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Twins and school


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#1 mumto3princesses

Posted 22 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

Just curious for those with older twins and whether you have asked that they be together or seperate? And if you have gone that way the whole way through or changed as they get older?

DD#2 and DD#3 will be in Year 4 next year. We decided seperate for FYOS and also Year 1. But then towards the end of Year 1 one of the girls teachers asked me whether we still wanted them seperate or if we wanted them together the following year. They had often opened up the wall and combined the Year 1 classes during the year so I knew they worked fine with each other in the same room so we decided that together would be good.

Year 2 was a pretty good year for them and only having 1 teacher made things easier especially sorting out the parent/teacher interviews. They asked me again towards the end of year 2 and we kept them together again this year. I wasn't asked this year so I don't know whether they will just assume we would prefer them together or if they plan on splitting them. Guess I will see when they go back to school.

Whatever they do is fine with me really but honestly 1 teacher and 1 class to get to for the Year 4 meeting at the start of the year and being able to pick 1 approximate time x2 for parent teacher meetings rather than 2 seperate days so they don't clash is much easier. Not to mention having DD#3 there to remind DD#2 to put her glasses on and ensure DD#2 doesn't take any lollies off any relief teachers they have (she has an allergy but can be stubborn) does make things easier on me.

But just curious if you have a choice whether you have changed your mind about them being together or seperate as they get older?

#2 Feral Madam Mim

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

My two start school next year (they have grown up too fast  sad.gif  ) we decided to ask that they be separate after speaking to 3 teachers that we know (family friend, brothers girlfriend and a friend I went through school/tafe with), they all knew DD and DS2 personally so figured they would have the best idea on what would be best, they all suggested we separate them so this is what we have done. DS2 and DD fight quite a bit so we are hoping that by giving them some space from each other they will be more inclined to be nicer while at home. Their classes are right next to each other and they will still see each other at recess and lunch. How they go in 2013 will obviously change what we will decide on doing in 2014.

#3 Butterscotch

Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:38 AM

I think there is no deadset rule on this as it comes down to personalities as well.
We agonised terribly about whether to keep our girls together or to separate them when starting school last year.  Whilst they weren't so close that they relied heavily on each other they did tend to "stick" together and support each other ie. where one had a weakness the other would "pick up the slack" and vice versus, if that makes any sense? eg. one at the time was less confident in meeting new people so the other would kind of lead in that, also one was stronger academically and would assist the other.  It was a great partnership actually now that I think about it, however it also concerned me that they weren't developing individually as they just kinda knew their sister would pick up and attend to any difficulties if that makes sense.  However, they were both really very shy and one of my girls prone to getting quite anxious but would be greatly comforted by having her sister there.  Starting school was exciting, yet kinda scary with the unknowns!  We had many discussions with their kindy teacher (they went to a Montessori pre-school so they had the same kindy teacher for 2 full years so she knew them very well) who said that she thought it best they stay together.  Her reasoning, she said, was that starting school was more about getting used to being at school, the routines etc.  We are in SA so it is called reception which is full time school but is what I call a "tokenstic school year".  She felt that academically they were well and truly capable for their age and so it was more important to focus on their psychological wellbeing and keeping them together would greatly assist that.  They had a great year and whilst they still stuck together they also grew confidence to branch out on their own.  

This year (year 1) they stayed together again but that was because the whole class stayed together.  Again it worked very well.  We had many discussions with their teacher throughout the year to check that it was working, and continued those discussions to decide if they would stay together for year 2 or separate (I refuse to have the school dictate to us whether or not they stay together and have been very clear that we are to be part of the decision process!!  They have been supportive of this so far).  After many discussions both their teacher and my husband and I decided that keeping together would be best.  We also discussed with THEM what they wanted and they want to stay together too.  I do think they would have been fine if separated though, but keeping them together is as much about convenience as anything as my youngest starts school next year!  I think though that for year 3 we might consider separating them, just so they can start finding their independence, but will see where they are at later in the year next year.

Wow, sorry, huge story, but basically I think that their individual personalities and needs should be considered, and also to talk to the children.  Also to talk with the teacher as well who knows the children.  One concern I raised with the teacher this year is that if they were separated next year that could they please also "split" their friend groups between the classes!  I didn't want to see one of my girls go to a class with all their friends (they share a group of friends) whilst the other went to a class without any of their friends!!

#4 mumto3princesses

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:04 PM

Thanks. original.gif

Was just curious really if many people say start them out together and then seperate and stay that way or start seperate and then together like we did.

Now that I think about it I hope the school has just assumed I still want them together. I didn't think to speak to them towards the end of the year so whatever they did will be how it is. Actually, I did think of it but wasn't sure what I thought so didn't get around to talking to them about it.

Because we seperated them in Kindergarten and Year 1 they do have a few different friends. But they also play together at times too. We initially seperated them for a few reasons. Firstly because DD#2 seemed way more ahead than DD#3 and we were concerned how she would take that when she realised. (DD#2 pretty much taught herself to read simple books before starting school and was writing her name while DD#3 ran away from books LOL and could just sort of write her first letter of her name) DD#3 also seemed to rely on DD#2 emotionally and would look for her and seem to need her nearby a fair bit and but on the flip side DD#3 had always acted like a little mummy to DD#2.

Since we put them back together the past 2 years things have been good. DD#2 was still a bit ahead of DD#3 but it wasn't as obvious as DD#3 was pretty much right on average. DD#3 reminds DD#2 to wear her glasses. And get the notes and reminds DD#2 to get her stuff that she would otherwise leave behind etc. DD#2 had friend issues and used to run off on friends because she changed her mind so she didn't have any really close friends. As they were coming out of the same class DD#3 actually helped her a bit. We have since found she has ADHD and she is medicated so she isn't as scatterbrained now. LOL

It does make it much easier for me with them in the same class. One PE day to remember and not who does PE which day and remind them to wear sneakers. One Gymnastics day (1st term next year) One library day, one teacher if there is anything to discuss. Not to mention DD#3 reminding DD#2 of anything if she is having a scatterbrained day.

Edited by mumto3princesses, 27 December 2012 - 05:09 PM.


#5 Twinmum+2

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:06 PM

QUOTE (mad madam mim @ 23/12/2012, 09:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My two start school next year (they have grown up too fast  sad.gif  ) we decided to ask that they be separate after speaking to 3 teachers that we know (family friend, brothers girlfriend and a friend I went through school/tafe with), they all knew DD and DS2 personally so figured they would have the best idea on what would be best, they all suggested we separate them so this is what we have done. DS2 and DD fight quite a bit so we are hoping that by giving them some space from each other they will be more inclined to be nicer while at home. Their classes are right next to each other and they will still see each other at recess and lunch. How they go in 2013 will obviously change what we will decide on doing in 2014.


This is pretty much the same for my two boys.  We were advised by their preschool teacher to put them into separate classes for kindy, as one of the boys tends to give the other one a bit of a hard time sometimes.  They thought it would be good to give them a break.  We've explained it to them, and the classes are often together anyway, so I'm hoping it will turn out ok, but I'll let you know later on!  I swear I'm more nervous about it than they are though unsure.gif

#6 JustinsMumplus1

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:23 PM

Hi, from a different point of view, I am a twin, my twin sister a I were in the same class until grade 6, then together again from year 7 to year 10 then separated again.

If I had twins I would separate them always, then they have separate friends , are treated as individuals and there is less comparisons.

In yr 10 I asked to be separate I was sick of bring in my sisters shadow....in my eye the teachers saw us as one...what she could do I should be able to do aswell.

To this day I now hate being compared to anyone, I hate my ids being compared etc

I have PND and as part of my therapy I am seeing a psychio therapist and only this week we went back to my schooling to investigate how I was treated and if it is was is part of the complex issues affecting me now.

Sorry for the long story but I guess seeing it from another angle:)

GL

#7 mumto3princesses

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:15 AM

Thanks original.gif

Good to see from that point of view too.

I guess with my girls its a little different. They are so different that they have always been seen as individuals.

Last year was good for DD#2 in paticular as she now has a few good friends and a best friend. She struggled a bit in the past friends wise but is now good. Their friends groups are very different possibly because we seperated them for the first couple of years  although they do also play together sometimes too. My girls are so different that unless they know them already and their surnames then they don't know they are twins or even related. They even had a student teacher once who was told there were twin girls in the class and she still couldn't pick them.

In fact I heard one mum asked another mum about them at a friends birthday party recently quite confused as she had heard they were twins. I thought she knew but I guess not lol. They will be in year 4 this year.

Oh, and no chance of them being together in high school unless they ask for it themselves for the first year. (They get asked for a list of about 3 friends they would like to be with and they try to put them with at least 1) after the first year they will get mixed around a lot and there is almost 200 per year!

#8 jak'n'jil

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:17 AM

Mine will be 10 in March. We have had them seperated every year until they repeated Grade 2. They have had different friends each year and it has worked well. One child is far more outgoing and has a lot of friends, the other has anxiety, adhd not as popular which tends to make life a little harder for her. Being in the same class they ended up with the same best friend.. Last year they were seperated again with one staying with the best friend and the other left very disappointed.

Giving them their own space and identity has worked pretty well apart from the seperate teacher issues and various activities on different days. Hardest part I think is trying to remember the teachers names and their new friends each year!

#9 twinmumplus1

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:25 AM

Mine have made the choice in conjunction with their teacher and us each year.  This year, they have chosen to go their separate ways.  Each year they chose, the teacher would ask them to outline why, and they did.  

They have separate friends in the same class - but being boys, they normally play football/soccer/cricket/basketball in a big group, so although they aren't playing together directly in the same group, they are still in the same group.  

I really do fail to see however how having separate classes defines their identity.  I thought that was defined by their personality?

#10 doubledelight

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:27 AM

We made the decision when our two started school that we were going to separate and it was the best thing we ever did.  I'm quite firm with the school that I don't want them together.

I think being separated encourages them to develop as individuals, it also discourages comparisons and in our case it stops the dominant twin "doing" for the other.

I have b/g twins and they have separate and common friendship groups.  We've always made it clear to their peers that we don't expect both to be included just because they are twins.

It definitely would be easier for us if they were in the same class but ultimately it isn't about us it's about what is best for our children.

#11 mumto3princesses

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

We did ask the girls what they wanted too for Year 2 and 3 (they were seperated Kindergarten and Year 1 regardless as it was best). Then they were together for Year 2 and Year 3. Both times DD#2 said she didn't care LOL and DD#3 said she would like to be with DD#2. Her reasons for wanting her with her were simple. She gets to be with friends sometimes so why not her sister. They never really gravitated towards each other in class and with free time would often even be on opposite sides of the room. The only thing the teachers made sure of was that they weren't assigned seats really close to each other.

Doesn't really matter either way at the end of the day I guess. We didn't tell the school our preferences either way last year so whatever they decided when planning the classes is how it will be.

#12 mez70

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:07 AM

My twins are 11 and they have ALWAYS be split at school. This came about after talking with their preschool/kindy teacher who noticed that DS was a totally different child when DD was not in session. He was more animated, outgoing and social whereas when his twin was there he would stay with her, follow her and monitor her (she had a mild developmental delay and social delay). Basically if she couldn't do something then DS wouldn't even try it... So their teacher told us  that for my sons sake they really needed spliting.

The split now is permanent as my DD's issues saw her really struggle for her first 2 years of formal schooling and at the end of grade 1 we made the decision to holder her down a year which from a twin point of view was huge as it meant never again having a chance to be in same class, go to camp together, go on excursions together etc. To be honest if DD had not been a twin she would have started school a year later and done a second year of kinder..

They are both very much their own people now and people who have been new to the school and met us after grade 1 often don't even know DD and DS 1 are twins wink.gif

One thing I would really like to say is please don't put pressure on or rely on DD# to remind DD2 about glasses, lollies etc as it is not fair on one twin to be their siblings reminder or too look out for them as it puts a pressure and responsibiltiy  on them that is not fair and they can resent... I saw what it was doing to my son at a young age and thankful we nipped it in the bub. I know it might be only "put your glasses on etc" but it can cause issues as DD2 sees her twin as nagging and you're not mum or teacher and DD3 can get over bossy and think she has to tell her twin what to do more and can also resent it........ Really who wants to be the sister telling her twin not to eat lollies????


I really think splitting has really given my 2 the chance to really evolve into 2 wonderful different kids who are chalk and cheese.. I must admit there has been a 5/6 composite running some years at school and as I wanted DS split from a certain child I actually said that for this year if it was an option of them together in a 5/6 split then I would be ok for that even though I know it would have been a tricky year....... both stubborn and doing the same assignments (grade 5 and 6 do same assignments to diff standards) there would have been arguments for sure. WE will still have that issue but having diff teachers I can say well your class does it this way etc.



#13 mumto3princesses

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:23 AM

I didn't think of it like that. I don't put pressure on her to remind her sister to put her glasses on etc thats just her really. She's looks after everyone. I grabbed a few things at the shop and while I was paying she picked up a couple of the bags. I went to take them off her but she was no its ok I want to carry them. She reminds her friends of things too like recorder when she did it or basketball/netball practise etc.

Maybe she would benefit from being by herself again. Its too late now for this year if they haven't already put them apart but I will keep it in mind for next year.

eta: That really is a huge decision having them in different years. Sounds like it was the best decision for both of them though. Wont they still get to go to camp or excursions together though?Or at least one of them?  Our school does camps for Year 5 and 6 only and they all go together. Our primary classes are all composites though with 3x 3/4 and 3x 5/6 classes.

Edited by mumto3princesses, 09 January 2013 - 08:27 AM.


#14 mez70

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:50 AM

It was truly one of the hardest things to decide and the fact they were twins was what made it hard. If DD had been a singleton, a second year of kinder and repeating etc would have been much easier choices.

Sadly our school run all excursions on straight year levels eg Grade 5 camp, grade 6 camp and all excursions run the same so they will BOTH go on the same excursions this year but on diff days (painful, at times as when I was 33 weeks pg with DS2 they both wanted me to go on their excursions as I was on mat leave so walked around a huge farm all day for 2 days (any wonder after those 2 days and a trip to Costco I ended up in Hosp for 3 days on bed rest lol)

I find that my DS does tend to be the carer and reminder of the 2 and we often have arguments where they will both say you're not my boss etc to each other. I really had to nip my son taking charge in the bud as he was becoming too attentive to his sisters needs but then he had grown up with us always needing to take her to therapy, appointments etc and I was so glad that people picked up on it and told me as my intention was for them to be together original.gif

I think it is easier for us in some ways as they are B/G twins so not seen as two sides of one coin as often happens with G/G and B/B twins. They are academically miles apart so even if they were in the same year level being together would never work as DS is very advanced and academic where as DD struggles and just scrapes through (this is due to her issues but still impacts her esteem)

In most families there is always a child who steps up and generally the older ones look out for the younger etc, but the tricky part with multiples is that when is it a sib of the same age it can get tricky as they are not "older" etc......I knwo DD sometimes gets upset with stuff at school going to the youngest in the family (year level) as she is technically the eldest by 3 mins lol..

#15 mumto3princesses

Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

Oh gosh, walking around a farm twice in a row and then costco all while 33wks. I'm not surprised!

I have only been on one of their excursions. It was tough though as they wanted me to pick one of them to take! I didn't choose though and let them decide. They had grouped the kids into about 6 kids per adult and had the girls in seperate groups. I ended up with DD#2 but we were together at lunchtime.

Yeah our school has the same thing where the youngest gets the notes etc. They always try to give them to DD#2 as she is by far the smallest. She refuses to take them though and tells them she is the oldest by 1 minute so DD#3 has to take it!

#16 *CalamityJane*

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:19 AM

QUOTE (mumto3princesses @ 09/01/2013, 11:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah our school has the same thing where the youngest gets the notes etc. They always try to give them to DD#2 as she is by far the smallest. She refuses to take them though and tells them she is the oldest by 1 minute so DD#3 has to take it!


LOL or school sends notes with the eldest, except our elder (by 4 mins) twin is the smaller one so they always give them to her sister.  It bugs her no end.

We kept DDs together deliberately from kindy until year 2.  They are not clingy twins, but they do like to know where the other is IYKWIM and we felt it best at the time.  We asked them to choose whether they wanted to stay together in year 3, which they did.  They are going into year 4 this year and I have asked for them to be separated.  It had been working well up until about half way through this year, when they both started being quite upset because everyone likes the other more than me etc.  One of them is really excited about being in a different class, but the other is quite anxious.  It's definitely time.  We'll see how we go in a couple of weeks I guess!


#17 mumto3princesses

Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:48 AM

My twins are in Year 4 too. Goodluck original.gif

I think DD#3 likes to know where DD#2 is. That might be part of why she said she wanted to be with DD#2. She doesn't look like she cares though when they are together in class and they don't associate with each other in class at all really.

So mine have had 2 years in seperate classes and 2 years together. Since they didn't ask us it can go either way this year. Can't wait to find out now!

#18 jill1972

Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

Mumto3princesses, did your girls end up going in the same class together?

I didn't realise this thread was here.  My boys start prep this year & they don't officially start class until next Monday.  This week there were parent/student interviews to pick classes & then inform parents before Monday.  I stated a couple of times that I wished to have my twins be in the same class & then see how it goes kind of a thing.  I didn't want them upset right from the word go by being abruptly separated.

So I get a call from the school this morning & one of the teachers wants them separated right from the start with one of them in her class. I'm a bit thrown by the phone call, I guess it must have looked like they rely on each other too much at the interview?  I also heavily suspect one of my boys to be on the spectrum & I shared that information with them. Maybe that's a part of it too?  

While I'm willing to give this a go, I'm feeling a bit sad about it.  My suspected ASD son does rely on his brother socially, I'm scared he's going to go from eager to going to school to not wanting to go.



_____________________

#19 doubledelight

Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Jill my twins have just started Year 2 and have never been together.  DS3 was diagnosed Aspie 6 months before starting school and it has been the best thing we ever did for him.  DD always had a tendency to mother DS3 which really hampered his growth.  I separated them because

a. I didn't want DD to feel responsible for her twins' emotional wellbeing and

b. I wanted DS3 to have every opportunity to grow and develop at his own pace without any comparisons or expectations


#20 jill1972

Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

doubledelight, thanks, I didn't think about it like that & makes a lot of sense. original.gif


______________

#21 mumto3princesses

Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:12 PM

Hi Jill, yes they are together. (well so far but classes aren't confirmed yet)

It looks like it will be quite different for them this year if they don't change anyone. Neither of them have any friends (they have different friend groups) in their class and they don't gravitate towards each other at all. There is one girl who was in their class last year with them and then 2 other girls from their year that neither of them have been in the same class as before and don't really know. Kind of glad they are together now.

When my girls started school we decided it was best for them to be seperated. One was already reading and writing while the other would actually run away if I even went anywhere near the books. The teachers seemed to think it may really affect her self confidence if she became aware her twin sister was so far ahead of her.

The other thing they told me is they could very easily either put them together if they found that being seperated really wasn't working but at that age if they start out together and then they think they need to be seperated then they can't as it can be too traumatic for them. That's the thing that helped us make the decision. They promised us that if they felt they needed to be together then they would do it.

They sometimes brought both classes together for PE or did other things together at times too. There was a time when DD#2 was really upset (she was petrified of the Healthy Harold puppet LOL) and they sent her to DD#3's classroom to be with DD#3 and calm down. They also gave her the opportunity to go with DD#3 to see healthy harold later in the week but she didn't go that first year of school.

#22 handsfull

Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

Well I'm another with twin girls in Grade 4 as well.  This year we did decide to split at the instigation initially of DD2 who wanted some space from DD1 as she was always watching her.  DD1 is ASD so would check out DD2 to make sure she was doing things the way she should be, however DD2 didn't like the  watching.  

So they are in diff classes with a couple of people they know from Grade 3 each.  We are now at end of Day 3 and DD1 who I thought would struggle has been doing her best and hanging in there.  DD2 who wanted change is having a few difficulties in letting go of DD1 and not knowing what she is up to.  So funny as she didn't want DD1 watching her all the time.....

Anyway they are two classrooms apart so see each other at break and lunch.  They also do group activities in the SEU so at least will see each other there as well.  

It was really hard on me the first day as well as for them!!  

But it is probably for the best so they learn to think independently and grow into themselves.  Might make them even more closer than they already are.

GL to us all!

#23 Deetwinmum

Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

Last year was FYOS for our identical twin boys.  We asked for them to be separated as they had done a couple of years at daycare together and we found that they tended to wrestle and muck up alot whenever they were together.  The school was a bit surprised that we wanted them separated but was happy to go along with whatever we wanted.

I was a little concerned about DS2 as he wasn't as social but having said that DS1 is VERY social and outgoing and would very often talk for DS2 so we were also worried that if they were together DS2 would just end up in DS1's shadow.

DS2 got a diagnosis of aspergers in May last year which helped explain why DS2 was struggling socially however the school has been wonderful and the teacher that DS2 had was a perfect fit for him.  Early on the school mentioned that they were very happy we had asked for them to be separated as the times the classes were together DS1 and DS2 would act up if they were close to each other.  DS1 also HATES to be mistaken for DS2 so at least when they are in class there is no chance of them being mistaken for each other.

They will be separated again this year and at this stage I would like to leave it that way for all their schooling.  They both have very individual talents and I worry that if they were in a class together they would be compared to each other.  DS1 is also VERY competitive and he would probably take great pleasure in rubbing DS2's nose in it if he did better than him in tests etc.

Good Luck

#24 mumto3princesses

Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:56 PM

I guess its very different for identical twins or fraternals that look alike. The getting mixed up would be hard.

My girls have no chance of being mixed up ever. You can't even pick them as being siblings let alone twins. They only picked the same PSSA sport once last year.

I will see how they go this year and try and remember to ask my girls what they would like towards the end of this year for next year.

#25 The 7 Dwarfs

Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:28 AM

Where possible I have always had my twins in separate classes. Sometimes due to going to a small school it hasn't been possible. I think they spent 2 terms in the same class.

My 2 are very different and have different needs, 1 twin strongly requires to be the higher grade in a composite class, the other strongly requires to be the lower grade in a composite class. So they are both in Grade 4, but 1 twin is in a 3/4 class and the other is in a 4/5, so it really wouldn't be fair to either of them to be in the same class anyhow. Neither would cope.




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There are no laws regulating driving while tired, but statistics show that driver fatigue is one of the top three contributors to the road toll.

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs? Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

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

WIN a $100 RedBalloon for Dad

Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 5 $100 RedBalloon experience vouchers. Helping you make Dad's Day EXTRA HAPPY.

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs? Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

Do you suffer from Precious Firstborn Syndrome?

Testing ?no more tears? shampoo in your own eyes, warming cucumber sticks so they're not cold straight from the fridge, waking a sleeping baby to check they?re still breathing: these are all symptoms of Precious Firstborn Syndrome.

Ezra's tragic death not in vain, mum says

Little Ezra was a "Harry Houdini" who loved trying to escape the family home. Now, after his tragic death, his parents are doing what they can to help others.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

Video: When adults act like children

Ever wondered what would happen if adults were allowed to act like children? This dad's hilarious video clip will give you an idea of what life would be like.

Mums hit hardest as flu cases skyrocket

The number of confirmed cases of influenza in Australia has doubled the number for the same time last year - and women are 25 per cent more likely to get it.

The mum who had four babies in nine months

Feeling exhausted due to the demands of caring for a baby? Imagine the life of this mum, who gave birth to three boys and one girl in just nine months.

Everything baby at Big W

Lowest prices on everything baby, only at Big W. Sale starts August 4 and ends August 20 2014.

Going viral

Outrage over baby's icy challenge

A man has been reported to child protective services after taking the ALS ice bucket challenge with his 10-month-old granddaughter.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
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Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.