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WWYD re these daycare issues?Am i expecting too much?


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#1 Pebbles2424

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

Hi all, needing a bit of advice re some daycare issues.

My 6 mth old DS is starting 3 days per week at childcare early next month. Ive had the spot secured since October and have been sending him for a few hours at a time since then to get used to the place.

We have had a couple of hiccups lately and im not sure how best to approach them, and whether they are normal daycare hiccups or something i should be genuinely annoyed about (being new to the daycare thing im not really sure whats the norm and what isnt in a LDC).

Firstly, hes come home a couple of times recently with formula still left in the dispenser ive sent, when ive only sent one bottle to be made up...ie i send the water in the bottle and the formula in a dispenser, and formula is coming home...hence they are not mixing it up properly. Hes got some tummy issues as it is so im concerned about it not being made properly, and i thought fairly self explanatory if only one bottle and one portion of formula in a dispenser that you would use it all?

Ive written out his routine for them and asked a couple of times that they stick to it as best possible. Last week in particular they strayed from it alot...fed him bottles an hour earlier than they should have, solids an hour later, and didnt put him down for sleeps at the right time. Now hes not a good day sleeper at the best of times but ive worked very hard on this to get him to the point where he will self settle after a good 15 mins or so of winding down in his cot, he will occasionally need some patting but he will wind down on his own and fall asleep if i stick to the rough sleep times on his routine. I turned up to get him and rather than being put down for a sleep at 12.30, they had fed him solids at 1pm (an hour late) and then he had fallen asleep in his bouncer at 1.20pm for 20 minutes.So barely any sleep.

I have asked the girls how he has been settling to sleep there and they are still generally rocking him to sleep even though ive written on his rotuine sheet that he is not to be rocked to sleep if possible and the way that he will settle (in cot, with comforter, sometimes needing a pat).

He gets whingey when overtired and my guess is they are feeding him to shut him up, hence why the routine is off...rather than them taking a bit of extra time to get him to sleep or resettle after only 30 mins, they are feeding him up to shut him up.I turned up once and he was having his second bottle in 2 hours and he promptly threw it up everywhere, obviously because he wasnt hungry, he was sooky because he was tired and its like they dont know how to deal with that.

Am i expecting too much?I know they have 8-10 babies to look after and i dont expect that he gets copious amounts of attention and that they spend hours settling him. But this has happened a couple of times and last week it was on a quiet day with only 4 kids there, and i dont understand why they cant stick to the rough routine?Im also concerned about the bottles not being made up properly.

Not sure of best way to approach these issues, i feel like when i say things to the carers and the room leader it goes in one ear and out the other. I dont want to get them offside either. How do you address these types of issues?

#2 Natttmumm

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:48 AM

I found LCD tobe like this for under 2s. They seem to just get through the day doing their own thing. DD1 used to fall asleep in the high chair.
I would write an email to the director setting it all out. The sound sloppy.
I moved mine to family daycare until preschool age.


#3 laridae

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:56 AM

I'm surprised they are mixing the formula with water at all - most daycares require the bottles already made up and they put them in the fridge.  You could do that, and you would know they are made up correctly then.


Not sticking to the routine - well, sometimes they just can't, they can try to get close, but you need to relax your expectations a little - they have lots of kids, all with different routines, and a limited amount of carers to do it.  And things can be very different at a daycare centre, what works at home just sometimes doesn't work at daycare.

eg my DD woruld not sleep at daycare, at home I fed her to sleep, or sometimes she would self settle.  At daycare, they first had to put her in a pram & rock it to get her to sleep, and eventually she would sleep in a wrapped in a cot.  We didn't wrap at home at all.

I'd be leaving it a while, it will settle down to a routine eventually.  It may not be the exact one you use at home, but it'll work.  They are still learning about him.

#4 SlinkyMalinki

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

I think you definitely have to have a word about not mixing the formula correctly.  Can you make it up yourself first, to ensure it's given correctly?

I think staff in the babies room *try* to accommodate individual schedules, but I don't think in the day care environment, you can expect them to keep things going to the hour as you do at home.

#5 mandala

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:08 AM

If it were me, I would ask why there was formula left, and why they were settling him the way they were. I find that I get the best results when I ask their opinion of how things are going, and for suggestions on what they think might work better to get more sleep/better eating/more settled baby. If they weren't responsive to my questions, I would be far more concerned than if they just didn't do what I wanted.

However, I don't worry too much about differences in routine between daycare and home. DS has been in daycare 1 or 2 days a week since 4.5 months, and he has very different routines in each - but is happy with each. He sleeps pretty badly at daycare, and is often patted to sleep - while he gets much more sleep at home and invariably self-settles. I try not to doubt them too much, since I'm not in the room and can't see how DS is managing. I know there are days when our routine goes right out the window because of other things going on.

#6 Rainbow Brite

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:10 AM

Is FDC an option for you? 1 carer to 5 kids makes it a lot easier and your DS would get the attention he needs? It would be very hard to stick to a routine at a childcare centre with so many other children to attend too.

As a pp said, the centre does sound a little sloppy so I would have a chat to the director.

Edited by Madam Plum, 20 January 2013 - 09:12 AM.


#7 bandbub

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:12 AM

it does sound a bit sloppy, i think given your sons young age you should look into family daycare

#8 liveworkplay

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:15 AM

I have been using daycare for 6 years. I must say that, although none of my kids had a strict routine ie they must be fed at x time and sleep y minutes later, daycare has generally gone with what the kids did. The formula thing needs to be addressed but, depending on how flexible the room routine is, you might have to give a little on the rest. I would certainly bring up that you feel he is being left overtired and see if he can be put to bed earlier.

From experience, babies/kids cope very well with different routines at daycare then at home. For example, long after I sat and patted my kids to sleep daycare was still doing it. However, they didn't require me to at home just because they did at daycare. A bit like my third having bottles of formula at daycare but fully breastfeeding at home.

In saying all that, we have been lucky that our centre does accommodate different routines for the under 2's all except for solids as food is prepared at a set time so there is only slight flexibility with that.

Daycare is never going to be an exact substitute for home so you, as the parent, need to work out what the really important point are eg bottles prepared correctly, putting to bed when tired and let the little things slide eg food at different time, different bedtime routine.

ETA: just a bit on the differences between daycare and home routines. DD1 was a catnapper. 45 minutes was the longest she had ever slept despite the hours of resettling I was (forced) to try. At daycare she slept for a good 2 hours each nap. When she moved up a room and they slept on pallets on the floor in the main room I was concered she would not sleep at all. She was usually the first to curl up and have a nap with the caos happily occurring around her. DD3 does not nap at home at all unless she falls asleep in the car. At daycare she takes herself off to the little sleeping nook (she is the youngest in the preschool room) and goes to sleep on her own, without a milk drink that she just has to have when tired at home.

Edited by liveworkplay, 20 January 2013 - 09:19 AM.


#9 halcyondays

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:20 AM

I would be very worried about bottles being prepared incorrectly- this is worth bringing up with the director and insisting on it being done properly.
If they have been slack with the bottles, you may be right, they may not be doing what is best for your baby in terms of routine, but getting slack with it.
If there is a good explanation for the bottle issue, and they work quickly to rectify the problem, it may just be that your bubs is unsettled at daycare and they are doing the best that they can.

I also prefer FDC if possible for an under 2.

Where abouts are you located?

#10 namie

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:30 AM

I'd send the bottles already made up so you can be sure it's done right. I used to take milk for DS1 and put it straight in the fridge with all the other bottles.

I was lucky that both my boys routines were similar to the daycare routine with two sleeps a day and lunch in the middle but there is flexibility. The carers should be recognising when he is tired and getting him to sleep earlier if needed.

You'll find with time that he'll learn to recognise the different routines whether home or at daycare and he might even adapt his home one to suit the daycare one.

#11 harryboy

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:39 AM

Your child's "routine" will change considerably over the next 12 mths anyway. I found it best to let the centre find a rhythm and start to mimic that at home ie. as DS got older they led the dropping down of sleeps from two to one etc. Especially if you intend the arrangement to be one that continues on to the toddler room you child will learn to work in with them and the other 10 children in that room and so it will go on as you move through the centre.....until right at the end you will have a 5yr old who no longer wants day sleeps but will still be made to "have a rest" with the others, at which point you will be annoyed if they do fall asleep because they won't go to bed early at night.

As you have only been visiting periodically to date, I would just mention to people in the room about the formula or premake it as others suggested. Once you are there very regularly you will find it all easier to communicate.

#12 tle

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

I'd be concerned about the bottles but I'd solve that by mixing them myself and leaving in the fridge.

As far as routine goes I'd just accept that that's going to have to be a bit more flexible when there are so many other kids that may also have routines. He'll adjust fairly quickly. If you want things done exactly as you do them yourself at home you may need to go to the extra expense of a nanny at home.

#13 Leslie Knope

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

I would speak to them about the formula, but yes I think you are expecting too much. You said yourself there are other babies there too. They are probably going with your routine as much as possible but with others babies to look after it may not be perfectly followed.

#14 SeaPrincess

Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:34 AM

QUOTE (Madam Plum @ 20/01/2013, 07:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is FDC an option for you? 1 carer to 5 kids makes it a lot easier and your DS would get the attention he needs?

As of the 1st of Jan, in LDC the staff:children ratio for under 2's is 1:4 (ref). The number of staff/children should be irrelevant.

OP, make up the bottles yourself and put them in the fridge.
Our experience in the baby rooms of the daycares we've used has been that they are pretty relaxed and go with what the children seem to need.  I would ask them specifically to give him a bit longer to settle in the cot and explain how he goes to sleep at home.
You might also find that when he's not there for full days, they're not sure what to do with him. Do they know exactly when you're coming to pick him up if he's only there for a few hours?  Maybe they think he's passed proper nap time, so they are reluctant to put him down.  I would put him in for full days and see what happens.

One of my children barely slept at daycare.  He slept about 2 hours every day at home, but they were lucky if he slept 30 mins on his 2 days at daycare. He went to bed early or caught up on the days at home.  They get that it's different - your DS won't expect to be rocked to sleep by you, because 4 days out of 7, that's not what happens.  The most important thing is whether he is happy - if he's happy there, and you can get the meals and bottles sorted out, I would let the others go a bit.

Edited by SeaPrincess, 20 January 2013 - 10:35 AM.


#15 EsmeLennox

Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

Talk to them about the formula, but the easiest solution to this problem is make up the bottles yourself. The other stuff, really you just need to go with the flow.

#16 Klinkalink

Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

I would have a quick chat to them about the formula, and if that doesn't sort the problem out then I'd make it up at home and put it in the fridge at CC.
I've had two babies go through the babies room at LDC (one is still there), from 6 months old. Their routine is different there, as it's a different environment, lots of new things to look at and interact with, new people and other babies, and just new stimulations generally. You can't really expect your home routine to work there.
Regarding solids, usually solid food is brought in at set times during the day, and all the babies are fed solids at the same time, so that's probably why they aren't being done exactly as you would do them at home. I wouldn't sweat it on that one, he'll adjust pretty quickly and may not even mind the change at all. I found that their sleep patterns at LDC often were nothing like at home, probably due to the different stimulations. The carers will work out what works for him, and what settling technique works at home may also not work there. He may need to be rocked to sleep for the first little while until he's comfortable there and then self-settle quite happily after that. My youngest had never needed to be rocked to sleep at home, but did at LDC for the first week or so.
I would have a chat to them about the formula but give the rest a bit of time and see if things just sort themselves out. Having a different routine at home to LDC is common and has worked fine for us - we didn't 'go backwards' at home at all.
The ratios are not very different from LDC to FDC, and both LDC and FDC have their own pros and cons. I personally prefer child care centre to FDC, but either way I think we have to let go of our routines a bit unless we are prepared to stay home and not have our kids in care at all. I know it's hard when you've probably worked very hard to get your home routines in place, but they are going to change anyway over time (usually when you least want them to), so just go with the flow a bit.
Good luck, I hope it all works out in a way that both you and your baby are happy with.

Edited by Klinkalink, 20 January 2013 - 10:59 AM.


#17 LittleListen

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

QUOTE (SeaPrincess @ 20/01/2013, 11:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As of the 1st of Jan, in LDC the staff:children ratio for under 2's is 1:4 (ref). The number of staff/children should be irrelevant.



Sidenote: Actually it was 1st of Jan 2012 and the 1:4 applies to FDC for children under 2 also.

OP as an educator, I would like to know how you are feeling (without complaining, just letting me know as complaints can get the educators offside - they are working hard and its stressful) so that I could address it.

This might happen in one of two ways; either we would work harder to follow the routine - possibly ignoring the signs that you child is giving (which as most PP's have noted - are usually vastly different than home due to different levels of stimulation) and keep you happy. On the flipside, we might adhere to the routine and find that it really does work for your child and we have been missing steps along the way.

The other way is that we would discuss with you what your priorities are; eg. is a shorter sleep at the right time better than the right length of sleep at the 'wrong' time? Do you prefer to us to leave your bub in the cot to self settle even when they have been screaming for 20 minutes or another bub in the cot room has, keeping them awake? When we better understand what you value more, we can work towards that. Keep in mind that 8 babies means 8 different sets of family values - it takes time for us to learn what keeps each family happy - there has NEVER been a day in my career where every baby stuck exactly to their routine all at the same time.

You have noted that the educators don't seem to know what to do when your child is sooky or tired. Perhaps you could give them some suggestions so that they know what to look for in terms of quiet signs.

As for the bottle, send it pre-mixed for them to refrigerate and send both bottles plus a back up, telling them that you noticed he was skipping one and you are sending an extra so that they don't have to hold him off the second one and save it for when he gets tired/stroppy - a gentle way of reminding them that he needs at least two.

If you have made your values known and then over the coming weeks feel its not improving, a formal complaint might very well be in order.

On the whole, a parent who approach educators with respect for the fact that the educators are trying and with helpful tips about their child, as well as healthy understanding that it is very different to care for 8 babies to one - regardless of the staff ratios, will get a better response than a guns blazing, routine-militant approach.

Also, ask them to call you (or you call) if your child's routine is going to be significantly different than the norm on a given day so that you can mentally prepare yourself for when you arrive.

All the best OP - it will settle down soon - we call December to March "The Witching Months" in LDC, while all the children and educators find their feet.

#18 sjm218

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

My two have been in daycare from a very young age and initially we gave them our home routine, but like other PPs said they are totally different in the daycare environment.

At home my DD will sleep 3 hours (in either 1 or 2 naps), but daycare have a routine that they follow and she is perfectly happy following it while she's there.

I agree the formula thing needs to be fixed.

My concern wouldn't be anything to do with them strictly following routine, I would be concerned that they aren't able to settle your baby. You mentioned you think they are feeding because he is whingey.

I think it took a couple of weeks (full time) for our carers to figure our kids out. Many of their "tricks" were totally different to what we did at home, sometimes completely opposite, but my babies were always happy to be dropped off, jumped into the carers arms and were happy when I picked up too.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the relationship between you and the carers is critical ,there is a lot of trust there. If you dont trust them then this may show with you being frustrated at things that aren't such an issue. If you like them and trust them, then figure out what is really important for you and talk to them about it. For us, I had two "rules": 1. don't feed after a certain time (I was breastfeeding and wanted to ensure I had a good evening feed) and 2. Limit dummy use to nap time as much as possible. Everything else i left to them, it worked for us.

Having said all of that, I found the first month of putting my baby in daycare emotionally difficult (mummy guilt), and I am sure I was less relaxed initially as I didn't know the carers as well as I do now.

#19 Genabee

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:30 AM

QUOTE (harryboy @ 20/01/2013, 10:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your child's "routine" will change considerably over the next 12 mths anyway. I found it best to let the centre find a rhythm and start to mimic that at home ie. as DS got older they led the dropping down of sleeps from two to one etc. Especially if you intend the arrangement to be one that continues on to the toddler room you child will learn to work in with them and the other 10 children in that room and so it will go on as you move through the centre.....until right at the end you will have a 5yr old who no longer wants day sleeps but will still be made to "have a rest" with the others, at which point you will be annoyed if they do fall asleep because they won't go to bed early at night.

As you have only been visiting periodically to date, I would just mention to people in the room about the formula or premake it as others suggested. Once you are there very regularly you will find it all easier to communicate.


My bold.

When we first started daycare (at 12 months), I thought there was no way this was going to work... She was in a toddler room, where they were having one sleep a day (she was still having two), sitting at table and chairs (she was still in a high chair) and they were sleeping on mattresses on the floor (she is in a cot at home).

It didn't take long but she found her rhythm and at home, I pretty much stick (loosely) to the schedule they keep at day care. Within a couple of weeks, she would put herself to sleep on the floor with no worries. A bonus for me is that they naturally weaned her off her dummy except for sleep times! She did start out with having two sleeps at day care, but they were so short it was hardly worth it. She began to stretch out and eventually dropped the second sleep. I found her carers to be excellent and probably have a better understanding of managing several babies and their personalities and needs, than I do.

Given he will be there for three days a week, I think it is only fair to let them manage things in the way that best works for them. They obviously have been informed of his general routine and that is probably taken into consideration, but if another child is irritable and wakes your baby, or your baby trying to self settle disturbs another baby, it doesn't really make for a harmonious time. And I also think it is a natural part of day care (and eventually school) that your kids come home tired. It is a very busy day for them and very stimulating. No matter how much sleep they get. I don't think that will necessarily change.

Definitely speak to them about the formula though. However, I would be inclined to send it pre-mixed.

#20 Pebbles2424

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:05 PM

Thank you so much everyone for your replies  original.gif

I did initially send the bottles premixed but thought id try getting them to make them up closer to the time, i think i will just premix from now on.

I guess my concern was that if things were done really differently at the centre to at home, then it would all go haywire at home eg he would start to require rocking to sleep at home again, or sleep less at home (he seems to be doing some good day sleeps at home but is back to short catnaps at daycare). My thinking was that at this age he wouldnt be able to deal with 2 different patterns and would need more consistency. Maybe i need to trust that he will allow for both daycare and home routines. I am happy to follow daycares routine if he adapts to that, just from what i can tell they dont really have one...that said maybe i just need to give it more time in that he hasnt been there very consistently as yet.

I have been looking for FDC and also potentially looking at nanny options, theres not much around, im in Canberra and like everywhere places are limited.

Maybe i just need to relax a bit and see how it goes. Ive just worked so hard on his sleeps etc and id hate for it all to go backwards.

I think i might speak to them though re the day sleeps and ask that they try to put him down as close to his routine as possible,and to try to let him self settle it if they can...i understand that if hes disrupting other babies its not going to work though.

I wish i didnt have to put him in there when hes so little and all over the place but i guess thats the way of the world these days...

#21 umop-apisdn

Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

I would have a friendly chat with the staff and just let them that they need to use all the formula in the dispenser and don't need to leave any in there.

With being rocked to sleep, you have to keep in mind that your baby will be sleeping in a cot room with several other babies & toddlers, so they need to settle your baby in a way that minimises disturbing the other babies who are already asleep or going to sleep themselves. For some babies, rocking them to sleep is a much quicker way to get them to sleep, instead of leaving them in their cot and patting them if they are unsettled. When he's more settled and knows the staff, then they can gradually start patting him in his cot and settling him that way. With the ratio being 1 staff member to 4 babies, paperwork to complete and lunch breaks, the staff's time is limited.

Also, remember that the staff are still getting to know your baby, so if you have any suggestions or tips (eg. what his tired signs are) then you can let them know. You've also got to trust them too, because it isn't unusual for a baby to have a different routine when they are at day care. The staff should be able to explain why things were done at different times (eg. maybe he refused his solids, so they tried them later).

#22 Fright bat

Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

You have left your child in a different environment, in the care of different people. The same routines and methods you use at home won't work, and you can't expect them to adhere to it. They have multiple babies to take care of; all the babies will be put onto the same routine so they eat and sleep together (the younger ones just get more nap). FDC is no different, only a nanny will keep 'your' routine.

If you want to equalize routines, you are better to find out what their routine is and implement it at home, rather than the other way around. Besides, their needs change so rapidly you need to trust the carers to respond to their needs rather than just blindly follow a routine.

In terms of formula, just make up the bottles yourself.





#23 The Falcon

Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:33 AM

My children have been in LDC since they were 12 weeks and 14 weeks respectively and I have found them to be excellent.

When DD (my oldest) first started I got a bit upset at times with routines being messed up, but it didn't take me long to respect the fact that if you just ask there is always a reason for it which 99% of the time I would have made the same choice had it been the case at home.

I also agree with everything Sail to the Moon said above.  

Do talk to them about the formula, it seems very strange for them to have not used it all, unless it is a tiny bit that could be put down to not tapping it out properly as they're in a rush.

I much prefer LDC to family day care options, but it is key that you communicate with the staff as each baby has a different routine and set of likes and dislikes so they have a lot to keep track of.

#24 lynneyours

Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:01 AM

QUOTE (AvadaKedavra @ 20/01/2013, 03:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You have left your child in a different environment, in the care of different people. The same routines and methods you use at home won't work, and you can't expect them to adhere to it. They have multiple babies to take care of; all the babies will be put onto the same routine so they eat and sleep together (the younger ones just get more nap). FDC is no different, only a nanny will keep 'your' routine.

If you want to equalize routines, you are better to find out what their routine is and implement it at home, rather than the other way around. Besides, their needs change so rapidly you need to trust the carers to respond to their needs rather than just blindly follow a routine.

In terms of formula, just make up the bottles yourself.


I was just coming to say all this.  I agree - the routine won't work with other babies there too, they all need to sleep at the same time, or none will get any sleep. When we started daycare, I just found out their routine and changed home to be the same.  

FWIW - mine slept and settled at daycare TOTALLY differently than at home.  






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Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Tips for flying with a baby

Travelling with kids requires a whole other set of skills - ones that I have learned through (sometimes unfortunate) trial and error.

How to stay calm in an emergency

I’m not expecting you to be as calm as you might be right now. What I mean is that if your panic levels are through the roof during a stressful situation, let’s bring them down to just under the ceiling.

Toddler gets 'drunk' after cranberry juice mix-up

A toddler was taken to hospital after a waitress served her sangria instead of cranberry juice at a US restaurant.

We need to stop using this word when we talk about childbirth

Is it shaming to point out that women are often being let down in birth?

The certificate helping parents deal with pregnancy loss

For some people, this certificate will offer a sense of validation that their child was acknowledged as being here and now gone, and will help them with life post-loss.

The phenomenon of phantom pregnancy kicks

'Phantom pregnancy kicks’ are encountered by many mums months - or even years - after their pregnancy is over.

The health insurance advice you can't afford to ignore

There's one simple switch that could save you hundreds of dollars a year in private health insurance.

4D scans show how smoking affects babies still in the womb

The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy on unborn babies may be seen in tiny movements in their faces using 4D ultrasound scans, research has found.

The most dangerous toddler food trends

Pete Evans' paleo cookbook for kids caused a storm, but there are plenty of other unsafe food trends for babies and toddlers.

Infection killed new mum of twins

Modern medicine could not save 19-year-old Sophie Burgess who died 48 hours after giving birth to twins in the UK.

How to babyproof your job interview

Once upon a time, I was a fan of job interviews. That all changed after I'd switched careers, had a baby and decided to spend the first year at home with her.

Grieving families give warnings after toddler deaths

Two Queensland families are grieving the loss of their toddler sons after the boys drowned in separate incidents last week.

Man faces jail after giving woman abortion pill smoothie

A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.

'He's a blessing': family of baby born without eyes

Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.

Win one of 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers

With Easter fast approaching, Cadbury are giving away 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers. Enter Now!

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and Peppa Pig prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, Essential Baby and Entertainment One are giving away five bumper DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Why I post breastfeeding photos online

I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.

The day I broke my baby

There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.

Geeky baby gear

If your family is more into Star Wars, gaming and the periodic table than most, you might want to check out these geek-chic baby items.

Grandbabies: the babies born looking old

Not a day under 65 and a lifetime of struggle! That's the look of these newborns, who look adorably older than their real age. Social networking site Reddit recently featured user submissions of adorable grandbabies, here are our favourites.

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.

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.

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.

 

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30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Receive a daily email from Essential Baby during April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.

 
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