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

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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, 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.

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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.

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.

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

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

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'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.

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.

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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What's hot on EB

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!

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.

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.

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.

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'

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

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.

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

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