Four signs your baby will start walking soon

Whether your baby is an early walker or a late walker might have nothing to do with her ability and more to do with her personality.

Anisa Arsenault Some babies cruise around holding onto furniture for months and months while others start walking practically the moment they get up on two feet.

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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

Baby crawling

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.

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.

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children’s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we’re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child’s pre-school or day care!

Toddler freed after getting trapped in escalator

A shopping centre escalator needed to be pulled apart to free a toddler's trapped hand.

Why I'm kind of excited about my daughter's nits

Is it weird to say that I am secretly thrilled to find that my daughter Edie has nits?

Baby born at 10:11 on 12-13-14

Well, it's actually 13-12-14 to us over here. But still, Clare Elizabeth Keane's consecutive numerical birth time is pretty special.

On holding tightly and loving fiercely

We can't live in fear. This post is about Christmas and how at this time we should be celebrating life and grateful for what we have: our loved ones who we cherish fiercely.

Babies, relatives and coping with Christmas day

Everyone will love your baby but your baby may not be so happy to be passed around a lot of new people - nor may you want to feed with an audience.

Why I won't be posting pictures of my baby on Facebook

There are pros and cons to this policy.

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.

The dangerous new trend of glucose challenge test refusal

A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.

Office of Fair Trading reveals naughty toys ahead of Christmas

The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

'I tried to kill my baby': one mum's story

After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.

Attack of the 'mummy brain'

I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.

Mum of baby who fell ill after drinking raw milk speaks out

A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.

Australian divorce rate lowest since 1976

Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.

The aftermath of a traumatic birth experience

In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Young mum burns 'from inside-out'

A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.

The disagreement that can break a relationship

If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.

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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Co-sleeping or no-sleeping? Mum videos worst nap ever

One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.

Why children misbehave during the festive season

While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.

I was fat-shamed by my doctor

The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.

End of an era: no more childcare

As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children’s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we’re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child’s pre-school or day care!

The 7-year itch is more like the 10-year itch: study

Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.

Should children be forced to sit on Santa's lap?

We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Baby born weighing almost 14 pounds

Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.

The dummy debate

I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

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