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.

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.


7 tips to kid-proof the Christmas tree


If this is your first Christmas with a toddler, you may be wondering how you'll keep your Christmas treasures out of curious little hands. Here are some ideas to keep your child safe - and your festive decorations in place.


Getting through Christmas pregnant

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Livia Gamble Follow our tips to be a healthy and happy mum-to-be this festive season.

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Tips for a stress-free Christmas


Richard Meadows Here are some tips for a stress-free holiday that embraces the true spirit of Christmas, with none of the greed, one-upmanship or outdated traditions.


10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas


Babyology 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.

Healing a family rift before Christmas

HEAL THE RIFT: Unresolved tension can overshadow Christmas.

Aileen Nakhle Christmas is a time to share with those we cherish most. But festivities and family are not always an easy pairing.


The toys to avoid this Christmas

This generic brand helicopter toy failed the normal use test, the small parts test, the reasonable foreseeable abuse test, the drop test, and the tension test.

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


10 homemade Christmas gifts even your toddler can make


CATHERINE RODIE Everyone loves a personalised Christmas present - especially those which have been lovingly created by little hands. These Christmas gifts are so easy that even your toddler will be able to make them.

The pregnant woman's guide to Christmas eating

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Livia Gamble Christmas turkey, seafood or ham; however you decide to dine this Christmas, if you’re pregnant there are a few things to keep in the back of your mind.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

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Melissa Browne Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

A guide to going booze-free over Christmas


Duncan Buchanan Pregnant, thinking of giving alcohol a miss for a while, or doing the Pregnant Pause over the silly season? Here are some tried and true tactics that can help you handle the hardest social situations without giving into pressure to have a drink.


Christmas stocking gift ideas

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Babyology Babyology have found a great selection of gifts you can stuff into your kids Christmas stockings.

What Christmas means to us after the loss of our baby

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Sally Heppleston We had a very happy Christmas Day in 2007, when we excitedly announced to our family we were pregnant. Then our baby was born stillborn and our lives changed forever.


Tween gift guide


Babyology Tweens (around 10-12 years of age) can be incredibly hard to buy for. Here's a great list of Christmas gift ideas that the kids are sure to love.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

When is the right time to start the Christmas countdown?

MATT CALMAN 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.


City to sparkle beneath a million Christmas lights for SIDS and Kids

David Richards among the Guinness World record attempt for the largest LED light image display.

EMMA KELLY Well known in his neighbourhood for his amazing Christmas displays, David Richards is lighting up Canberra for a good cause.

How a Christmas baby grew into the Grinch

sad xmas

Lesley Picking I've always hated Christmas, but I'm getting better at hiding it as the years go on. I'm a 'Christmas baby', born on December 25.


Individual Christmas puddings

Individual Christmas Pudding

Nothing sings Christmas like Christmas pudding and here is one for everyone!

Best Christmas romantic comedies of all time

love actuallyClick for more photos

Grab your partner, bestie or a tub of Ben & Jerry's and snuggle up for these Christmas classics.

A 10-month-old's letter to Santa


Raquel D'Apice I am a 10-month-old baby and I write because my mother has been sending out my "Christmas List" to people, and her list does not in any way represent the things I really want. Here is a comprehensive list of the things I want for Christmas.


The fun of inventing new Christmas traditions


Cal Wilson One of the things Cal Wilson has loved most about having a family is starting their very own Christmas traditions.

Dealing with the holiday season when you're newly separated

Small girls celebrating hanukkah

KERRI SACKVILLE As the holiday season approaches, I face my first ever Christmas as a single parent. Interestingly, though, it’s not with the emotions you might anticipate.

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'All celebrated out': a Christmas poem

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KYLIE ORR A never ending shopping list, non-stop festivities with family and friends, plans to do it all differently next year ... yep, that's Christmas in Kylie Orr's house.

Gifts for the mum-to-be or new mother who has everything


Jo Hartley In order to be a little bit different and think somewhat outside the usual gift box, why not give one of these to the pregnant woman or new mum who seemingly has it all?

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10 tips for getting a good photo with Santa


LETITIA ROWLANDS Guaranteeing your child will smile sweetly for the camera when they sit on Santa's lap is impossible, but these tips will give you the best chance of success.

The best gifts for our children

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PINKY MCKAY The most precious gifts we can give our children are those that will last long beyond the festive season.

No more plastic: give experiences this Christmas

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KYLIE ORR This Christmas, toss away the idea of giving people stuff, and give special experiences instead.

Essential Kids Christmas

Lots more articles, activities, recipes, and gift ideas over at Essential Kids Christmas hub

Photo Galleries

26 fun Elf on the Shelf ideas

The Elf on the Shelf is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. Each morning he appears in a new place. Here are some of the most creative we've found.

Christmas costumes for babies and toddlers

Christmas costumes for babies have never been cuter - check out these little snowmen, reindeers, Christmas trees, elves and more!

Not so jolly?

A hilarious collection of scary, weird and sketchy Santas.

Forum chat

Christmas Forum

Chat with others about tree options, your Christmas shopping style, gift ideas, menu suggestions and your family traditions.

Baby in 2015?

Chat with other women due at the same time as you in the EB forum's 'due in groups'.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five new mums will join the Essential Baby Test Drive Team and discover great new baby toys from Fisher-Price & write a review to be published on Essential Baby.

Two children fall from second storey window

Two young boys have been rushed to hospital after falling out a second-storey window of a home in Eastwood.

Victorian Labor to introduce same-sex adoption laws

Thousands of same-sex couples with children will have the right to be jointly recognised as parents by Victorian law.

Sneak peek: Maxomorra bee dress, t-shirt and romper for babies

Cutest snap find on the planet - bee rompers, tees and dresses for babies.

Toddler found two days after going missing

A two-year-old girl who disappeared on Friday night from her great-grandparents' home in rural Ohio was found alive Sunday evening in a nearby field.

Dad builds the ultimate bed for his toddler son

The transition from cot to big kid bed might be a little easier if every toddler had a bed like this one.

Is Woolworths now cheaper than Coles?

Woolworths appears to have taken the upper hand in its price battle with Coles after investing millions of dollars lowering the cost of groceries, according to new figures.

Aussie babies and parents stranded in Nepal after surrogacy ban

Parents say Australian babies are being "kept captive" and cannot come home after a ban on commercial surrogacy in Nepal.

Wannabe dads left behind in IVF debate

If virgin women can become mothers through IVF, maybe we're ready for another miracle - genuine equality for men in the parenting debate.

The health and fitness lessons I've learned

What I once assumed about health and fitness is wrong.

Our angel baby story: Hunter James

I have two children: one living, the next an angel baby.

Newlyweds send bill to no-show guests

Planning a wedding can be stressful – and, as most newlyweds can attest, it can be very costly, too.

Your choice or theirs: the tug-of-war over baby names

They had just decided on a name they both agreed on, but then the grandparents threw in an offer of $10,000 in exchange for choosing something else.

Dad-to-be's tearful reaction to pregnancy news goes viral

After 17 years of trying, this man had given up hope of having a family.

Claire Danes: acting out postnatal depression was difficult

Actress Claire Danes found it difficult pretending to have postnatal depression in Homeland, as she had just become a new mother herself.

The moment a 92-year-old meets her great grandaughter

It's a heart-warming photo this family will treasure forever.

How to prepare for breastfeeding when you're still pregnant

While every woman's breastfeeding journey is different, many hurdles are shared. Knowing what to expect will enable you to make informed decisions if - or when - you meet challenges along the way.

Sneak peek: new Love Mae bamboo dinnerware designs

We do love ourselves some brand new designs in tried and true products. The renowned bamboo dinnerware from Love Mae has just had several more members join the family, in addition to a brand new website.

Mum who killed paedophile gets reduced sentence

A mother-of-five who killed a paedophile has had her jail sentence reduced by a judge who described her case as a "truly exceptional" one.

Sneak peek: Geleeo self-cooling pram & high chair liners

We just spotted Geleeo, a brand new self-cooling pram liner you can buy in time for summer.

Toddler's silent debate with mum about naptime

He might not utter a single word - but this toddler is having a great debate with his mother about nap time.

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Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

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Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

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The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

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A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

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What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.


Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration