Baby and toddler care consultations

Many parents will have some difficulty with establishing breastfeeding, or with learning how to settle a new baby, or perhaps with their older baby’s sleeping, eating, teething, toilet training etc. Over the years, I have helped many families to find solutions to these and many other problems. Although most children follow a fairly predictable route of development, individual children – and individual families – do vary enormously. “Average” covers a lot of ground! Accordingly, I tailor my services to suit each family. Rather than dispensing generalized advice, I find that analysing the individual problem, and working as a team with the whole family, is a much more efficient solution.
First I visit the family at home for an initial consultation, to observe, to discuss problems and solutions with parents, and to meet the little one/s. What happens after the initial visit? This depends on the problem. I often find that just that one visit is enough to set things in motion. At my first visit I usually leave parents with some strategies which they can begin to implement themselves: how much, depends on the individual situation. I also provide followup care where required. For instance, if our example is a sleeping difficulty, a combination of day, evening and night followup visits may be involved.

Postnatal Overnight Care

Today’s healthcare system allows new parents very little time in hospital, and limited support while you’re there. In the past, Mothercraft Nurses were an integral part of hospital postnatal nursing care, teaching and supporting new parents. My postnatal overnight care service provides support, care and education for the new mother and baby, in the comfort of your own home.  This includes assistance with:

  • Breastfeeding and / or bottle feeding
  • Recovery from birth (including caesarean section delivery)
  • Helping parents to learn babycare skills, such as bathing, dressing and nappy changing
  • Settling techniques
  • Establishment of a routine to suit both you and your baby

Please note:
– If you are considering a postnatal booking, it is advisable to contact me reasonably early in your pregnancy, in order to ensure my availability. It is essential that you meet with me prior to the birth of your baby, to discuss all of your questions and needs. I encourage the attendance of your partner at this meeting.
– Please save your time, and mine, by not contacting me if you intend to follow popular self-help books (eg Gina Ford’s and Tizzie Hall’s books). I neither agree with nor approve of their philosophies.
– Cancellation policy: Postnatal overnight bookings of three or more nights per week, for two weeks or longer, require a holding deposit of $1000, which is not refundable in the event of cancellation less than two weeks before the commencement of the booking. Postnatal overnight bookings can be cancelled once they have begun, but a cancellation fee equal to two weeks’ fees is required.

Mummy Mentoring Program

“The original, and the best”…  Unlike similarly named programs now being advertised, this is a one-on-one, face-to-face, in-home program that I run for new parents. Originally offered to new Mums who do not have access to the support of family or friends locally, I provide this service to any new parent who, for one reason or another, needs regular and ongoing support. After meeting  for an initial consultation, we meet again either weekly, or every couple of weeks, to build on Mum’s (and Dad’s) brand new parenting skills, to discuss Baby’s development, perhaps to keep an eye on Baby’s feeding / weight gain, or to deal with an ongoing issue such as sibling rivalry, or postnatal depression. I am also available by phone and email to touch base with these families between visits. The initial visit is a regular four hour consultation. Follow-up visits are also usually four hours, for either four or eight weeks. (Occasionally a two hour follow-up is more suitable.) I also offer a monthly follow-up option for those Mums who have already done either four or eight weeks.

Antenatal consultations

Hospital antenatal classes are an invaluable source of information about the birthing process. My antenatal consultations are all about what comes after that momentous event: parenthood, and a baby to care for! An antenatal consultation provides you with one on one time (or one on two, if your partner would like to be involved) to learn about the things that are important to you in preparation for the arrival of your baby. This can include parentcraft skills training (nappy changing, dressing, bathing, etc), help with organising what you need to buy, and information about breast and bottle feeding.

Live In

24 hour live-in bookings are usually to provide care for children while parents are on holiday or away on business, when there is a parental illness involving hospitalization, or during the birth of another child. My availability to do this is limited, so the earlier you make an enquiry the better.

Please note: due to family and current commitments, live-in bookings of more than three days in a row are not often available.

Cancellation policy: Live-in bookings of three days or longer require a holding deposit of $1000, which is not refundable in the event of cancellation less than two weeks before the commencement of the booking. Live-in bookings can be cancelled once they have begun, but a cancellation fee (50% of the balance of the time booked) will be required.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are available for consultations, postnatal overnight care and mummy mentoring packages.


This website is not intended as a medical guide, nor as a replacement for regular clinic visits with your midwife or maternal and child health nurse, but as a reference only.

The information presented here is intended to help you make decisions regarding your baby’s health and behaviour, and it is not a substitute for medical advice.

If there is any doubt about your baby’s health, you should consult a medical doctor immediately.


This website is made available with the express understanding that neither the authors nor the publisher shall be responsible or liable for any injuries resulting directly or indirectly from the information contained within this website.


Leanne Girdwood RMN ∙ 0414 240 184 ∙

 Please note that Leanne’s services are only available in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

(Melbourne Metro and Mornington Peninsula).

Who is Leanne Girdwood?

I am a Mothercraft Nurse*, with almost 40 years of varied experience in infant and child care. I am also the mother of two wonderful daughters, and grandmother of two adorable little girls.

(*Cert App Soc Sci (Childcare) / Registered Preschool Mothercraft Nurse, 1982)

What is a Mothercraft Nurse?

I’m often asked this question. A Mothercraft Nurse does two things: she provides care of babies and children from birth to six years, and she provides support and education to the parents (and extended family) of babies and young children.
Our qualification (which is no longer taught) allows us to work in several areas. In the past, Mothercraft Nurses were an integral part of hospital postnatal nursing care, teaching and supporting new parents and caring for the new babies. Many Mothercraft Nurses are now working in the provision of childcare (both centre based and private home care). Mothercraft Nurses work in mother and baby units, and some of us provide home-based care and support.

What is Mothercraft Care?

After a varied career in both postnatal care and child care, and raising my own children, I could see that there is a need within the community for home-based support and education of new parents, beyond what is available from the hospitals, medical profession and maternal and child health service. To that end, I offer a number of different services.
Raising babies is not always smooth sailing. Sometimes there are difficulties associated with sleeping, eating, teething, toilet training etc. Over the years I have helped many families to find solutions to these and other problems.


I am a proud member of the Australian Nanny Association