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Mom said...

You still didn't answer my other queries about your post, oh well, no need to.....

TC said...

A mom...........
The nanny was fired on the spot. My neighbour suspects she has been doing this to keep him quiet during the day.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

Ironically, I got into trouble as a novice nanny for NOT drugging my charges (2 and 4 months, yes, *4* months) with benadryl so that they would be asleep for mom LONG into the afternoon after I left.

As for the parents/nanny. Cheap out on childcare/hire an illegal and skip the background check and you get what you pay for. Malicious act or simple inability to read medicine bottle? Who knows. It would be a lot clearer if we knew that nanny was able to read and comprehend english.

To the OP, children cry with their nannies if they feel secure in that relationship. Don't ASSume that a calm child with a nanny is drugged, it makes you sound silly. Also, large sippies do not equal drugged sugary drinks.

Next time, talk casually to the mom, mention (in a neutral way) that nanny and "LB" seemed to be having a tough time that morning, and isn't the rain and cold hard on everyone, blah de blah. Then you can move on, knowing you spoke up, and mom can take your statement and use it as she will.

Victoria Anne said...

"Why are mothers (and fathers) constantly pushed up against the wall if they dare go back to work or try to have a life outside of motherhood? Our choices are so few, and it is so unfair."

This is the part of the post that really gets under my skin. It was your CHOICE to have a child, and should you CHOOSE to return to work it is your RESPONSIBILITY to find qualified childcare. If you want a life with limitless choices and options, then maybe children just aren't in the cards for you.

It has been awhile since I commented, but this post really, really gets under my skin.

Momkat said...

You guys can play detective if you want and pick apart the OP's post. But she suspected something was wrong--long before the mom came home to find her child with too high of a dose of Benadryl. Was there Benedryl in that sippy cup--who knows. If the OP knew for sure, she would have told the mom. It was just her hunch that something wasn't right...and in the end her "suspicions" were correct. So she did a very kind thing by coming to this website and posting what she knew so other parents wouldn't be caught making the same mistake. As for hiring legal, or illegal could be a predictor of trouble, or not--despite the question of whether it's legal. It's ALWAYS a good idea to fully investigate anyone with whom you are going to leave your children...and to check up on them often, and not ignore red flags that something may be wrong.

Elizabeth said...

I'm a nanny, and i take serious offense to OP's comment about how children who are with their nannies look limp and despondent??! Are you serious? I would never harm any of my charges, and you making such a broad statement about all nannies is unfair.

No Sympathy for OP said...

I think OP's post was pretty offensive and judgemental towards childcare providers in general. I don't really understand why Momkat is defending it. Nobody is saying that one should not check up on a nanny: we are saying just the opposite, that the mom was negligent in not doing that, or not caring that the nanny was working illegally.

As far as the accusations, I don't really give OP the benefit of the doubt. Something in her tone just does not ring true.

MissMannah said...

I also disagree with Momkat defending OP. If (and that's a pretty big IF) anything in OP's story is true and the world really needs to be warned about nanny Crystal, why wouldn't her former employers do the honors? OP is coming off as a gossip and a nosy neighbor. My question is, if the parents suspect this nanny has been intentionally drugging their child, why didn't they turn her over to the police? I'm thinking they wanted to cover their own asses and not get in trouble for hiring an illegal. And then OP decides to take it upon herself to assume all nannies behave the same way.

ohdearlord said...

This OP is a nut. It is incredibly insulting to say that nannies as a whole drug kids. That is rude and insulting and honestly you sound like a complete stuck up snob. I can't stand mothers like you who think you are better than nannies. Youre not get over yourself. You also don't have some sort of sixth sense. Hindsight is 20/20. I am incredibly sorry that this happened to a child it is horrible and unforgiveable. However to make such horrible statements about nannies isn't forgiveable either. And did you ever stop to think maybe theres water or milk in those sippies?? And parents in my experience give their kids wayyyy more sugar than nannies do. Why would a nanny want a kid to have more sugar in their system???

world's best nanny said...

Benadryl?? Benadryl has a taste, most of the time a disagreeable one. It also can be detected in a blood test. A few years ago a nanny was fired for crushing up Melatonin and putting it into a sippy.

Melatonin is not considered a drug because it is produced naturally by the body. It is tasteless, colorless, and it has no odor. since it is not considered a drug the nanny was not arrested.

Families check sippys for undissolved powder at the bottoms. Switch to a liquid dishwashing detergent so the nanny can't get away with saying it's undissolved soap.
Check the insides of mortar and pestles for ground up powder.

Vanessa said...

First of all, the fact that she isn't legal has nothing to do with her actions.

That woman would've done the exact same thing even if she had papers. And I'm sure the parents must have instructed her about Benadryl and the effect it has on children which is why she used it in the first place.

The issue here is the fact that the parents haven't really cared to pay attention to this child and see what things really are like. It is hard sometimes to spot these issues, and that's why you should've said something when you saw it.

People need to speak up when they see red flags. They can save lives.

And please, OP I see many children crying with their nannies. Please stop generalizing and assuming no nanny cares for her care.

cali mom said...

OP, you have never seen a child crying with their nanny? On what planet do you live?

When a child *is* crying with their nanny, someone posts here about what a horrible mean nanny it was to let the child cry.

I still have to read all the other comments but I'd say you sound a bit paranoid, and you DID express your concerns to that mom who brushed them off, so no you did not "fail" that child. And bad on that mom for hiring an illegal. As I've said before, if you hire someone illegally, you both relinquish all your rights and protections should any issue whatsoever arise.

cali mom said...

A Mom, very good point here: "you say you don't understand why she was taking the child out in the rain that day you saw them, yet, you were taking your child out in the rain, correct? Why was it ok for you to take your child out and not for the nanny to take hers out?"

Kalynn Thecountrybumpkin said...

I would just like to point out that I am a nanny, and the children often cry while in my care. whether it be at home, at the playground, at a store, the zoo, children's museum etc. It could be because of a fall, a sibling hurt their feelings, they don't want to leave , or any number of other reasons. it is not right to expect children to always be happy 100% of the time while with their nanny. And it does not mean that they are being mis treated by their nanny. also i would like to just say that in no way should nannies be lumped into one example of medicating a child into a drowsy state. or abusing children in any way. I can honestly say i love the children I nanny as much as you can possibly love any child that is not your own. However under doctor and parental guidance i will give children the recommended dose of medication if an illness warrants it. that does not make me a criminal, or a bad nanny. it's unfortunate that there are people out there who will do these things and betray your trust when you hire them to look after your most precious children. my advice for the future would be to hire someone legal. being cheap when it comes to your children's care is never a good idea.

djembé said...

[b]Why are mothers (and fathers) constantly pushed up against the wall if they dare go back to work or try to have a life outside of motherhood?[/b]
It's the [i]children[/i] being drugged but poor mommy is the victim?

NanGal said...

personally not a day goes by when i don't make one of my charges cry over something (their brother got a larger scoop of ice cream etc..)

and yes i do drug them with benadryl. it is a conspiracy all we nannies are in on in order to take over the world one sippy cup at a time.

? said...

Do people really have mortars and pestles? I thought they just were knicknacks that you saw in those cheesy candle stores.

TiredMissDee said...

The nanny had no papers. I am guessing that the nanny had no DL, SS number or anything else that proved her identity.

The nanny gave the child 3-4 times the amount of Benadryl that what is indicated on the bottle. I thought Benadryl came with a dropper, or maybe that is infant medicine that I am thinking of?

"Perhaps the nanny couldn't read the back of the bottle". This is BS, because almost every product has instructions in Spanish.

"The child was rushed to the ER last night and the nanny was fired on the spot".

What if the child had died? Could the nanny be prosecuted?

Could the nanny be arrested and charged with a felony?

If this post is real, I would love to hear from the child's parents. Part of this sounds like someone who has a homework assignment.

NannyJ said...

Here begins a standard way-too-long post by NannyJ. I apologize in advance for my complete inability to write anything without an extreme amount of details :).

I read this post assuming that OP was just frustrated (with herself for not mentioning her concerns earlier, with the fact that the little boy had to be taken to the ER-and therefore with nannies in general-and was simply blowing off steam by lumping all nannies into a group.

OP, obviously this is not a place where you want to come and make generalizations about all nannies based on the actions of one. I HOPE you were just frustrated, and that is not how you really feel about nannies. Some (I really want to say most...) nannies are nannies because they love kids (maybe they even have a gift for caring for children, or understanding kids, etc.)I happen to be blessed with a large amount of patience, which I have found to be quite an ally in my time as a nanny :). We do not nanny because it is an easy job!

I find this nanny's actions despicable (assuming she was doing this often, or ever, to subdue him), and I agree with MomKat and think that it was good of you to post about it and warn others about hiring her. However, making it into a full on nanny rant was completely unnecessary.

For the record: my little dude (12 mos, I've been with him since he was 4 mos.) cries with me just as much as he cries with his parents. He gets cranky sometimes, he has been teething for approximately the last 7 months! He LOVES his baby Tylenol (legitimately, he smiles when he sees it...), but I try not to give it to him as much as I can. I give him a bottle of ice water or something cold to chew on, I hug him, rock him, and try to keep him entertained and try to keep his focus elsewhere. Last week I took over for Grandma who had been giving him a toothbrush soaked in alcohol, I took it away from him and did not give it back (plus he always ends up jamming things like that into the back of his throat!) I know most nannies on here would do the same. Not all nannies take the easy way out!

Also, I understand the choice not to give your child sippy cups...if you can get a young child to drink out of regular cups early on, good for you, sippy cup weaning is not fun! Neither is cleaning up the spills that a young child will make using a regular cup, though. BUT the sippy cup is not just a "vice" of nannies. If there are sippy cups in the home, that probably means that the parents are sippy cuppers too! My boss parents (and boss Grandma) are big on sippy cups throughout the day filled with watered down juice (sometimes Grandma even gives him juice in a bottle, oi). I try to only give the little dude juicewater at meal times, so if you were to see me and LD out and about it would probably be with a sippy cup full of water, not a sugary drink.

world's best nanny said...

I have a mortar and pestle. I use them for grinding whole spices or to bruise fresh herbs.

CuriousDad said...

I too have a mortar and pestle, my wife has a nice marble on she lets me use once in awhile.

Before I bought mine, two spoons were enough to grind and or bruise anything I needed. A flat surface and a hammer were also used regularly. So it it may not be a mortar and pestle that is used for that. Any flat surface and utensil you can put force behind works.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or has anyone else ever watched a 3 year old who can go from total meltdown to passed out cold in 7 minutes?

Toddlers cry sometimes said...

Janet English-

absolutely! I call that attention crying. Or the end of a tantrum that converts itself to instant exhaustion!

My niece will go from full on sobbing sloppy wet tears to giggling and calling my name to play in 30 seconds flat!

Anonymous said...

She's about 5'5", wears glasses and light brown hair. Her accent is not heavy, but it is noticeable. (Ask her if she has children of her own!) I agree it is a good idea to post a photo of your interviewee that I could take a look at, but I'm not sure that's legal, so don't do it. I have to step back and let the police take it from here. My description should be enough for you to go on.


MissMannah said...

"the kids would never cry in the stroller"? Are you kidding me? Some kids hate to be in a stroller, no matter how many "calming techniques" you employ. That's just life, but a kid pitching a fit does not equal a bad nanny.

Andrea said...

There are tons of great nannies out there. if you take the time to interview ask questions and get to know them and take all the right steps to make sure she has experience references and that she is legal then you should have no problem! It's common sense. What's unfair is that I had to read your bs post on here and it's also unfair that you want other parents to agree with you that there are so few good nannies out there. I am a nanny and have several nanny friends who would NEVER EVER in a million years give a child benedryl or any medication without the parents consent.

no name said...

I would like to start off by applauding the OP for possessing the skill to lump a world full of people into one very tight burlap bag... all the while keeping her self righteousness at a pearly white sheen.

Yes, if this story about the child being drugged is true, it is definitely appalling and I am sure that it does go on, but I highly doubt that people the drug children are exclusively nannies.

These claims that she could hear the child crying through the door while the nanny was putting the child into the stroller seem odd to me... how did she know she was attempting to put the child in the stroller, or that that was the reason he was crying? Maybe he was crying because he wanted to keep playing? or because he was tired? and the fact that he stopped crying means she must have done something wrong? Can anyone do anything right? if the child is crying she is a horrible nanny, but if he stops then she is a bad nanny.... I am mentally rolling my eyes!

I am currently in the charge of a 2 year old child. During the 12 hours a day I am with him sometimes he cries, sometimes he laughs, sometimes he is even quiet. I do know that with me he tends to be calmer then he is with his parents, and you know what? I don't ever give him medication that isn't directly asked for by his parents/doctors.

And when I take him out in his stroller (when he actually sits in it) that sippy cup is actually filled with water. How would it be in my best interests to fill a child with sugars? Wouldn't that make my job a heck of a lot harder?

I am sorry, but OP you sound like a naive, holier than thou, first time mom.

I have 10 years experience as a nanny and have honestly never 'drugged' a child, never treated a child wrongly, and am deeply offended by the tone of this post.

Good for you for posting about a 'bad' nanny, but you could have left it at that and still made the point.

Anonymous said...

OP: Unfortunately, I was right. Benadryl is being given to children by their nannies.

Dear Nannies, here is a link in the NYTimes for your reading pleasure.

If you drug my kid, I'm going to find you, and press the highest charges against you.

For those who don't like my tone:

This website is called "" NOT
"" NOT

Anonymous said...

Benadryl Nanny Article in the NY Times:

Anonymous said...

Omg!How silly is this??!!Because somebody works here without papers..does not mean that person is a bad nanny..come on seriously people..because you have blonde hair you are stupid??Also kids are crying with nanny or no..depends on some many things..happy, bad day, sick, frustration.Maybe they were going for a class, or play dates, also sometimes even parents want them to be out even its cold, or raining.I do not know the nanny..or kid..or the parents but maybe it came out bad on the nanny bc she has no it does not matter because she is illegal so you can blame on her.I can be also wrong maybe she is not nice, and she does this because she can't do anything else.

Porky said...

Wictory88 -- You're two years too late but, since you commented and don't seem to get the big picture, here it goes. -- Illegal nannies aren't necessarily 'bad' however, someone willing to work illegally is already a law-breaker who is not trustworthy. Parents can't do full background checks on illegals because they have no paperwork, SSN, ID, etc, so obviously this mother was neglectful in hiring a nanny who isn't even legal to work in the US. Also, illegals can't just get a normal job. They need to find someone willing to pay them under the table. So they will go into nannying without the basic knowledge, love and patience for children.

Everything else you've said has been said by multiple ISYN users if you read the above comments.

Speaking truth said...

I agree with you, the problem is cheapness..and a million chores and responsibilities that are parental duties pushed on nannies..get the right care, pay fir it and do your duties as parents.