Media 2018-02-19T13:29:53+00:00
19th February, 2018
Caroline McMahon – live interview on Studio 10 at Ten Network
Discussion baby settling with Natarsha Belling, Sara-Marie Fedele, Joe Hildebrandt and Jessica Rowe.

14th February, 2018
Caroline M having phone interview on LAFM drive home with Glenn
14th February, 2018
Radio Announcer Ian Nicholas had a laugh with Caroline McMahon today on Radio Northern Beaches.  They were discussing is there anything really more romantic than Valentine gifts of roses and chocolates? Apparently if you are a parent of young children, there is!
Caroline Radford features as an expert contributor to ‘The Modern Parents Discipline Guide’ article published Dec 19th, 2017.

Caroline’s Exerpt when asking the experts


Director Caroline’s Angels – providing gentle, effective and positive sleep, behaviour and toilet solutions for parents

Caroline RadfordRN RM BNsg



I am sure we all agree that our children need simple rules and guidelines. Most of us all understand that our children don’t actually come with a rulebook and that sometimes their behaviours can be random and really stretch our limits.

What many of us sometimes forget in our busy parenting world is how much our children can grow and develop with our nurturing, positive role modelling, love and respect.

We believe children want and need to be introduced to simple, basic, clear rules by their parents. Young children are beginning to understand themselves as their own separate person with their own thoughts and feelings. During this stage, it is vital a child has a clear set of rules, or operating procedures to help them feel safe and to help keep them safe.

As a parent you have the power to guide and nurture your child’s behaviour and help to set the scene for them to begin to know what is expected of them both within the home and outside within society. You can make a fabulous start by provide a building block that your child can launch new skills from. We all agree that without the basics of healthy, appropriate foods, sufficient sleep, warmth and loving family we cannot go on to develop relationships, learn new skills and be who we eventually want to be!

So, easy step! Think about what your child eats each day and record their dietary intake (including snacks) for up to a week to gain a good honest picture. Crosscheck and see if your child ate these foods each day:

  • 2 pieces of fruit
  • 5 serves of vegetables
  • Whole grain cereals
  • 3 serves of dairy
  • One tablespoon of protein

If you panicked when you saw that list or you thought it was  not achievable think about doing a bit more research into ways to introduce these foods into your families’ diets. For example, with vegetables, there are many different vegetables available. Try varying the range of vegetables you provide. Make sure you are a positive role model for nutrition yourself. Serve the vegetables differently to what you usually do, for example, serve them raw, or cold with a hummus dip.

Next, think about the amount of sleep your toddler is getting in a 24 hour period. Most children between the ages of 1 and 5 require about 13 – 14 hours sleep in total. We recommend aiming for bedtime by 7pm and encouraging sleep until 6 – 7am – this provides the best quality amount of Non-REM sleep. Also a daytime nap sometime between noon and 2pm of 1.5 – 2 hours is needed.

A wise lady once told me that if you have no playful/fun relationship with a person they will never be able to relate to you when there is a serious situation at hand. With this in mind take time to just play and enjoy your child. When you develop a strong playful relationship with your child this provides you with the platform to set limits and you know the strength of your relationship will handle conflict.

Be a positive role model: Role modelling is your most effective parenting strategy. You will most likely grow up learning to do what your parenting figures have done rather than what they have said. If you action the behaviours that you wish your child to leave your home with they more than likely will.

If your aim is for them to speak respectfully, role model respectful behaviour to them and others always. Similarly, if you do not want them to learn to use aggression to resolve conflict then do not be aggressive towards them!

Diverting your child from a behaviour that is inappropriate is such a simple technique to use and so very often overlooked. Distracting your child from a behaviour that you believe is inappropriate is one of the most simply effective strategies that you can use. Distraction as a strategy tends to work best for younger children however can work well for any 1 – 5 year old.

Young children are referred to as single channeled – this means when they engage in an activity they tend to become very focused on just that activity alone, even if it is for a short period of time.

Let’s imagine the activity is pushing rolls of toilet paper into the toilet. You will need to approach your child and get to their eye level. Touch them on the shoulders and make face-to-face contact with them to make sure you have their attention. If you are shouting at them from across the room you are wasting your energy, you are only going to get worked up and they will not hear a thing you said.

Value add by stating a rule, for example: “Only used toilet paper goes in the toilet!”.

Take your child to another part of the house and engage them into another activity – this will take you about 10 minutes. If you find that your child keeps returning to the trouble spot it may be because you have not provided enough time to re-engage your child in another activity.

It may also be because your child is very curious about developing concepts for example, spatial awareness and what fits into where. In this instance look for activities that your child can engage in that develop this skill. For example, slots made into disused cereal boxes or ice cream containers and then providing appropriate objects to slot into them.

How much water fills up into various sized containers. This approach also endorses the believe that your child is not naughty, rather they have a natural sense of exploration using play to learn.

Rules work best when they are short and to the point. Start by saying exactly what you want rather than what you don’t want. Rules can be extended and developed as your child develops and in keeping with the behaviours that you want to work on.

The following is simply a list of common rules and how to phrase them.


  • Keep your hands and feet to yourself – also known as – keep hands feet and objects to yourself
  • Recommended for children who use often use physical touch in a rougher way with other children, for example, hitting. If your child was a ‘biter’ you could alter this to “Keep your hands, feet and teeth to yourself”
  • Each time you are preparing to play alongside others remind your child of this simple rule. Make it like a mantra that you sing or repeat before play dates.
  • Make sure they have space around other children. Often play spaces can be crowded making it hard to apply the “no hands” rules. Role model making space near or around your child, show him how to keep about arms length from others and share space.
  • If any physicality occurs, move in close near your child and demonstrate how to move away and make space. If needed apply a logical consequence and move away from others for a short period or go home early

We hold hands when we leave the house: Especially useful if you have a more independent child whose tendency is to move away from you. Make sure as you are preparing to leave that you discuss the expectation that we hold hands. Do not leave the house until you are holding hands. Distract your child with, “Which hand would you like to hold today? Left or right” this way they feel like they have a choice and not holding hands isn’t one of them!

Place a cut out of holding hands on the exit to the house. Each time you approach the exit as your child to tell you what the holding hands sign means. That way they think they thought of the rule all by themselves.

If you are out and they won’t hold your hand the result would be that they have to ride in a pram or perhaps leave an event early.

We sit to eat our meals: Especially useful for children who are distracted easily from meals and get up and down or move around the house with food. Let your child know before each meal that the rule is “We sit to eat”. Then distract them with the idea of where would like to choose to sit. Again, the distraction can help to buffer from the idea that they may not want to sit, as that isn’t an option. Offer the choice between 2 or 3 dining chairs, or high chair or low table.

Wait for your child to sit before you serve their food. A hungry child will always sit! Role model that you sit as well.

We use inside voices inside the house: Recommended if you have a toddler who has a loud, shouting or high-pitched voice role model using a quiet voice. As your child’s voice raises lower and continue to lower your voice until you are speaking either in a whisper or not speaking at all. When your child speaks to you in a volume that you are happy with, then reply back in a normal speaking volume.

Beds are for sleeping on (or sitting on): Recommended if your child has a tendency to jump on the bed. This could also be adjusted to “Beds are for sleeping and chairs are for sitting” if they jump on furniture. If your child is an active jumper it would be helpful to give a place where your toddler could jump safely and appropriately, cushioned area or trampoline. Each time your child attempts to jump on the bed (or couch) remind them that beds are for sleeping and guide them to another activity to distract them. If needed move them to another area away from the beds or lounges.

Food goes in your mouth! Or stays on your plate: Especially useful for children who test boundaries by spitting their food. They may do this to see what reaction it gets. Logical result is meal time stops temporarily, then resumed and then if behaviour continues meal discontinued

We use listening ears for stop signals when we play outdoors. Like holding hands we when are outdoors this rule is especially useful for children who are more independent and have a strong tendency to run in open spaces. Logical result may be leaving park earl.

Balls are for throwing outside: useful if your child tends to throw household objects. It is important to offer plenty of balls and a safe place to throw them to redirect the behaviour appropriately. Logical consequence could be that ball/toy/object is not accessible for a short period of time.


Advice For Raising Sons

Julia Hammond 5/12/2017

Contributor Caroline McMahon RN RM – Caroline’s Angels Baby Sleep Specialists

A son brings endless joy and occasional trouble to your life. They can be sweet and caring or mischievous depending on the day. Prepare yourself for all the unique aspects of raising boys with our advice.

General rules of thumb

Dr Anna Cohen, Sydney’s leading Clinical Child Psychologist from Kids & Co. has written a whole article on how to raise boys into good men. She agreed to share with us a few of the main points you should always keep in mind.

“Some basic things to remember:
• Recognise boys’ desire to live in the moment, their inability and/or unwillingness to plan their lives;
• Never underestimate the power of peer pressure for boys as they bridge to adolescents (9 and on);
• It’s important to get mothers off the bridge of adolescents and father/father figures onto it;
• Boys like clear boundaries.They have to be able to see and/or feel the consequences of doing, or not doing something, before it becomes real enough to matter and to motivate them.”

Find the entire article here.

Embrace his energetic side

Finding ways to release pent up energy for young boys is paramount to their ability to concentrate in structured environments such as school. Teach him the spaces where he’ll need to practice quiet behaviour – like the classroom or at the grocery store. Providing spaces for him to let loose, such as an at-home playground, will help you justify the times when you need him to engage a lower gear.

Taking a back seat can be good

We can’t imagine a parent who enjoys watching their child in difficulty. But there are times when allowing them to do things for themselves, especially if they’re difficult, leads to greater strength. Relationship coach Megan Tuohey explains in more detail.

“The thing about life is that to live is to struggle. Everyone struggles. We often rebel against the discomfort, shutting down, avoiding or dismissing the opportunity. Trying to stay still, which of course, is not a long term option. We must be able to live with and work with, struggle. And yet, we often have trouble with idea. Sometimes we want others to do it for us. This concept reminds me of the idea of helping a butterfly emerge from the cocoon, the very act of struggle brings strength. In fact, if you assist the butterfly to emerge, it’s often not strong enough to survive.

So it is for us, so it is for our children. Just as it is sometimes hard for us to struggle, we can find it hard to watch children struggle and often we intervene. Sometimes this is highly appropriate particularly when we are scaffolding them to help them learn themselves rather than doing it for them. It’s unhelpful, however, when we don’t allow them to experience struggle and then succeed. This is how children build resilience, and strength and internal fortitude. When we rob them of the chance to struggle, we may lose an opportunity to support them through to strength.”
Follow Megan on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Let them learn in their own way

Young boys tend to be less cautious than girls. They take risks and learn through experimentation. Allow them to experiment with safe pretend play toys that encourage their imaginative side. Watch them play and see what their toys can do; it may not look like what you think the toy was for but this is where they will develop creativity and innovation for their future.

Learning to handle aggression

Caroline McMahon is the co-founder of Caroline’s Angels who provide support in sleep and toilet training, settling and behaviour of babies and young children. Having raised two sons of her own she shares the methods that worked for her.

“Rule setting is a great way for young boys to manage their feelings and what is expected of them both at home and school, setting them up to be great men.
For example, setting the rule of ” Keep your hands and feet to yourself” is letting our boys know what is expected of them.

Boys need very clear boundaries of where they sit is in so many areas. Telling them not to punch, or hit or kick is not what they should do, but by telling them what they should do is often more helpful and the becomes a choice they make for their own behaviour.
I implemented this rule with my own feisty sons then saw as they become teenagers struggling with their own emotions and anger, especially in a heated discussion regarding their behaviour and my expectations of them. That despite their rage, they were able to keep their hands by their side, automatically by now knowing to keep their hands and feet to themselves.

By setting up a rule as young boys I was able to guide and reinforce without needing to yell and smack them to get them to understand this concept. Each time I see the devastating effects of a ‘King Hit Punch” I am saddened to think that perhaps that young man did not have a patient parent there in their younger life to teach them this simple but life long rule that would carry on to helping them have the strength to resist the urge to strike out.”
Find out more with Facebook and Twitter.

There’s no doubt you’ll raise a wonderful son. You’ve already taken the first step – seeking out advice that will help him and you flourish in the family.


Night nannies saving parents’ sleep

Being woken every night by a crying baby in the first months of parenting is a rite of passage, but one that most people keenly anticipate coming to an end.

Not Leanne Girdwood. For almost 20 years she’s been working overnight in private homes, feeding and settling other people’s babies while parents catch up on sleep.

Night nanny Caroline McMahon runs workshops for parents.

Night nanny Caroline McMahon runs workshops for parents.

Photo: Krystle Ricci

Girdwood says there’s a range of reasons clients book her services. Parents may need help settling twins or triplets, while others struggle with postnatal anxiety or depression. For many though, Girdwood simply provides respite from the sheer exhaustion the early days of parenting can bring.

“Nothing can prepare you for the bone-weary tiredness you’ll experience when providing for the needs of a newborn, and the flow-on effect that tiredness has on every aspect of your daily life in those first few months,” Girdwood says.

Melbourne night nanny Leanne Girdwood.

Melbourne night nanny Leanne Girdwood.

Photo: Supplied

She began her career in the 1980s as a trained mothercraft nurse, working with babies and parents in postnatal wards. After becoming a mother herself, Girdwood identified community need for more home-based support and began working overnight with families through a nanny agency. She now takes bookings directly through her Melbourne-based business, Mothercraft Care.

“As a society, we should be much more prepared to provide support to new parents,” she says. “There’s so much pressure to be the perfect parent, with the perfect child and a pristine home.”

While working nights doesn’t suit everyone, Girdwood says the only issue for her is staying quiet while everyone in the house is asleep. After settling a baby, she reads or knits using the dim light from her phone. “I guess it seems like a long time to be awake and alone and responsible, but I’m used to it.”

If parents do surface during the night, they often pick Girdwood’s brain for advice. “Some mums with anxiety have trouble sleeping and I’ve had some great middle of the night chats about life with some of them over the years.”

Perth night nanny Caroline McMahon.

Perth night nanny Caroline McMahon.

Photo: Supplied

A lack of social support combined with the intensity of the newborn period prompts some parents to reach out to Perth night nanny Caroline McMahon. She says some of her clients are so socially isolated, they don’t have anyone to call up for a coffee and a chat.

“They don’t have that little village around them to come in and help.They just get quite fearful of that lack of support.” In some cases their distress is very apparent. “I’ve come to women who are waiting on the front doorstep with a screaming baby, and just thrust the baby at me.”

McMahon was working as a midwife when she noticed the mothers she’d supported in hospital kept calling her for advice after they’d gone home. She started up an in-home baby sleep support business, Caroline’s Angels (with business partner Caroline Radford), which quickly became busy.

McMahon says her midwifery experience and links to the medical community are invaluable in her night nanny role. At times, she’s the first to suspect a parent may have severe postnatal mental health issues.

“We might have been told there’s a bit of depression, and in actual fact we’ve got quite a non-functioning mother. It’s then up to us to support them in seeking further help.”

McMahon extends her expertise to expectant parents too, running workshops for parents-to-be to help build realistic expectations of how chaotic life can be with a new baby.

“Look, it’s a really unsettling time. It’s a process. [Becoming settled] just doesn’t happen quickly and we educate our families that it’s quite normal,” she says.

But while there’s still a need for overnight care, McMahon will continue helping exhausted parents get a good night’s sleep. “We’re like Father Christmas turning up. We get such a lovely response. It’s a beautiful job.”


The next you can see Carolines Angels live are

  • Perth Baby Sleep Workshop Event – Wednesday October 11th 10am  Telethon Speech and Hearing Centre


  • Melbourne Baby Sleep Workshop Event – Tuesday October 17th 10am Abbostsford Convent



Thanks to Dymocks Whitford City for hosting us at our book signing for ‘5 Steps To Sleep – For Babies and Toddlers’ at the reopening

of Westfield Whitford City – Saturday 23rd October.  It was great meeting lots of new faces and very cute babies and toddlers!


We look forward to seeing you at Dymocks Whitford City for our book signing event on Saturday 23rd September at 1.30pm.

Come and say hello!


We loved being part of this week’s “Yin and Yang” feature in ‘The West Australian”.  Thanks William Yeoman for the great pic and for telling the story of who we are.