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FYO high school 2013 chat thread

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#1 maurie

Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

DD is off to High School this year  ohmy.gif and I'm finding it a bit like when she started Primary all those years ago.

We've got all the info, she's been to orientation and we're collecting stationery/ipad/uniform etc over the next month, but I'm a bit scared for her.   It's a loooooooooooong time since I went to High School but I still remember how daunting it was and I want her to fit in.

I have all these stupid questions that she doesn't seem fazed by but I know they were enough to get you noticed and picked on back in my day.   Things like - what length socks?  bike shorts under her uniform dress?  does everyone have the exercise books from the School book shop or are K-Mart/Coles ones ok?

So does anyone have any advice for me or should I just chill.

#2 I'msoMerry

Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

I dont have answers to your practicle questions but a bit of advice if you dont mind.

I worked in a public high school for nearly 6 years and the one thing I saw consistently with the new ones was the amazing change within the first 6 months. They seemed to start so innocent and full of ideas about their future. Over time the hair would change, the piercings would come, and the wagging would start.

Just dont let her grow up too fast.

#3 Mrs Bouquet

Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

Don't do what I did when my DS first started and send her off on the first day with all the items on the booklist. laugh.gif Only needs pens and paper on that day and when they get their timetable, they will know what to bring each day.

Doesn't matter what brand exercise books they have.

Unless it is a dress code as part of their school uniform, then I would say ankle socks would be best.

Relax and she will be fine. original.gif Mine just finished Year 12 this year. It will fly by.

#4 somila

Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

WRT uniform, you could have a look on the website and see what the kids are wearing in the general photos (as opposed to the official uniform shop photo - but you could check that out too).

My DS#1 is starting High School this year and I am also finding it strange and new original.gif

#5 mumto3princesses

Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

I would do ankle socks and she can either fold or scrunch them depending on the uniform rules. Unless they actually want higher ones. I definately wouldn't buy the higher ones if they aren't a uniform requirement.

One thing I can think of is the length of her skirt. Don't make her wear it really long (or really short). First impressions do count and you can always hem it for when she grows taller. There are always a few that wear their skirts the length they come in and they are usually way below the knee. Then there are the others that try to get away with rolling their skirts up way too short.

Oh, and if they have a hat as part of their uniform don't send her off with it on her head. DD#1's school tried to say the hat was part of the uniform and there are times they need to wear it but not all the time. And no one except the odd few wear it day to day.

Whatever books they end up needing usually need to be covered so it doesn't matter what brand they are and you can't tell.

It's true what pp said. A lot of them do change and not in a good way. Not my DD#1 or her friends thank goodness but there has been quite a few who surprise me. Skirts get rolled up, sleeves rolled up, heaps of makeup, false nails and colouring their hair.

And yep as pp said. Just take a notebook and some pens the first day. Oh and maybe a few $$ for anything they might need. DD#1's school has Lockers which cost them $2 and they need their own padlock so that is good to have ready if they have them. Oh, and combination lock, not a key one. We learnt that the hard way! DD#1 also had to buy a few things like a maths plastic folder thingy so some cash if she needed it saved her having to wait. That was only a couple of dollars too.

Edited by mumto3princesses, 03 January 2013 - 03:16 PM.

#6 skae

Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:30 PM

The one thing I vividly remember from my first day of high school - you don't need to take all your textbooks on your first day! I actually had bruises on my shoulders from carrying around all my textbooks all day!

Hope your DD enjoys her first day original.gif

#7 i-candi

Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

DS started high school last year.

With lunch, wrap everything so that they can grab and go and don't have to carry lunch box around all lunch time.


We didn't have to worry about books/exercise books as the school provided everything and we just had to cover in clear contact. The kids were given books/exercise books when they booked in for uniform fittings.

It is scary but I loved loved loved the whole high school experience even though DS did have problems and I was in contact often with the year co-ordinator sad.gif . High school is great, they learn so much more.

We're starting all over again this year with DS going to a new school, he is going to a school that his best friend goes to so hopefully it will be smooth sailing for him. I'm starting a new job at a primary school so I can't take the day/morning off to take DS to school sad.gif so DH requested the days off surrounding the start to school. We just got his roster and his work is sending him to Bali sad.gif

Lucky DS's friend dad will take him to school ! DS suffers from anxiety so this is probably better than DH taking him to school.

#8 mitty82

Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

im going to stalk this thread, im in the exact same boat. How is she feeling about it? My daughter balled her eyes out on the last day of year 7 and is feeling very very nervous about it all.

#9 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

Don't buy too many socks etc until they start, if the majority are wearing short socks your child wont want to be the only one with long socks.  They can get really picky about what types of shoes/socks etc are the 'right' ones.
They wont want a "Hello Kitty" lunchbox either.  Plain brown bags or plain lunch box, by Yr 9 most will buy their lunch anyway. They tend to leave the lunchbox in their locker/bag and just grab the food.
They will need to get used to lockers and combination locks most likely.  Mine like to race to the lockers on the first day to get the best choice of locker location - apparently it's not good to get one at the bottom row as you get hit on the head by everyone, top row is preferred.
They need to get used to taking and changing into sports gear (in primary mine just wore the one uniform no matter what). High school they have change rooms and a seperate PE uniform.
Haven't covered a book since they started High.
Their backpack brand/type will become important.
DONT walk them into class/school.
They will get lost at first walking around trying to find all the different rooms.
As pp said long skirts or too short skirts are not the way to go.

They do change but there isn't much you can do about it. It's a bit like when they start kindy/reception - I saw my sweet boy change once he was influenced and it happens again.  Was even worse for mine I think because they went from a tiny primary school to a huge highschool. Be interested in their friends new or old, be ready to talk when they want to and make sure there are opportunities for social connection with friends outside of school.

goodluck, it really is pretty easy as a highschool parent, not as hands on as primary and goes by fast.

#10 gina70

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

My dd 2 is also starting high school this year, she is feeling excited and a little nervous.  Her sister will be in year 10, so that will make it much easier for her.  They are catching the bus together on the first day.  She got fitted for her uniforms in November, I bought her shoes today.  I got her fitted for bras for the first time today. I have bought her a razor in case she decides to shave her legs before school goes back.  She has had her hair trimmed.  I pick up her books in a couple ofweeks.

I felt very sad when dd2 finished year 7,espcially as I worked at the same school and loved having her around.  I will miss her dearly!

Edited by gina70, 03 January 2013 - 05:42 PM.

#11 Georgie Boy

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

Sounds like we need a high school thread. My Ds is starting too. First day is Jan 30th.
They only need to bring a pencil case and exercise book.
Parents can take them to the hall on the first day but I  am reluctant to do that and am just inclined to take him to the bus stop.
They get a sausage sizzle on the first day.
I am interested in finding out what the canteen is like & if they will have lockers.
We have a list but not a lot to buy and am looking around for a decent backpack,the last one I got from Kmart barely lasted a year.
Do all your kids have a camp. DS is off to Broken bay in March.
Exciting times.

#12 JKTMum

Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

Wrote a whole long reply and then lost it sad.gif.

DD1 is starting year 7 (secondary in Vic) on Jan 31st. DS is going into year 10 but they will be on separate campuses (2 junior and 1 senior, it's a huge school something like 400 or more year 7's alone, most of them on the bigger campus DD1 will attend as its the one we are zoned for). I am nervous about DD1 starting as she has Aspergers so her transition will be more challenging than most other students, but so far the school has been fantastic listening to us and giving DD1 options too (ie whether to have her locker in the integration area or out with her home group, she requested out with her home group but near the door (the lockers are set up in a U shape with the fourth side being a roller door so in the corners can be quite crowded and noisy which she wont cope with), they wrote that down and will do everything they can to make sure she is as close to the door as possible, if she finds it too challenging after awhile they are happy for her to move across to the integration area where it's quieter). As well as her home room teacher and house co-ordinator she will also have the integration co-ordinator overseeing her progress, academic, social and emotional. She doesnt need too much help so wont need an aide much, but will be in a class where one is available with a couple of other kids who need similar. I've had her practising opening DS's combination padlock as they are really tricky, she wont get her own until the first day (lucky they are on separate campuses so no problem with her knowing DS's combination and trying to break into his locker once the year starts original.gif ).

I pretty much have everything for her, have ordered the books as I couldnt be bothered sourcing them all separately with DS's as well. Uniform we got a couple of months ago so we could get her fitted when it was quieter and less stressful. The uniform shop lady was good about telling us the latest trends, there are two sock lengths allowed, short or knee length, but she said the trend has been for short the last few years so to not bother going for the long socks, no-one wears them. I've taken up the dresses (school is very strict on the length allowed, so they are under knee length, but not daggy like they were when we first got them).

As far as personality changes go, DS did change after starting secondary but for the better, he went from a shy, introverted, kid with only a few friends and was the target for bullies (primary school was heavily into sporting prowess, he didnt have any, academics were important only to the teachers and parents, not to the whole school, ie there were no opportunities to show the whole school what they could do apart from the Australian maths comp) to a kid who is now confident, has been given leadership roles and opportunities to show the strengths he does have both academically and in the role of music and performing arts. He has a great group of friends, they are all very differnent kids, some academic, some sporty, some into performing arts, some not, but they all get along great and are very supportive of each other. He has really taken on every opportunity he has been given and the school have noticed and supported him at every level. For a school of over 2000 kids across three campuses, he is actually known by name by the head of campus of each campus (not just the junior he attended) as well as the overall Principal and many of the other department head teachers which is great.

I'm hoping DD1, although she will have other challenges, will find her niche at secondary school and thrive there too. Transition will probably be tough, but I know the school will do everything possible to make it as smooth as it can possibly be for her.

To the OP get used to getting less information than at primary school, although the teachers are happy for us to ring and leave a message on their voicemail (and they do get back to us fairly promptly) I have found there is less general information coming home, I have to make sure I keep up with the once fortnightly newsletter and check the student diary to see what is coming up. Our school has a daily bulletin that is read out in home room each morning, so they rely on the students to pass on some of that information to the parents if relevant. Most is just about day to day stuff like classroom changes for the day or music lesson timeslots but other information is about notes that have to be filled in and returned or upcoming events. I also have to remind DS to ask for clarification from particular teachers or head of departments as sometimes they assume families know how things work (as the school has been doing it that way for years and years) but dont quite remember that some families are new to it all and may not have anyone else who can advise them (ie friends with older kids).

#13 maurie

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

So much good advice, I appreciate it.  

DD is 11, will turn 12 in Feb and is our only child - she's looking forward to the new school but is a little nervous.  Her bff will be in her class and there are a couple of other girls she knows going to the school.  

I will get her the ankle socks and tell her to keep the hat for when needed, and I'll try to get her dress at the right length - I saw her friend's uniform and it is verrrrrrrrrrrry long so will need much hemming!

Good call on not taking all her books on the first day - will just send her with iPad and pen and paper I think.   They only do a half-day first day.

She will be given locker/combination lock first day too.

I never would have thought about the gladwrapping lunch so she doesn't have to lug lunchbox full of little boxes of food around.   They eat inside at Primary School so was never an issue.

I don't know whether to buy her the "School" bag, she wants it but friends with High School kids tell me only the nerds use them.  

She also wants me to walk her in the first day, but I'm thinking not.   We will carpool with her bff so not sure yet who is doing first day drop-off but I don't want them singled out for being walked in by mummy!

We went shopping and bought some crop tops (no development happening yet) and I told her how mortified I was in High School getting changed for sport and wearing a singlet and all (felt like "all") the other girls wearing bras.  My mum wouldn't buy me one cos I had nothing to put in it - lol.

Georgieboy - I think we do need a thread, I remember you and JKTmum from the FYOS one!  It helped me sooooo much.

I think what is concerning me most is that I won't be as involved in her schooling now.  I loved knowing her teachers and friends, doing canteen duty and helping out in the classroom.   This last year she has become so much more independent, Primary School has prepared them well and she will be fine, it's gonna be harder for me I think because I won't know what's going on and won't be needed as much.

#14 BadCat

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

I'll be walking my son in.  

Our school have only year 7s on the first day and the first thing they do is go to an assembly.  Parents are welcome but I was worried when DD went that no other kids would be with their parents.  Not the case.  I think most kids had at least one parent there and they all sat with their parents until the parents were told it was time to go.

I was stressed about whether to send a lunchbox or did all the kids buy lunch, should she have a locker, what sort of socks, what shoes etc.  But you know what?  Nobody cares at our school.  There are the requisite number of fashion victims and the requisite number of dorks, but most of the kids are just kids.  They don't care if you pack your lunch or buy it.  They don't care what socks you wear.  Hopehully your school will be the same.

#15 mumto3princesses

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:34 AM

Yeah, school bag kind of depends on the school I guess. DD#1's school is similar to what badcat described with junior and senior campuses. Only ours has 3x junior campuses which come together at another campus for years 11 and 12. At DD#1's campus the school bag is compulsory but at a friends one its not compulosry and yeah seen as daggy to have.

DD#1 found it quite hard to be organised with all the different assignments due on different days and she also had a fortnightly timetable which she struggled with a little. I ended up getting myself a diary and kept a note of what assignments she had due and when and which days she needed sports uniform or anything else. That way I could easily check with her that she hadn't forgotten anything.

DD#1's school also had just the Year 7's on the first day. And parents were actually expected to come in. We went to the hall together first for a bit before they went off to classes. I think from memory they spoke a bit to us about what to expect for a short time when they were gone too.

But yeah, you don't get much information like in primary. Its hard for us LOL.

Eta: no one seems to care at DD#1's school about lunch/lunchboxes etc. Some days she will have a lunch box and others one of the little insulated bags. I did send her with her lunch in snap lock bags in an insulated bag the first day just in case so she could pull it out from within her bag if she felt uncomfortable but everyone has similar to primary and no one really cares.

Edited by mumto3princesses, 05 January 2013 - 04:44 AM.

#16 mumto3princesses

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:50 AM

Oh I thought of something else.

Do put their name on their uniform and even school shoes. Just use a marking pen though and not the daggy name labels. They will need to get changed for PE and clothes can get mixed up. DD#1 got a sports shirt mixed up with someone else the first time they had PE even though she had her name on it. We think it must have been deliberate though as it was 2 sizes bigger than hers. I think someone may have been forced to wear big clothes so they last longer. I had to buy her a new one. We never found hers. She also mixed one shoe up with a friend last year and thought it was strange that one foot felt weird. They had odd shoes for almost 2 weeks before they spoke to each other about it and realised what they had done!

Oh, and DON'T label stationery or lunch boxes or anything else.

#17 Nofliesonme

Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:03 AM

I'm not at the high school stage yet but brand of pencil case and backpack is important I hear.

#18 gina70

Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:29 AM

I am glad my dd's high school has a compulsory school bag.  dd2 just bought a cute pencil case from Typo out of her Christmas money.  I don't label clothing except jumper, blazer and hat as they wear their PE uniforms to school, they do not get changed at school.  I am insisting dd2 write her name on her scientific calculator.

Strict uniform policy here, so everyone's socks are the same length and hats have to be worn at all times outside school.

I have an insulated lunch box for both dds  (I actually won the Fridge To Go ones)

#19 girltribe4

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:11 AM

yyes.gif to a High School thread

My eldest DD starts at High School on the 29th , only the yr8's & yr12's go in on the first day so at least it should be a little quieter .
She is nervous but also pretty excited happy.gif

Good to know about only taking in pencils & some paper on the 1st day , I was wondering about that . Her school has compulsory Ipads for yr 8 so she will prob take that in too.
Her school bag she is getting as a birthday present in 2 days , she chose a Ripcurl bag but doesn't know that I have secretly already bought it.
School uniform we are getting on the 23rd and I am sure there will be some ''argument'' over skirt length.

She is coming from a very small ''middle school'' of a religious private school so I am a little nervous of how she is going to fit in and not be overwhelmed with it all .

#20 Therese

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:17 AM

Rather than start a new high school thread and lose all the information that is shared here, what do you think of me just renaming this one ? Let me know if you would prefer a new thread though original.gif

#21 JKTMum

Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

Maybe just pin this one so we can use it for the year, like we did with the FYOS one and just add the year (think the title is fine). original.gif

It's hard to think that all those little Prep/Kinder kids in the FYOS 2006 thread are now all about to head off to secondary school.

DD1 is very excited, but also extremely nervous. She has a friend in her home room (home room is a mix of kids from year 7 - 9 so they get to know some older kids too, but it's only for 20 minutes in the morning and 10 in the afternoon to mark the role, read the notices and all that other admin stuff) but in her main year 7 class group she doesnt have any real friends, she does know a couple of the kids from primary school, two girls and two boys but only one she has ever been in class with before (primary school had 4 classes at each year level so some kids she was never in a class with). There are so many house groups and year 7 classes that it's hard to get close friends in the same class. Each class is made up of kids from two house groups and DD1's house group was already known because DS is already in the same one, some of her friends also have older siblings so they went into the house group of their sibling which means they cant ever be in the same class. They have 9 feeder primary schools for our secondary (Catholic) as well as kids from other non Catholic schools, so it must be a nightmare for them to place everyone and get the ratios right of girls/boys, academic kids and not so academic, kids with extra needs and other considerations.

Our school has a compulsory backpack so I was happy with that, no need to worry about whether she had the right bag or not. The caps (hats) are supposed to be compulsory outside at all times in terms 1 and 4 but in reality they are only worn for PE, big difference from primary when the broad brimmed hat was compulsory from October to April and if they didnt have it they had to stay under the verandah near the staffroom. I sort of wish they would crack down on it as the school doesnt have a lot of shaded areas, so they really need something. All food is eaten outside (primary school it was all eaten inside before going out to play) so DS takes an insulated lunchbag that stays in his locker and he just grabs out stuff in ziplock bags or gladwrap. They are only allowed in the locker bays for the first 10 minutes of the breaks so having to carry around a lunchbox would be a pain.

I label all the uniform. DS's sports jacket went missing within the first 2 months of year 7, it was named. It finally came back almost at the end of the year, I'm assuming that some kid who didnt have one 'borrowed it' and wore it over winter and then ditched it once the weather started to warm up. By that time I'd bought DS a new, slightly bigger one, but it's ok as it will fit DD1 perfectly this year.

Our school doesnt have Ipads, but they are trialling a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in Semester 2 this year where the kids have the choice of bringing any sort of Tablet (Ipad or Android) or any sort of laptop (Mac or Windows based), there are a few restrictions (ie have to be a certain minimum size so they cant use ipods or ipad minis or smartphones, and they have to be wi-fi compatible and a certain minimum memory size). They think by doing it this way the kids will be using something familiar to them, that suits them best, and also they will have to think laterally when they have to work out how their particular device will need to be used to complete particular tasks. They are only trialling it with year 7 and year 10, so I'm up for double having one in each year level. DS already has a laptop, but it's quite a big one (more like a desktop replacement) so not suitable to lug to and from school. We are starting to research what would be best for both of them and will probably get them for DD1's birthday in March and DS's in June. We are not sure yet whether to get two totally different devices (ie an Ipad for DD1 and a laptop for DS) or whether to go for the same for both so they can help each other (in reality it would be DS helping DD1 if she gets stuck, he is quite technically minded).

Maurie, DD1 is almost 13 but only just starting to develop. She has been wearing crop tops for a couple of years (mostly to wear under her netball dress) and I've just bought her some new Bonds ones as well as a couple of proper 'training' bras. It will be awhile yet before she needs proper fitted ones, but yes she needs something when she is getting changed for PE (she hasnt worn singlets for years, none of my kids liked them).

I'm going to keep a diary of all DD1's assignments too, mainly because she has trouble with time management due to her Aspergers. The school has also suggested colour coding her timetable, textbooks and exercise books/folders. That way when she goes to her locker she will be able to see exactly which books/folders she needs to take to each class. I'll probably just put a coloured sticker on the spine of her textbooks and folders (covered with some clear contact) to match the colour on her time table. Their school uses a 10 day rotating timetable too so Monday of week one will be different from Monday of week two, that will take her some time to get used to.

On the first day the school has an assembly for the year 7's and parents so it's expected that most kids will have someone with them. The kids all sit in their house rows and the parents just all stand around the edge of the hall, then after the welcome speech by the head of campus and principal the kids file off to their home rooms and the parents all leave. I'd go by what your child wants, if they want you there and you can be, then go with them, they might need that bit of moral support, if they dont want you there then let them go on their own. You can always see how you go when you get there, if most kids are being dropped off and are going in by themselves then your kids might decide at the last minute they want to go in by themselves too, just take it as it goes and let them decide.

#22 kabailz13

Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:41 AM

I think an important thing is to ensure that you are not projecting your fears and/or memories from high school onto your child.

DD1 has 2 years left of primary (unless we decide to send her into high school for year 7 - WA) but she is so completely different to me in many ways that I could not possibly foretell what will and will not be an issue for her.

She makes many decisions that aren't what the 'popular' kids would choose but you know what, she really doesn't care that she likes different things and I applaud her self confidence and would absolutely hate to stifle that under the guise of 'making it easier' for her.

That being said, talk to your daughter about what it is she wants from you or expects from you and work from there. I think things will go smoother than you imagine original.gif

#23 BlondieUK

Posted 06 January 2013 - 03:22 AM

QUOTE (JKTMum @ 05/01/2013, 10:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm going to keep a diary of all DD1's assignments too, mainly because she has trouble with time management due to her Aspergers. The school has also suggested colour coding her timetable, textbooks and exercise books/folders. That way when she goes to her locker she will be able to see exactly which books/folders she needs to take to each class. I'll probably just put a coloured sticker on the spine of her textbooks and folders (covered with some clear contact) to match the colour on her time table. Their school uses a 10 day rotating timetable too so Monday of week one will be different from Monday of week two, that will take her some time to get used to.

It's not designed as a homework tool : it's actually designed as a teaching planning tool, but have a look at Planbook - you can colour code everything and you can customise timetables and the information for each course. Several of my students have used it as their digital homework diary and found it very useful. You can sync it with iCal as well.

As a high school teacher, the #1 piece of advice I would give a child starting secondary is: think before you speak or act. No one ever got into huge amounts of trouble for sitting back and getting the ay of the land before jumping in. Kids are so keen to make an impression but don't always think about what that impression is. I've seen it on the first day of a new school so many times.........

#24 feralisles

Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:05 AM

My advice would be try not to worry!  Your anxiety will just make her more nervous.  Speak positively about school, even if you are unsure: "It will be so much fun, all those interesting new subjects to try and lots of new friends to meet..."  Try to project confidence in her ability to cope with this new world.  She may surprise you with how quickly she grows in to the responsibilities it brings.

Remember all the new kids will be facing the same issues.  They will all be keen to fit in and make friends - finding the right group will be her main priority at first.  Our school held camp very early in the first year for that purpose.  You might like to give her some advice about  making friends and getting off to a good start - lots of them show off or behave badly as they don't know how to blend in, and then have trouble shaking off the image they created.  If she can make good friends early her experiences at school will be much better, and your job as a parent will be easier!

At our school there was a clear and immediate transfer of responsibility for learning to the student.  Like other people have said, you won't have the same degree of involvement as you did at primary school.  Students are told about what is expected and when, it is up to them to communicate with parents (although I do admit to stalking the school website for news!).

The practicalities will work themselves out very quickly.  They often want the bags from the surf shop rather than the school uniform ones, and variations on the school uniform are quite common.  Schools vary in how tolerant they are, you will have to be guided by her with this.  I would buy the bare necessities for now, and get the rest once she has settled in and knows what she wants.

Good luck to you and your DD, OP.  It is lovely to watch them growing up, and they do grow quickly once they make that transition to high school.  

#25 Georgie Boy

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

BlondieUK is plan book an app.
JTK I like tje idea of colour coding the books,DS is very disorganizied and aything I can do to help will be appreciated.

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As many as one in two newborn babies suffer from skin irritations in their first few weeks. So what are the most common rashes and irritations to look out for?

10 wall decals for the nursery or playroom

Wall decals are the answer to creating a beautiful nursery or children's space without lifting a paint brush, a spirit level or even a hammer.

Preschooler walks 2.4km home alone

Three-year-old Cain Trainor headed off home after his first day at a new preschool without telling anyone.

Video: Why mums get nothing done

In spite of being in an almost constant state of motion while looking after the kids and trying to keep things together at home, it can seem as though parents have managed to get nothing on the to-do list done by the end of the day.

The middle name game

The middle name is no longer an afterthought, and parents' inspiration comes from many places.

Have a baby or your money back - but there's a catch

A new IVF scheme offers couples the chance to fall pregnant and give birth - or get their money back. But there's more to it than you might think.

A rare glimpse inside the womb

A baby born still inside the amniotic sac gave US doctors a rare glimpse at life inside the womb.

Battered mum forced to write to her attacker ex in jail

Three years ago Jason Hughes viciously attacked his ex-partner. Now she has to write to him three times a year.

Woman pleads not guilty to ultrasound scam

A West Australian woman will fight allegations that she scammed expectant mums by selling them fake ultrasound pictures of babies.

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.


What's hot on EB

Brain damaged mum receives compensation

A Sydney mother who suffered brain damage when she was hit by a car while pushing her newborn baby in a pram has reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the driver's insurance company.

Indigenous midwives break down the barriers

A culturally sensitive midwifery service has gained the trust and respect of Aboriginal women.

The Katering Show's next big delivery

Most mums-to-be plan to take things easy and perhaps have a little break from work as the birth of their baby draws near. Not Kate McCartney.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

Why I have mixed feelings about Cindy Crawford's leaked photo

Last week an un-retouched photo of model Cindy Crawford surfaced, showing the 48-year-old mother-of -two posing in underwear.

How to create a Peppa Pig pancake

Thought your toddler could not love pancakes any more than they already do? How about if the breakfast treat came in the shape of every two-year-old's favourite cartoon character?

'It's a little life, not a little loss': pregnancy after miscarriage

I thought I was never going to be able to have a successful pregnancy. I decided that I wasn't going to form an emotional attachment with this baby.

Bonds Baby Search 2015: what you need to know

February 18 marks the start of one of the most prolific annual baby competitions in Australia: the Bonds Baby Search. And this year is going to be more special than ever.

Who will manage your Facebook account when you're gone?

This is not something that people like to talk about, but Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their pages after they die.

Struggling mum of four wins $188 million

Mother of four Marie Holmes was financially struggling after quitting her jobs at Walmart and McDonald's in order to care for her children.

Pregnant obese women a 'relatively new problem', coroner hears

A first-time mother whose daughter died hours after her frightening birth insists she was never told of the risks of being obese and pregnant.

'I'm angry as hell': the story behind mum's passionate vaccination plea

She has labelled parents who do not vaccinate their children "misinformed imbeciles" - and for that, she makes no apologies.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

8 different kinds of tantrums

I never thought I’d say this, but for a brief moment last week, Kim Kardashian and I had something in common: both our kids had public tantrums.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: symptoms, treatment and your fertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal condition, affecting roughly one in 12 Australian women.

What's the best position for giving birth?

If doing it on your back is out, what's the best position for labour and birth?

Wife forgives snake catcher husband for car surprise

With Valentine's Day coming up, Nat Gilbert could be forgiven for thinking her husband might be planning a surprise for her.

Kids who meet milestones at their own pace

We usually only hear the success stories: tales of the two-year-old who’s talking, running and completely toilet trained. But other stories need to be told too.

Ruby shines as Bonds Baby

Sarah Kiss has a word of advice for proud mums and dads who are keen to enter their babies in this year's Bonds Baby Search Competition - just have fun.

Why dads should go to sleep school

If your family needs to go to sleep school, go with them. You are part of that family and you are part of the solution.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.


Win a KitchenAid Mixer

Let's celebrate 300,000 fans on Facebook

To celebrate, and to thank our amazing fans, we?re giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.

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.