Why movement is so important for your baby's growth

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Maggie Dent Letting your child move as much as possible in the early years – using all senses, engaging in the real world, preferably outside – will help them grow up healthier, smarter, calmer and stronger.

Guilty beagle sorry for stealing baby's toy

Charlie the beagle and baby Laura are best friends

Letitia Rowlands Charlie the beagle steals baby Laura's favourite toy, but the lovable hound makes it up to his little best friend.

Dog tries to teach baby how to crawl

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The baby girl was working on her crawling technique when the family's pet dog saw she was struggling and came to give a helping paw.

My baby plays with Barbie, and I'm okay with that

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Donna Webeck Barbie is a representation of some of the happiest times in my childhood, and I’m all for fostering a similar love within my baby girl.

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Parents throw one-year-old a 'Game of Thrones' party

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Dennis Green A very lucky one-year-old had the birthday party theme of every nerd's dream - complete with an Iron Throne.

Man devastated by fiance's faked quintuplet pregnancy

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Melanie Mahoney A woman has duped her boyfriend, friends and well-meaning strangers into believing she was going to have quintuplets until arriving at hospital to supposedly give birth.

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Clean start for thousands of babies' bottoms, thanks to kindness of strangers

Letitia Rowlands The inspirational team at The Nappy Collective are thrilled with the total number of nappies collected during their most recent drive.

Video: Baby starts his day with a dance party

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Melanie Mahoney Few people start their day the same way this little guy does – dancing, smiling, and generally having an awesome time.

Video: Dad joins in cute tummy time workout

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Letitia Rowlands Dad Michael Stansbury decided to join his six-month-old daughter Lilly Ann on the floor for tummy time. The result is an adorable video clip that's gone viral.

Meet the super important 'business baby'

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Dennis Green Reddit unearths a picture of a baby doing business at breakfast and the community goes wild.

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The truth about RIE parenting

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KASEY EDWARDS Turns out the latest 'bizarre Hollywood trend' is not that weird after all.

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Why 'baby talk' is best

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Rachel Clun If you've found yourself cooing in ‘baby talk’ to your baby, you're off to a good start - recent research has confirmed that that this kind of communication can be more beneficial for your child's language development than using normal speech.

The iPad Apptivity Seat: just what every newborn needs?

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Fisher-Price has released a baby seat which comes complete with a space for an iPad. But is their 'Newborn to Toddler Apptivity' seat the worst toy idea ever?

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Study: winter babies behave better than summer kids

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COSIMA MARRINER Summer babies are more likely to struggle with sharing, concentrating, making friends and helping than those born during winter, new research suggests.

Parental anxiety over creating clever kids

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RACHEL BROWNE It’s natural for parents to want the best for their children, but current emphasis on cognitive development puts a huge amount of pressure on everyone.

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New parents need empathy, not telling off

Baby crawling on floor

CATHERINE RODIE If Dom Knight's recent Daily Life article is anything to go by, it would seem I owe my childfree friends a massive apology.

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App Review: NAN Toddler Talk

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Staff Writers Ever wondered what your toddler is trying to tell you with their babbles and squeals?

Decoding baby babble

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Amity Dry While a happy baby babbling is easy to listen to, an upset baby trying to communicate can be one of the most frustrating and upsetting experiences of new motherhood. How do you know which cries mean what?

When your child should learn to swim

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Tanya Ryan-Segger Swimming classes teach children - and their parents - about safe water habits, even from a very young age.

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My favourite friend: why kids love animals

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LEGO® DUPLO® Children and animals are a match made in heaven. Not only do children have a natural affection for furry, four-legged creatures, but they can also learn a lot from their animal friends.

Return to the classics: what makes an 'evergreen' toy

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LEGO® DUPLO® Not sure how all those new interactive toys work? Or even if your child will play with them? When in doubt, return to the classics.

Kids of married couples have better outcomes

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The children of married parents have better educational and social outcomes than those raised by de facto couples or single mothers, according to new research.

How to play with your baby

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The first time your child learns a new skill at playtime is very exciting - for both you and your baby! Play is important to your child's development for a variety of reasons - here are some simple ideas for you to try at home.

Child car seat review: SWiSH air convertible booster seat from Safety 1st

It can take the skills of a structural engineer and the fortitude of an amateur wrestler to install a new car seat. Eleanor James explains why the Safety 1st SWiSH air convertible booster seat is worth entrusting with your time, money, and your child’s safety.

Research

Babies outperform best computers

Babies outperform best computers

Deborah Smith Given a choice between raw broccoli and a salty cracker, 18-month-old children will invariably choose the tastiest: the biscuit.

Childcare operators caught short by new rule on children under two

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Adele Horin Many childcare centres have failed to prepare for the most significant reform to quality childcare in NSW in two decades even though the new standard has been signalled for two years.

Counting the cost of child's play - fees set to increase

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Adele Horin Parents are likely to face higher childcare fees to meet mandatory new staffing levels when centres reopen on January 10, but only an unlucky minority will encounter the $20 a day rises predicted by some lobby groups.

Cutest baby video ever?

We've seen a million cute baby videos on YouTube, but this baby grooving to Florence and the Machine takes the cake.

How to play with your baby from 4-6 months

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Brooke Tasovac A baby of this age is also beginning to differentiate colours, shapes and sizes, as well as developing association with various smells. Most importantly any activities that combine auditory, tactile and visual experiences such as holding, looking and listening to a book being read, or listening, moving and singing sounds in music, are ideal as they cultivate several of your baby's senses, all at one time.

Child's play – How to play with your baby from 7-9 months

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Brooke Tasovac Your baby is integrating everything she has learned so far by seven to nine months of age. Motor and visual skills are more in tune with one another, as seen in your baby's capacity to manipulate things using her hands and better hand to eye coordination.

How to play with your baby from 10-12 months

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Brooke Tasovac As baby nears her first birthday, she is able to understand more complex speech and the associations between words and actions such as "kiss" and "clap". By responding to your baby's attempts to communicate, as well as allowing her to move around as much as she pleases, it builds your baby's confidence to start walking.

Teach your baby sign language

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Did you know your baby already communicates with you using basic hand gestures? Baby signing is a natural extension of baby’s natural communication skills. Find our how you can assist your baby's speech with baby signing.

Encouraging baby's physical development from 0-2

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Kathy Walker It seems we give our children less chances to play, to climb, to do some rough and tumble. We are often too careful and don’t give children enough time to practice these skills

Understanding your baby's brain

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Kathy Walker Many parents understandably assume that a new born baby is simply a blank slate that requires us to do everything for them and that they really are incapable of anything other than crying, drinking and sleeping or not, as the case may be!

Baby talk: encouraging rich language and thinking skills

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Kathy Walker Early stimulation equals better brain function and easier acquisition of language skills. Brain studies now more than ever highlight the importance of exposure, practice and stimulation of experiences when children are young.

Teaching your baby sign language

Babies learn to talk during the first two years of their life. By 10 to 14 months babies usually speak their first word but they can learn to use sign language from a much younger age.

Forums

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.

Video: 10-week-old baby sounds like she says 'I love you'

It’s mixed in amongst garbled baby talk, but this 10-week-old's apparent attempt at telling her parents that she loves them has made her an internet star.

I only enjoyed pregnancy after booking my caesarean

To say I became obsessed is something of an understatement. Everywhere I went I found cause to be reminded of my impending pain.

When your bundle doesn't bring immediate joy

One mum says joy is very a personal feeling and expecting all new mums to feel it in the months after their baby born may do more harm than good.

Lessons learned from my toddler

Blogger Kiran Chug explains why she is going to let her toddler make more decisions for himself.

Family welcomes first baby girl in more than 100 years

The Silverton family has heard the phrase "it's a girl" for the first time in four generations.

When a community of kindness steps in

In future when someone I care for, or even someone I barely know, is experiencing a difficult time, I will not overthink it. I'll follow my heart.

Mum in Business: Jac Bowie

Jac Bowie is the founder of Business in Heels, one of the fastest growing women’s networking events in Australia. She shares her story, including how she juggles work with a young family, and ways to work smarter.

What not to say to a mum of twins

Being a mum of identical twin boys stirs up great interest and fascination. It also opens itself up to nosy, invasive questions, as well as huge assumptions.

The mums suing over unplanned babies

A mother-of-five who calls her two youngest sons "miracle babies" is just one of many mums seeking financial compensation for their children's unplanned conceptions.

Video: Dad sings 'Hallelujah' to his daughter every year

It's a gorgeous song to begin with, but this dad's version of Hallelujah, sung for his young daughter, is especially touching.

Constipation in babies when starting solids

While starting solids can be frustrating and messy (yet also fun!), introducing solids can also play havoc on tiny digestive systems.

Parents reunited with baby snatched from hospital

A mother whose newborn baby was snatched from hospital has spoken of her joy and relief at getting her daughter back.

In defence of the bumpie

Are bumpies - bump selfies - really "exhibitionism of the weirdest kind"?

Life on the other side of the fence: Why I'm child-free and quite content

Acknowledging that motherhood isn't a bed of roses – to begrudge lack of time, sleep, money and spontaneity – is sacrilegious and a no-no, especially by mother superior-types.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher

Fill out this quick survey and tell us in 25 words or less your best pregnancy or parenting tip - you'll go in the draw to win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher.

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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What's hot on EB

Losing yourself to motherhood

While watching your baby grow into a unique little person is exciting and wondrous, the intensity of meeting everyone else’s needs can ever so sneakily overtake your own needs for self-care.

Vote for a chance to win $5000

The first ever Essential Baby Awards, celebrating the best in baby products. We’re inviting you to have your say. Simply vote for your favourite products to win a $5000 VISA debit card.

Tearing during delivery: the facts

Almost all women will experience bruising, grazing or tearing after a vaginal birth. Depending on the degree of tearing, there are various treatments available.

6 tips for a day out with a baby and toddler

Outings can be lots of fun with the kids, but there are inevitable challenges. Here's some information about days out to help you be a little more prepared.

Why I invited a dozen people to watch my son's birth

I sent invitations on burgundy scrapbooking paper stamped with a field of poppies, and told each person why I wanted him or her there. I warned that there would be nudity.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby’s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend – me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum – I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

That's my boy: a dad's diary of the first 4 months

Unbearable anxiety, unspeakable joy, constant exhaustion and bouts of frustration ... The many shocks of first-time fatherhood resound in a dad's diary of his son's early months.

One of the most important things a new mum can do

Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women’s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

Baby news for Isla and Sacha

Congratulations are in order for Aussie actress Isla Fisher and her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Vote to win

What are your favourite baby products?

The first ever Essential Baby Awards, celebrating the best in baby products. We’re inviting you to have your say. Simply vote for your favourite products to win a $5000 VISA debit card.