Babycare

Having a new baby, particularly your first, is one of the most exciting events of your life, but at times it can also feel like one of the most frightening.

Crying

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A cry can mean many things and learning to understand what each one indicates can help you understand your baby's needs.

The latest advice on starting solids

First meal

Introducing food to a baby’s diet is one of the biggest milestone of the first six months. But when should you start, and what can you give your child to eat? We look at the latest advice on starting solids.

Child nutrition – fact or fiction?

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EB staff writers We put six common beliefs to the test.

Baby bath activities

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Brooke Wells Bath time doesn’t have to be structured play – as long as it’s safe, you should encourage any bath activities that make bath time a fun experience for your child. Just be prepared to get splashed!

Your baby's first bath

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EB staff writers There's a lot to consider when it comes to bathing your new baby, but there are some general rules for making the experience a pleasure for everyone.

Baby first aid

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Little Aid Congratulations on your new little bundle! No doubt you’ve had the roller-coaster of euphoria, fear, joy, fear, contentment, fear, happiness and ... “Jeez this is just too much!”

Parenting support: where to get help

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A helpful guide to contact information if you are looking for help, support or assistance.

Discovering 'me time' as a mum

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GREER BERRY While some out there will be aghast that I boast about how enjoyable my time was when I'm alone, I have this response: happy parent, happy baby.

The ABC of surviving a poo-mageddon

There are little to no warning signs or alarms for a poo-mageddon or poo-nami.

Victoria Mackinlay When a poo-mageddon strikes, it’s vitally important to remember and follow your ABCs.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

LIBBY HAKIM Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

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Woman's Day severely edits cover shot of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge

Kate on <i>Woman's Day</i>.

RACHEL CLUN Pregnant Kate Middleton has received a makeover courtesy of Australia's Woman's Day that leaves her almost almost unrecognisable.

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A jab to my heart - but so worth it

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GREER BERRY One of the worst things you have to consider as a new parent is the thought of a stranger giving your beautiful, soft, squishy perfect little mini human a jab with a needle.

You just had a baby

Ashlee Gadd and her baby.

Ashlee Gadd I know your to-do list is never finished. I know you’re exhausted. And frustrated. And overwhelmed ... and thankful, and happy and tired.

Is my baby normal?

GREER BERRY There are chubby Buddha babies and there are thin, smaller babies. Neither are right or wrong, they are all 'normal'.

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Parents, don't be too hard on yourselves

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John Pickering We need to stop damning parents of today, and embrace their appetite for knowledge instead.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

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Cate Broughton Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

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An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Angela Hume Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Eight things every first-time parent needs to know

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Thuy Yau I will never forget the early days, months, years of parenting – the times that were actually harder because I was still making sense of my role as a mum.

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'Wishes for Baby' ad a sweet start to 2015

A scene from the emotional 'Wishes for Baby' ad.

We may be only a few days into 2015, but Fisher-Price has already created what may end up being one of the sweetest ads of the year.

Baby diagnosed with cancer while in womb

Baby Jenna was born with a large tumour on her neck; after surgery, she required chemotherapy.

To say baby Jenna Smith has had a very rocky start to life is something of an understatement.

Modern villages needed to help new mums

Child and family health nurse Sue Colville  with clients at the Hornsby Early Childhood Centre, Hornsby, Sydney.

STEPHANIE GARDINER Nurse Sue Colville says a lot has changed in the more than 20 years she has been caring for parents and their newborns.

Life with the Harp Quad Squad

A happy handful: Payton, Elijah, Emma and Liam Harp.

Kelly Ardis "When I get really tired, instead of being sad about being tired, I just think, 'I'm so happy they're healthy.' It gets me through the exhaustion."

Your motherhood mixtape

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Ariane Beeston Here's your mixtape for the first year of motherhood; music for the key moments and milestones.

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Do babies need Christmas presents?

GREER BERRY A number of people have asked what we're getting our baby. Up until recently, I hadn't thought about it at all.

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Moving #illridewithyou song performed in Martin Place

Singer songwriter duo Edo & Jo perform I'll Ride With You in Martin Place.

MELANIE KEMBREY In the aftermath of one of Sydney's darkest days, there was a spot of colour.

Remembering lost children at Christmas

CATHERINE RODIE This December 25th will be Rachel Nobel's third Christmas without her young son Hamish, who died in a tragic accident aged just 20 months.

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Australia needs adoption law overhaul

Children in care are often forgotten between elections.

Joanna Howe During election campaigns, politicians love to kiss babies. Yet, the reality is, in between elections, Australian babies and children in care are forgotten.

Babies, relatives and coping with Christmas day

It’s your baby’s first Christmas. It’s exciting but also a bit overwhelming too as you try to plan the big day with family and friends.

PINKY MCKAY 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.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

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

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

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

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I was fat-shamed by my doctor

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

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

Esther Anderson just wanted a nap - but her baby had other ideas.

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

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The dummy debate

Dummies aren't the devil for us ... what works for one won't work for the other.

GREER BERRY 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.

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Mums reveal their nappy bag essentials

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Babyology Ever wondered what other mums carry in their nappy bags? We have, so we asked mums to tell us their must-have nappy bag items.

Five unexpected firsts of parenthood

It's all fun and games until the Poonami hits ...

JO HARTLEY What about the ‘firsts’ that no one tells you about? The milestones that aren’t listed in the books or depicted in the ads, and therefore take you completely by surprise?

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Five ways your baby shows he loves you

Even newborns recognise and prefer their mother's smell over others.

PINKY MCKAY Your care is helping your baby thrive. As your bond grows, he’ll show you in his own special ways that you are the most important person in his world.

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Baby monitor footage posted online

Security breach ... An image taken from a webcam in a Sydney home shows a baby sleeping.

Letitia Rowlands and Nick Miller 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.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

Becoming a parent, like life generally, is full of ups and downs.

Ariane Beeston 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!”

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Your new motherhood survival kit

Cloth nappies aren't just for baby bottoms ...

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

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How Huggies is helping sick babies heal

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The need for a baby to spend time in specialist care is a very stressful thing for new parents to deal with. 

Nurses give parents of premmies hope with gorgeous series

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Jen Ng Nurses who work in a neonatal intensive care unit in the US have helped give parents hope by imagining the premature patients in beautifully constructed illustrations.

Babywearers unite against misinformation

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

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10 ways to soothe a crying baby

If mum is feeling stressed out, baby will too.

Jennifer Chung 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.

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Tiny lives in caring hands: Thank U NICU Day

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Gabe McGrath Each year in Australia, over 40,000 newborns need the help of a special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit. One day a year, the staff are honoured by the parents they help through those dark days.

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Do we need celebrity bottle-feeding ambassadors too?

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CATHERINE RODIE Breastfeeding celebrities are great, but many mums say that we need to see bottle-feeding celebrities, too.

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Great gift ideas for babies

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Babyology Christmas is fast approaching! Babyology have come up with a list of great gift ideas for babies to make sure they don't miss out on all the fun.

What happens when we can't let go

VICTORIA BIRCH In those early days he felt like my baby. My husband's too, of course, but it was hard to let him in.

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Dear firstborn, I'm sorry

Being a first-time mum is tough for so many reasons – particularly because you really have no idea what you're doing.

Nicole Thomson-Pride Being a first-time mum is tough for so many reasons – particularly because you really have no idea what you're doing.

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10 myths about babies

Do babies have kneecaps? As it turns out, yes.

Anisa Arsenault As a new parent, you'll be hearing a lot of advice and opinions. Some of it will be really helpful, and some will be just plain wrong.

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ReadyStepGrow: A leg-up for premature children

Assisting development: Simone Mossop (wearing glasses) works with children who were born prematurely and their mothers.

Josh Jennings ReadyStepGrow is a charity that helps the development of children born before full term.

Early daze: the first week of motherhood

There is a lot to learn during the first week of motherhood.

GREER BERRY Greer Berry has dreamt about having a baby for a long time. Now the new mum reflects on the first week of parenthood following the birth of her son Sullivan.

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Am I ignoring my baby?

Feel guilty you're not giving your baby attention 24/7? You're not alone.

Nicole Thomson-Pride Some mums are wracked with guilt when they leave their baby on the floor to attend to daily tasks. But really, this guilt is unwarranted.

How I learnt to relax about routines

After many years, I finally realised that being parenting isn't about being perfect.

Thuy Yau After many routine-led, tough years, we've realised that being parenting isn't about being perfect. It isn't about following a schedule to a T.

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5 things to do with your baby’s old clothes

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Nicole Thomson-Pride Did you think your only option for your baby’s old clothes was to pack them away or give them to the Salvos? Think again.

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Childhood around the world

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LINDY ALEXANDER It can be easy to assume our ideas around childhood are universal, but they are particular to where we live, as these practices show.

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Why I don't breastfeed, if you really must know

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Emily Wax-Thibodeaux Truth was, I really didn't want to see milk coming from anywhere other than the store. If it did, it would mean there was still a chance I wouldn't survive.

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The best and worst month of my life

Nicole Thomson-Pride A new mum's first month of motherhood didn't pan out as expected when she lost a family member weeks after her baby's birth.

More Caring for Baby Articles

Getting rid of the dummy Calm mother, calm baby No more tears SIDS safe sleeping guidelines Newborn babies and sleep Early bedtime means better sleep Naps improve night sleep Sleep through the night Wonderful sounds for sleep Co-sleeping - making it work The sleep whisperer The wonderful world of newborn twins Twins: Sleeping Twins: Feeding Twins: Nappies, bottoms & bathing Twins: Establishing a routine Double is trouble when caring for premature babies

Forums

Feeding your Baby

From first milk to first solids and beyond

Sleeping

How to help everyone get enough

Nappies

Disposable or modern cloth? The choices don't end there

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.

Photo Galleries

How to swaddle your baby

Step by step instructions to swaddle your baby. Swaddling helps baby sleep by preventing the startle reflex. It also aids in keeping baby sleeping on their back. Images provided by aden + anais wraps.

Sleeping Beauties

Enjoy these beautiful images from new coffee-table photography book, Sleeping Beauties: Newborns in Dreamland, out now by Sellers Publishing.

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!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

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

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

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