Baptism of fire: were you pressured to christen your baby?

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Kylie Orr What kind of God would deem a tiny baby ineligible for entry into Heaven because they were not cleansed of original sin before they died?

What 'The Voice' can teach us about motherhood and creativity

The voice

Amity Dry As The Voice takes over her TV screen and she counts down the days until her musical opens, Amity Dry ponders the ideas of creativity and parenting.

A broken leg, but who's complaining?

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Amity Dry A toddler with a broken leg has made Amity Dry grateful for what her family does have - and amazed at the way some other families cope with their misfortunes.

Kids or spouse: who do you love more?

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman.

Amity Dry Country singer Keith Urban has admitted to loving his wife, Nicole Kidman, more than his children. Has he got it right, Amity Dry asks, or should the kids always come first?

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Different backgrounds, same dreams

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AMITY DRY March 21 is Harmony Day, a day when all Australians can celebrate cultural diversity. For Amity Dry's son, it's just another fun day with his classmates from around the world.

How do you know when you're done?

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Amity Dry How do you know when to stop having children? Should you listen to your head - and possibly your bank balance - or your heart?

Amity Dry

Mummy bloggers and tales of woe

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What did whinging mums do before forums, Facebook, Twitter and blogs? Did they complain or just get on with it?

Double trouble or twice as nice?

Prue Corlette

Prue Corlette Most people love babies, but everyone, apparently, loves twins.

How a break from the kids helped me find myself again

Amity Dry

Amity Dry It was at about 4am I starting planning how I would get out of my flight to Melbourne that was boarding in three hours. Leaving my children for two days to go and visit The Block set had seemed like such a great idea at the time, but suddenly sleeping through the alarm that would go off any minute felt like a much better plan.

Battle of the sexes

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Four-month-old Canadian child Storm has created a real … storm, so to speak.

Regretting motherhood: What if the sacrifices are too great?

Amity Dry

Amity Dry Unsure if she wanted to become a mum, now or ever, Kasey Edwards embarked on a process of researching, investigating and option-weighing to decide whether becoming a mother was the right choice for her. Her book Thirty Something And The Clock Is Ticking is the result.

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An open letter to Pru Goward

Amity Dry

Amity Dry If you wanted to alienate every mother in Australia, mission accomplished! Your statement comparing Jackie O bottle-feeding her baby while walking across the road to Michael Jackson HANGING HIS BABY OVER A BALCONY was so absurd it had me wondering if it was a belated April Fools Day joke.

Amity Dry's Blog

Are you a self absorbed mummy?

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Amity Dry After all the controversy surrounding the Bonds Baby Competition, we ask the question: "are you a self absorbed Mummy"?

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Will men and women ever share the load in parenting?

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Amity Dry Are things equal in your home or does one spouse take the greater share? Are you happy with the arrangement or does it frustrate you?

Confessions of a co-sleeper

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Amity Dry I never thought I’d be a co-sleeper. In fact I vividly recall being pregnant with my first child and pronouncing that would never let my children get used to sleeping in bed with me. Yet here I am all these years later, doing the same thing. And kind of liking it.

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Doing it by the book - which do you love or hate?

Pregnant at work

Amity Dry Do you think we follow birth and/or parenting books to slavishly or would you be lost without them?

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Three's a crowd: how a baby changes a relationship

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Amity Dry When I was pregnant with my first child I was blissfully unaware of how much his arrival was going to affect the relationship I had with my husband.

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Controlled crying: For or against?

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Amity Dry I’m tired. After 5 months of broken sleep the fog of sleep deprivation is firmly setting in. And sleep deprivation can lead you to be a bit snappy.

Kylie Orr's blog

Does the perfect pram exist?

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Kylie Orr The paradox of modern baby buggies: so much choice yet so little to choose from.

Amity Dry's Blog

Loving your post-baby body

Kourtney Kardiashian

Amity Dry Forget what Hollywood says - the post-baby body is to be embraced, respected and can even be (gasp) sexy!

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Single mothers by choice

Mother and daughter

Amity Dry A few months ago I saw an interview with writer Louise Sloan, discussing her book ‘Knock Yourself Up.’ Louise is a single mum who, after finding herself 38 and childless, made the decision to take matters into her own hands and have a child through sperm donation.

Drug free childbirth

Labour drugs

Amity Dry When I gave birth to my baby girl three weeks ago I did it drug free. Does that make me a hero or a martyr?

Justice not served: Father blinds son and walks free

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Amity Dry In Adelaide last week a father who violently shook his newborn son hard enough to cause brain damage and blindness in both eyes avoided a jail term so that he can be a “father figure” to his son.

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Motherhood: all a matter of perspective

Tired mother

Amity Dry ‘Is motherhood really that hard?' asked TV reporter Jacinta Tynan in last weeks Sunday Life magazine, and in turn started a hot debate in online forums across the country. Not hard? Are you kidding me?

Motherhood - why it's worth it

Motherhood

Amity Dry With Mother's Day this weekend I thought motherhood could do with a little celebrating, a reminder of why we all love it, even on the days we say we don’t. Because if you, like me, have been reading the articles on parenthood posted on various sites throughout the last week you’d have to be asking yourself why anyone would be mad enough to want to take it on.

Dear baby, I want you out NOW

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Amity Dry I really REALLY want this baby out now. I am 39 weeks on Thursday and feel like I have been pregnant for about 4 years, with the final week looming like an unachievable hurdle I don’t have the strength to cross. And I am so grumpy and over it I can hardly stand myself.

Midwives and the new baby experience

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Amity Dry In my experience midwives really do make or break your new baby experience. And they can have a huge impact on how you feel about yourself as a mother in those first few days in hospital and sometimes even the weeks and months following.

And baby makes four

Baby and toddler

Amity Dry My son Jamison has had our undivided attention for four years, so it is going to come as a bit of a shock when he is not the sole focus of everyone anymore.

Are mothers' groups just high school all over again?

Parenting can be a cliquey game.

Kylie Orr Parenting can be a cliquey game. I had no idea until I tried to squeeze into that mould of a perfect parent and found myself hanging over the sides.

Eating and drinking while pregnant - are we too paranoid?

Pregnancy food

Amity Dry What is your attitude towards eating and drinking while pregnant? Did you take the risk with listeria foods? Did you continue to drink and, if so, how much? Do you think the guidelines are reasonable? And do you feel left out if you can't drink at social functions?

Has a midwife (or MCHN) ever made you cry?

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Kylie Orr Kind words, empathetic smiles, patient instruction and tender advice all got me through those vulnerable moments. Thankfully the great midwives outweigh the substandard ones.

If baby brain's a myth I have serious problems

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Amity Dry You scientific people may release your findings and get worldwide recognition of them, but us pregnant women know better. Our brains suck and we know it.

Am I having a boy or a girl?

Pregnancy

Amity Dry With not knowing the sex comes the chance to test out all the old wives tales that claim to predict what you are having.

Leave my belly alone

Pregnant

Amity Dry Too big or too small, we can’t win! From our size to our choices on breastfeeding, sleeping arrangements, parenting decisions and going back to work, it seems that everyone has an opinion and isn’t afraid to share it.

Answering tough questions from kids

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Amity Dry I always wanted to be one those parents who offered a well thought out and educational answer to my child’s questions, rather than a “Because I said so.” But, I have to admit, some of his questions lately have had me struggling.

The art of naming your child

Kylie Orr

Kylie Orr Kid's names' are such a source of anxiety, aren’t they? Some people are tight-lipped about their names, thinking it best not to offer them out there too early for fear of ridicule.

Amity Dry's blog

What it means to be a mum

Amity Dry

Amity Dry Being a mum is such a uniting force, it is the ultimate common ground. It doesn’t matter what your background is, what your current or previous career was, what your income, where you live or what your life choices are – once you’re a mum we are all inherently the same.

Should breastfeeders have priority seating?

Kylie Orr

Kylie Orr I needed to breastfeed my baby when out shopping this week. I went to the well equipped parents’ room only to find all three “private feeding booths” taken. Two of the three people were bottle-feeding their babies with the curtain open.

One child is just a toy

Kylie Orr

Kylie Orr I was listening to a psychologist on a radio program a few years ago, discussing number of children when a caller phoned in with the comment “One child’s a toy!” The host and guest had a good laugh. As the mother of one at the time, I was extremely resentful of such a remark.

A complete family or a complete dilemma?

Kylie Orr My mum tells me she wanted six children and my father wanted eight. They compromised and had four. Clearly, maths wasn’t their strong point.

Parents struggle for words

Karen Kissane in Kinglake The boys charge down the slide and manfully shovel sand with spades as long as they are. The big girls run around on top of the brightly coloured equipment and the little ones draw butterflies.

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Birth to six months

Congratulations on your new baby! There are lots of useful tips and information to be found here, and it is a great place to ask those questions that crop up through these early months.

Six months to 12 months

First foods, crawling, words. This next six months includes plenty of new things - you will find advice, tips and questions answered in this forum.

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Baby Growth Chart

Check your baby's length and weight for their age against the World Health Organization's standard growth charts for children aged 0-3 years.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

In a bizarre bid for relevancy, Former Opposition leader Mark Latham has deduced that because one female journalist had this week light-heartedly thanked antidepressants and caffeine for getting her through a medical degree while raising two small children, that ergo, all 'inner-city feminists' are selfish harridans who despise their offspring.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia’s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

Baby for Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo

Fans followed every step of her on-screen pregnancy in Offspring, now Asher Keddie is going to be a mum in real life too.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong': the fight for Kaden's diagnosis

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

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Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia’s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.