It's mum who keeps the baby talk going

Babies like to babble with mum.

Melissa Healy Between birth and seven months of age, the average baby born into a two-parent household hears nearly three times as much babbling, cooing and sing-song questions-and-answers from a woman - generally the mother - than from a man, new research shows.

'As soon as I saw the ultrasound I knew she was a stunner': meet the baby beauty queen

Amanda Collins and her pageant queen daughter, Luna.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Excited parents-to-be go to pregnancy ultrasounds hoping to see a healthy, growing baby. But Amanda Collins had no doubt what she saw on the screen when she went for a scan at 20 weeks pregnant - a future beauty queen who would be born catwalk ready.

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Following your child's emotional roadmap

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Psychologist Angharad Candlin will guide parents through their child's emotional development during her seminar at the Essential Baby and Toddler Show in Sydney this weekend.

Babies may benefit from autism therapy

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Children showing signs of autism don't usually receive early intervention until well into toddlerhood or later, but a new study suggests infants with symptoms of the developmental disorder might benefit from therapy from as early as six months.

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The app that helps detect signs of autism

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Letitia Rowlands Parents can assess their children's progress at critical developmental stages, thanks to this new app.

Six tips to help you manage baby sniffles

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Jen Ng The colder months can be worrying for parents when their baby suffers a blocked nose from a cough or cold. Here are some tips to help you manage blocked noses.

Video: Tiny twins having a chat

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Letitia Rowlands They will be spending lots of time together during their lifetime, so it's lucky these twin babies enjoy each other's company.

Your baby's first trip to the dentist

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Jen Ng You shouldn't be anxious about your child's first trip to the dentist. Here are some tips for making it a positive experience.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

Talking to babies helps their brain learn the skills required for speech

LETITIA ROWLANDS The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

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

Bonds Baby search

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, colds and croup 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

Toddler development in the first year

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.

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.

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."

Empowering bikini photo of 46-year-old mum goes viral

When a group of teenagers made rude remarks about her body as she walked past them in a bikini at the local beach, Julie Cross refused to cover up.

Devastated widow discovers she's pregnant the day before husband's funeral

They had been trying to conceive a baby for seven years. Tragically Kristy Kirchner found out she was pregnant the day before her husband Royce's funeral.

Gabriella Goat sues Peppa Pig

Every toddler's favourite television pig is being sued by an Italian woman who shares a name with a Peppa Pig character.

Meet the Mpregs, the male pregnancy enthusiasts

"Men can't have babies - that's something only women can do! But our community is full of like-minded people who wish otherwise."

Your new motherhood survival kit

Forget about the bright, pretty baby things - while you're in survival mode, all you'll need are the essentials.

More than 100,000 cars recalled globally after death of pregnant woman

The announcement of a mass recall comes as Malaysian police investigate the death of pregnant woman in July.

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.

I had a 'good baby' but still suffered from postnatal depression

I had a much wanted precious baby girl, a 'good baby' who slept well, self settled and was mostly content. It just seemed implausible to think I could succumb to depression.

There's no need to eclipse a babymoon

As long as pregnant women do their research, travelling during pregnancy can be done safely.

Mum and daughter have babies on same day

"It's not really something you ever want or think could happen. To have my mum going through it with me is probably the most special, amazing thing ever.”

Our baby's reflux caused the longest endurance test of our lives

I'm glad she wasn't my first child, or I would have thought that this was normal.

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.

The podcast that reminds mums they are not alone

A mum's complicated, gruelling labour gave birth to two lovely beings: her daughter and her delightful podcast, The Longest Shortest Time.

Is it too late to change my midwife?

My wife is nine months pregnant and we are planning a home birth - but we've had late problems with our midwife team.

The Very Hungover Caterpillar: a parody many can relate to

A new book released this month will be sure to have parents nodding and giggling in recognition the world over.

Babywearers unite against misinformation

Everyone has heard of people power, but what about passionate babywearing power?

Reliving the birth experience

When people ask about how my labour went, I usually respond: "Good, I think? Four hours long, and yeah it hurt, but I dunno, it's labour, it's giving birth, it's painful... but I guess it was good? As good as good gets?"

Literary baby name inspiration

From Harry Potter to Shakespeare and everything in between, we've scoured the library shelves for literary baby name inspiration.

Preparing your child to attend a sibling's birth

Thinking about having your kids at the birth of your baby? Here are some things to consider.

Counselling helps mum deal with triplets' early birth

When Kimberlee King's waters broke nine weeks before her triplets were due, she went into autopilot as she packed her hospital bag.

The women balancing babies with new businesses

Motherhood teaches us that we can be more tolerant, patient, and loving than we ever thought possible - and can also show us that we're innovative, creative and entrepreneurial, too.

It's true, kids grow up overnight

A dad ponders how his toddler daughter can change so much in just one 24 hour period.

Father sings to dying son days after losing wife

A heartbreaking video shows a new dad singing 'Blackbird' to his dying son just days after losing his wife.

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 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!

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.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

'It's not you, it's me': Boston bombing survivor mum to have leg amputated

Rebekah DiMartino is going through a break-up. She even wrote a farewell love letter. But it's not to her husband.

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

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