Hilarious baby with movie villain's laugh

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Hearing your baby laugh for the first time is one of the great joys of early parenthood.

How I taught my infant to use a toilet

Katy's son Jessey, shown here at 16 months, skipped the potty stage entirely.

Katy Chatel As people become more aware of these benefits, I hope more parents will practice this method, so we can cut down on nappies and improve baby bonding.

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.

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 a $500 Visa debit card

Are you a parent? Simply take our survey for your chance to win a $500 pre-paid VISA debit card.

Breastfeeding doesn't make you a better mum - feeding your baby does

Given my immense dislike of Hopkins and her opinions, I was genuinely shocked to discover that last week she actually said something that I agreed with.

'Toni, another baby has died': the anguish of watching governments fail our babies

It has been six years since whooping cough claimed the life of four-week-old Dana McCaffery. Her parents are angry that lessons learnt weren't enough to save other babies.

Longer breastfeeding linked to higher IQ

A study of 3500 infants has found that babies who are breastfed grow up to be more intelligent and wealthy.

The 2015 flu vaccine: what's new, who should get it

For certain members of the community, catching flu can lead to severe illness or death. A vaccination can be lifesaving.

Dealing with a nappy escape artist

I hear about the tots that have a penchant for ripping their nappies off and the odd one that even smears the brown stuff on the walls and fine home furnishings, and I shudder.

Hospital apologises for 'traumatising' baby mix-up

St Vincent's Hospital has apologised "unreservedly" for a baby mix-up that left one new mum traumatised.

Tips for flying with a baby

Travelling with kids requires a whole other set of skills - ones that I have learned through (sometimes unfortunate) trial and error.

How to stay calm in an emergency

I’m not expecting you to be as calm as you might be right now. What I mean is that if your panic levels are through the roof during a stressful situation, let’s bring them down to just under the ceiling.

Toddler gets 'drunk' after cranberry juice mix-up

A toddler was taken to hospital after a waitress served her sangria instead of cranberry juice at a US restaurant.

We need to stop using this word when we talk about childbirth

Is it shaming to point out that women are often being let down in birth?

The certificate helping parents deal with pregnancy loss

For some people, this certificate will offer a sense of validation that their child was acknowledged as being here and now gone, and will help them with life post-loss.

Grieving families give warnings after toddler deaths

Two Queensland families are grieving the loss of their toddler sons after the boys drowned in separate incidents last week.

The phenomenon of phantom pregnancy kicks

'Phantom pregnancy kicks’ are encountered by many mums months - or even years - after their pregnancy is over.

The health insurance advice you can't afford to ignore

There's one simple switch that could save you hundreds of dollars a year in private health insurance.

4D scans show how smoking affects babies still in the womb

The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy on unborn babies may be seen in tiny movements in their faces using 4D ultrasound scans, research has found.

How to babyproof your job interview

Once upon a time, I was a fan of job interviews. That all changed after I'd switched careers, had a baby and decided to spend the first year at home with her.

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

The most dangerous toddler food trends

Pete Evans' paleo cookbook for kids caused a storm, but there are plenty of other unsafe food trends for babies and toddlers.

Infection killed new mum of twins

Modern medicine could not save 19-year-old Sophie Burgess who died 48 hours after giving birth to twins in the UK.

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, we are giving away five DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

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!

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Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Man faces jail after giving woman abortion pill smoothie

A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.

'He's a blessing': family of baby born without eyes

Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.

Win one of 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers

With Easter fast approaching, Cadbury are giving away 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers. Enter Now!

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and Peppa Pig prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, Essential Baby and Entertainment One are giving away five bumper DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Why I post breastfeeding photos online

I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.

The day I broke my baby

There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.

The place just for dads of multiples

When a couple discovers they're expecting multiples, the dad can sometimes be almost forgotten in all the excitement and preparation. But one group offers a space just for dads of twins and higher-order multiples.

Brave mum calls for domestic violence law reform

A brave mum of two has shared details of the harrowing attacks she suffered at the hands of her partner in a bid to help other victims of domestic violence.

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30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

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