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.

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7 tips to kid-proof the Christmas tree

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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.

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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

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tips for a stress-free holiday that embraces the true spirit of Christmas, with none of the greed, one-upmanship or outdated traditions.

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10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

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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.

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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.

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10 homemade Christmas gifts even your toddler can make

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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

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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.

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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.

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Tween gift guide

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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The fun of inventing new Christmas traditions

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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

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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

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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

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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'.

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.

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.

Five-year-old shoots nine-month-old brother dead

A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.

'Is that baby yours?'

She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.

Episiotomy in childbirth: not just 'a little snip'

Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.

Toddler aggression not caused by language delays after all: study

The logic was that children who don’t have the language to fully express themselves will lash out when they’re misunderstood. Not anymore.

Why we chose to adopt a child with Down sydrome

Everyone in foster care (and really in life) has something that makes them more vulnerable. We just know what our son's is.

Object of desire

Curvy mums make clever babies

Scientists appear to have discovered why women have evolved to have more curves than men – shapely thighs and bottoms lead to healthier babies.

'We'll make sure they know how much she loved them'

A first-time mum will never get to hold her four newborns, dying shortly after giving birth to the quadruplets.

The baby names NZ knocked back in 2014

A New Zealander has tried to name their baby Senior Constable but didn't get away with it - and numbering children is also a no-no.

How can you go into labour without knowing you're pregnant?

For most of us, the idea that a woman could carry a child to full-term without knowing she is pregnant is mind-boggling.

Will you get to the hospital in time?

Worrying your baby will be delivered by the roadside is a common concern for many mothers-to-be. So how likely are you to be caught short?

Video: Funny 'Lips Are Moving' parody just for mums

Meghan Trainor's song 'Lips Are Moving' was already a hit, but now it's been turned into a hilarious parody that is set to be very popular with frustrated mums everywhere.

Out with the clutter

Decluttering by the numbers: take the 30-day challenge

Forget the 5:2 diet - Twitter's 30-day declutter challenge will have your house back in shape in no time (well, a month).

Parents, don't be too hard on yourselves

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

Is my baby normal?

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

When an older sibling starts school

When one child goes to ‘big school’ and leaves the other behind, it can cause deep upset. Here's how to make the transition easier.

Stray cat saves abandoned baby

They say dogs are man's best friend, but one cat has proven felines can be just as devoted to their human companions.

How strangers are helping a mum's wish come true after her death

A mum of five, Liz Marquez wanted to breastfeed her premmie son for a year. So when she passed away suddenly, her friends - and strangers - stepped in to help.

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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Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

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

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Couple arrested over baby gun video

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Wait lists too long at OSHC? Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.