Your baby’s developmental roadmap

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JODIE BENVENISTE Caring for your new baby can feel like driving along a dark highway without a GPS: you know your destination – a happy, healthy human being – but you’re not sure whether you’re heading in the right direction.

Winner or not, all babies are beautiful

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LETITIA ROWLANDS As the 2014 Bonds Baby Search gets under way parents are urged to have fun, but not take the competition too seriously.

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The illusion that makes your youngest child appear smaller

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LETITIA ROWLANDS When a new baby arrives in the family, your older child appears to get taller overnight. But has your toddler really gone through a sudden growth spurt or is at all an illusion?

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Formula feeding: the basics

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Whether you choose to bottle feed, or need to use an occasional bottle, here are some handy hints to make it enjoyable - and safe - for you and your baby.

Teething: the basics

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Babies can get their first tooth anywhere between three to 15 months, but commonly between four to nine months. Here's what to look for and how to help soothe your child.

Four steps for basic first aid

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Knowing what to do in an emergency situation can make all the difference. It's recommended that all parents complete a first aid course with an organisation like St. John’s Ambulance or the Red Cross.

Nappy rash treatment and skin care for babies

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A baby’s skin is very sensitive; some products may contain perfumes and other ingredients that might irritate the skin. Here are some tips for skin care and how to treat and avoid nappy rash.

Not crawling? Don't worry

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Nicholas Day Among the most pesistent myths about infancy is the idea that crawling matters. However there is no scientific study that links not crawling to any negative outcomes. None.

Does baby sign language work?

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LINDY ALEXANDER I’m not using sign language to try and increase my son's intelligence, or to give him a head start. Rather, it gives me an insight into my son that I wouldn’t have had until much later.

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Earaches in young children

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Earaches are common in babies and small children, and often follow a cold. Learn the signs and how to treat these infections, including glue ear.

Coughs and colds in young children

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Children have an average of around six colds per year. Learn how to make them more comfortable when they're suffering from a cold, cough or croup.

The ultrasound you can touch

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Babyology In parents’ ever-increasing search for the perfect memento of their pregnancy comes an ultrasound you can touch.

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Immunisation, fever and pain relief

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Find out the benefits and risks involved with protecting your child from harmful diseases.

3D ultrasounds at a whole new level

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Babyology Pioneer of the 3D ultrasound technology, Dr Bernard Benoit of Monaco's Princess Grace Hospital, has recently developed new 3D imaging software that shows the foetus in incredible detail.

Headaches in young children

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Learn how to recognise if your child has a headache, and how you can make your child feel better.

How to massage your baby

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Baby massage can help babies sleep better, suffer less wind and reduce stress - and it also promotes the bond between parent and baby.

Surviving the first 12 weeks of parenthood

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Chances are that in the lead-up to your child’s birth, you’ll be focused on one thing: getting your baby out safely. But it’s also a good idea to start thinking about the next few steps – the days in hospital and those first few weeks at home.

Newborn babies and sleep

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Elizabeth Pantley Babies younger than four months old have very different sleep needs than older babies.

Your child's first words

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Your baby’s first word is a big milestone – it’s a sign that she’s becoming independent and entering the next phase of her life. And of course, no matter what her first word is, it’s a very exciting time for celebration!

Your child's first steps

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Learning to walk is a huge step (no pun intended!) in your baby’s development. From those first experiences of standing while holding onto something for balance, through to the initial hesitant, skaky steps, your child is making giant leaps towards life as an independent little person.

Your child's first birthday party

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Leearne Hynes Organising any party can be loads of fun, but when it came to organising her son’s first birthday party, Leearne Hynes was beyond excited. She shares her party tips.

Milestone bragging and why it doesn't matter

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AMITY DRY In the vast majority of cases, your baby will sit, crawl, walk, eat, talk, sleep through the night and use the toilet by the time they go to school - so why compare?

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Baby teeth eruption chart

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Although baby teeth - also known as primary teeth - can arrive in any order, many children follow a loose pattern. Our chart shows which teeth you might expect to see next, and at what age.

Teething: the first six months

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Most babies start teething around the age of five or six months. It can make them cranky and sore, but there are a few things you can do to help your child as the teeth start to erupt.

Baby's first tooth

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KYLIE ORR At around six months of age, Kylie Orr's first child cut a tooth. But there was a lot of pain and confusion along the way...

The wonder weeks

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Brooke Tasovac Dutch doctors Frans Plooj & Dr Hetty van de Rijt came up with the term ‘wonder weeks’ to describe the developmental leaps babies experience in their first 20 months of life. Each wonder week leads to your baby learning new skills they'll use for the rest of their life.

The baby fog: growth spurts and wonder weeks

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Brooke Tasovac Your baby will sometimes seem moody and suddenly won't sleep or eat as normal. This can be the result of growth spurts and what's known as 'wonder weeks'.

The baby fog

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Brooke Tasovac We look at some of the issues new parents can face and offer answers on queries parents often come up with, looking at breastfeeding and sleep issues, growth spurts and wonder weeks, illness, and parenting support.

The baby fog

The baby fog: breastfeeding

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Brooke Tasovac Breastfeeding can bring about many tricky issues for parents - and sometimes, you wouldn't even be aware of these challenges until you're facing them. We reveal some of these issues and how you can cope with them during those early months.

Child privacy: where do you draw the line?

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Amity Dry With the rise of ‘Mummy bloggers,’ Twitter and Facebook we are all sharing stories and pictures of our offspring more than ever - but i it dangerous?

Q&A with Ann Paton from Tresillian

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Staff writers When we recently hosted the EB mums morning tea, we asked Ann from Tresillian to share some of her knowledge and answer some questions our mums may have had on the day and here is what our mums were most concerned about.

Baby's first month: development, medical and sleep

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Brooke Wells Congratulations you have a brand new addition to your family! Whether it is your first or fifth plenty of Mums can't remember exactly what's it's like to have newborn, so find out about baby's first month on Essential Baby.

Baby's First Year - Month 9

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Being a mum is often described as the toughest job in the world but also the most rewarding. We have included below some tips on how to get some often much needed instant energy. Baby adores your attention and we have some handy games for you to play together. This age is also one of potential accidents as baby starts to move around. Read below what you can do to avoid your little one being injured.

Baby's First Year - Month 12

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Happy birthday and congratulations! You have made it through the first year with your baby which is often said to be the most exhausting but also incredibly rewarding. The first birthday party is very often for the parents to celebrate this great achievement! Your baby is moving rapidly into toddlerhood and you will be noticing significant changes. We have some tips for you here.

Learning to see

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Watching your child develop and grow is one of the joys of parenthood. Actively participating in your child's development will ensure that your child realises his or her full visual potential.

Baby's First Year - Month 6

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At this stage many parents introduce solid food for the first time. Solid food is actually assortments of purees. We have some tips to get you started below. Baby will also be continuing to absorb language and it is never too early to start reading and singing songs to your baby who just loves the sound of your voice!

Baby's First Year - Month 3

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At 3 months old your baby is getting stronger and more interested in his surroundings. It is a good time to talk, sing and read to your baby who will now love this type of interaction. Some babies might even have settled into a routine and be sleeping more consistently, however most babies will still not sleep as well as many parents would hope.

Baby's fifth month: teething

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Brooke Wells Tooth eruption rate is hereditary so if you or your baby’s father had teeth come in early or late, this is a good indication of how your own baby’s teeth will come in.

Developmental milestones: the first six months

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It is important to realise that babies developmental progress varies greatly. Some children may miss out on developmental milestones all together - such as crawling.

Developmental milestones: the first year

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Track your baby’s developmental progress with our milestone checklist guide.

Baby's First Year - Month 1

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Your baby is born with some amazing abilities - he is not just a little sponge waiting to soak up experiences. From the moment he is born, his ability to snuggle into your neck, grip your finger tightly and look into your eyes will have you falling in love.

Baby's first month: breastfeeding

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Brooke Wells Breastfeeding is often the first real challenge mothers face with their newborns. Rest assured there is plenty of advice and help to encourage and support you with this important job.

Baby's First Year - Month 2

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In the early months so much is new that it is natural to wonder or worry about how your baby is feeding, sleeping and crying. Below we answer some of the questions most frequently asked about newborn cries, feeding, sleep and how you can interact with your baby at this age.

Baby's second month: development, medical and sleep

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Brooke Wells Early experiences are significant in shaping babies minds. A baby can begin to communicate as early as two months and will be able to smile and coo although crying is still his main form of expressing their needs.

Baby's second month: SIDS

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Brooke Wells There is no known reason for SIDS but it is believed to be related to a baby’s inability to wake up when breathing irregularly, as part of a larger defect of the arcuate nucleus in the brain or elsewhere in the body that goes undetected.

Baby's third month: development, medical and sleep

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Brooke Wells Setting aside time a couple of times each day to have fun with your baby is important both for your baby’s development and for your relationship with your baby.

Baby's third month: routines

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Brooke Wells A structured routine is not the same thing as a schedule. A schedule is about time slots whereas routine is about keeping up the same daily pattern and repeating that pattern every day.

Baby's First Year - Month 4

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By four months your baby may be better at sleeping but if not we have some settling tips below. It is also time for the next set of immunisations, and a general health check up. If baby is suffering from nappy rash, which many will at some point we have information below on how to treat it.

Baby's fourth month: development, medical and sleep

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Brooke Wells By the age of four months, your baby will be able to follow a moving object with her eyes and look around and smile at people she sees frequently.

Baby's fourth month: delayed development

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Brooke Wells In most instances, babies reach each developmental milestones like rolling over, sitting, walking, and talking right around the expected time, and if they don't they catch up soon.

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.

Tools

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.

Newsletter

Baby's First Year Guide

This monthly guide to your baby's first year covers development, sleeping, baby care, immunisation reminders, feeding and more.

Australia's top baby names of 2013

Essential Baby has compiled the data available from government records around the country to bring you the list of Australia's top baby names of 2013.

Sara James: fighting for my daughter

Sara James was a high-profile New York journalist, but it was her own daughter's story which raised the most questions.

Siblings and best of friends

I know we'll have some tense moments. I know there will be arguments. But I also know these two will always have this most beautiful bond.

In defence of mums on the phone

I know news stories always attract a range of opinions, and I know they're a place for people to have an anonymous dig in. However, I also know that this mum bashing has to stop.

Rescue dog Zoey and BFF Jasper star in adorable pics

Photographer, self-professed "crazy dog lady" and mum Grace Chon takes photos of rescue dog Zoey and her 10-month-old son Jasper together. The results are just too cute. See more on Instagram @thegracechon.

Pregnancy essentials for the second and third trimesters

So you're through the first trimester of pregnancy - congratulations! Here are some tips for getting through the next six months as comfortably and happily as possible.

Coles Easter eggs recalled due to presence of tree nuts

An allergic reaction has lead to the urgent recall of a variety of Coles brand Easter eggs.

The ultimate travel stroller: the Mountain Buggy nano

We tried the Mountain Buggy nano and give it an enthusiastic thumbs up. As the ultimate travel stroller, it's practical, has great features, and looks fab, too.

Why I love the small age gap between my kids

Six months after our son turned one, we welcomed son number two into our lives. Yes, the small age gap had been planned - and there are things I love and hate about that small gap.

Parents warned about posting kids' photos online

Parents could be putting their kids at risk by posting images and information online which give away personal details, such as where they go to school and which parks they frequent.

Easter gifts for babies, no chocolate in sight!

If this is your little one’s first Easter you might want to mark the occasion with something a little extra special. Here are 10 Easter gift ideas, which won't harm little teeth.

Mum's the word when it comes to baby news

The arrival of a baby is big news, but friends and family need to understand it is not their news to share.

What’s in your parenting toolbox?

So often as parents, we don’t really talk about our ‘parenting toolboxes’. But you need to be aware of what you and your partner are working with, and to decide what does and doesn't fit in your lives.

Classroom pregnancy prank goes viral

An American college professor has had to rethink his strict rule about answering cell phones in class after being the victim of an April Fools' prank that has gone viral.

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

Win the brand new phil&teds vibe

Check out the good looking new release of the Vibe 3 and the Verve 4-wheeler inline strollers. To celebrate their release, we have a Vibe with double kit to give away.

Baby sleep

From birth to one year and beyond, read about baby sleep, soothing techniques, routines, and sleep school experiences.

Australia's top baby names of 2013

Essential Baby has compiled the data available from government records around the country to bring you the list of Australia's top baby names of 2013.

Video: Dad turns son into action movie hero

Many kids would love to be an action movie hero in real life, but very few will ever be able to see themselves in movies like these.

Toilet training in winter

There’s no need to stop thinking about toilet training just because the temperature is dropping: winter is a good a time as any to start the process.

What do you do all day?

It's the question all new mothers dread. For Kate Fridkis, it's a question that strikes to the heart of what it is to be a woman.

Easter gifts for babies, no chocolate in sight!

If this is your little one’s first Easter you might want to mark the occasion with something a little extra special. Here are 10 Easter gift ideas, which won't harm little teeth.

Video: Baby starts his day with a dance party

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

IKEA announces bed canopy recall

IKEA has recalled its range of bed canopies designed to suspend above children’s beds following reported cases of injuries and entanglement.

Free Printable Activities

Keeping little hands busy

Free printable acitivity pages like colouring in, cutting, word finders, mazes, maths activities and puzzles.