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

jumping baby dog

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

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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'

business baby

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

Penelope Cruz

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

summer baby

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

baby reading

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

Baby signs

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

Baby in glasses

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.

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

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 an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

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