Safe Infant Sleep Tips For Grandparents


Its the event of the year!  The first night your LO is having a “SLEEP OVER”, at grandma and grandpas!  So amid the excitement of (escape/ dash for freedom), you realize that its time to set up the space where your baby is going to sleep. So here are some tips to consider when THAT day finally arrives:

1.: What is your baby going to sleep in? Unfortunately now days sadly THAT cot that you slept in 15 years ago that has been pulled out of the garage and lovingly been dusted off might not make the current safety standards for your bub. It might be time to invest in a modern day port-a-cot.  According to Choice Magazine here are some tips to consider:

What to look for

Good ventilation

Each side should be mostly made from a breathable mesh material that extends all the way to the floor of the cot.

Weight matters

Don’t use a portable cot if your child weighs more than 15kg.

Well designed

Inside surfaces should be free of bumps, ledges and protruding parts so children can’t hit their heads, get their clothing snagged or use them as a foothold to climb out of the cot.

No gaps

The mattress should be firm enough and fit snugly without gaps on any side.


The rails should have two locking mechanisms to prevent accidental collapse and closure. The cot floor shouldn’t sag. Press down on the base to check this.

Standards matter

Check that the portable cot you buy is certified to the Australian/New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 2195 – either the 1999 or 2010 version.

Easy to put up and take down

The easier it is to put up and down, the better. You don’t want to be struggling when you’re sleep-deprived and have a tired, crying baby on your hands.

Not too heavy

Despite “porta” being in the name, many portacots are still quite heavy, with some clocking in at over 14kg. Make sure you are able to lift and carry it comfortably.


Check what size it is when it’s packed down. You’ll want to store it away until your next adventure so choose one that’ll fit the bill (or, more to the point, your cupboard).

2. Remind Grandma and Grandpa, that unless your bub is rolling that they must sleep on their back, with no additional blankets for “warmth”. Modern swaddles and togged sleeping bags can be a new addition to knowlege so some education on room temp is ideal here.

3. A little reminder that even though bub looks “lonely” in the portacot, that your little one does not need additional soft toys to keep her “company” whilst she is sleeping.

4. If your toddler is out of a cot then sometimes a mattress on the floor instead of a “big bed” is a easier and safer option to begin with.

5. To really have a “baby proofing” look around the room your child will be sleeping in (ok and the house- beware the glass coffee table).  Look for loose cords, power point plugs, items that can been pulled of shelves or book cases.

6. Do a test run- either at your house or at the grand parents house, so they are familiar with your bubs bedtime routine/ comforts, and also for your baby to get used to where he/she is going to be.

You want this to be a repeat performance!



Separation Anxiety and Sleep


What is Separation Anxiety?

The development of separation anxiety demonstrates that your baby has formed a healthy, loving attachment to you. It is a sign that your baby associates pleasure, comfort and security with your presence.

It also indicates that your baby is developing intellectually (in other words, he/ she’s smart!).

Baby has learned that she can have an effect on her world when she makes her needs known and she doesn’t have to passively accept a situation that makes her uncomfortable.

Separation anxiety  is a normal emotional stage of development that starts when babies begin to understand that things and people exist even when they are not present Or “object permanence”.

This can occur from as early as 6 months and can peak between 12-18 months. Nearly ALL children experience separation anxiety.

In a younger baby they don’t know enough about the world yet to understand that when you leave her you’ll always come back.

How do I know if my baby has separation anxiety? bedtime-toddler

Separation anxiety is pretty easy to spot. The following are behaviors typically demonstrated by a baby with normal separation anxiety:


-Crying when a parent is out of sight.

-Strong preference for only one parent.

-Fear of strangers.

-Waking at night crying for a parent.

-Easily comforted in a parent’s embrace.

Separation Anxiety and Sleep.

If the windows of your baby’s awake time are fine, then separation anxiety CAN  cause  havoc with day time naps and settling routines at night.

– It can arise up at any stage of development and become an obstacle to napping. Remember -the longest separation for your baby or child is during his/her night time sleep. 

-All of a sudden your perfect sleeper will require extra help to go to sleep, or start needing you in the middle of the night for reassurance.

-Your toddler perfects the art of stalling at bedtime.

-It can be frustrating, tired and exhausting stage to go through.

Hints for dealing with Separation Anxiety:

– Maintain a consistent pre nap and bed time routine, continue with the music louder/white noise/ use your baby’s snuggly.

-Reassure your baby when he or she goes down to that you are close by or for now stay close by until he or she is asleep without touch.

-Allow your baby to be a baby. It’s perfectly okay for your baby to be attached to you and for her to desire your constant companionship. It’s evidence that the bond you’ve worked so hard to create is holding. So politely ignore those who tell you otherwise.

-Don’t worry about spoiling her with love, since quite the opposite will happen. The more that you meet her attachment needs during babyhood, the more confident and secure she will grow up to be

-Give your baby lessons in object permanence. As your baby learns that things continue to exist even when she can’t see them, she’ll feel better about letting you out of her sight. Games like peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek will help her understand this phenomenon.

-Practice with quick, safe separations. Throughout the day, create situations of brief separation. When you go into another room, whistle, sing, or talk to your baby so she knows you’re still there, even though she can’t see you.

-Don’t sneak away when you have to leave her. It may seem easier than dealing with a tearful goodbye, but it will just cause her constant worry that you’re going to disappear without warning at any given moment. The result-even more clingyness and diminished trust in your relationship.

-Encourage her relationship with a special toy, if she seems to have one. These are called transitional objects or comforters. They can be a comfort to her when she’s separated from you. Many babies adopt blankets or soft toys  holding them to ease any pain of separation. They become a friend and represents security in the face of change.

As a stage, it will pass. In time, your baby will learn that she can separate from you, that you will return, and that everything will be okay between those two points in time.

Much of this learning is based on trust, which, just as for every human being young or old, takes time to build.


For further help with separation anxiety: email