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#1 bakesgirls

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

Let me preface this by saying, this is being asked out of genuine curiosity.

I see here on EB, parents saying their child has anxiety. Do you think this is a new thing, or is it just being noticed now as opposed to not being recognised before? What I mean is do you think previous generations didn't know it existed, or it was just swept under the rug?

Before reading about this on EB, I honestly had no idea that so many kids had anxiety issues.

For the parents of kids with anxiety, was it a formal diagnosis, or was it something that you observed in your child over time? How did you know, what led you to believe that there was an issue in the first place?

As I said, I'm genuinely curious so was wondering about it so I don't seem so ignorant about it in discussions original.gif

#2 Bob-the-skull

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

anxiety can be an easy thing to see... but also easy to misdiagnose.

I thought DS1 had anxiety for several years, turns out he has autism. A lot of his behaviour i interprited as anxiety were actually things that were his way of dealing with being on the spectrum and not coping.

But yes a lot of these things are more diagnosed now than they used to be.

anxiety can be an easy thing to see... but also easy to misdiagnose.

I thought DS1 had anxiety for several years, turns out he has autism. A lot of his behaviour i interprited as anxiety were actually things that were his way of dealing with being on the spectrum and not coping.

But yes a lot of these things are more diagnosed now than they used to be.

#3 Oriental lily

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

My eldest dd has anxiety. I also have generalized anxiety disorder.

With DD we were told by her speech therapist to get it checked out due to her behavior making therapy very difficult. From there  it was a visit to a paed and then psychologist.

She is just like me however at her age I did not have the anxiety she has.

I think many things are diagnosed these days than previously. I think mental health is taken more seriously these days as a whole.

#4 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

I think it's more recognised now.  As an adult I've been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, and when I look back, it was definitely there as a kid; but it wasn't understood as such and people just thought I was shy or weird or whatever.

#5 mini mac

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

Maybe because this is a forum where people feel they can ask questions, be supported, vent and talk freely about whatever issue is bothering them without the judgement of people in the real world.

But I have to wonder too, these issues seem to be getting more common... Or maybe we are just picking them up more and managing them better... Or maybe society in general is causing it??

Too many books/websites telling us what/how/why/when etc about everything. I read somewhere more people are having trouble parenting now because they don't trust their instincts and are worried about judgement for their choice of discipline, smack or don't smack, sport, routine or lack thereof, or schooling, or religion the list goes on. Social networking will bring on a whole new set of anxiety dramas in the years to come, I'm sure!

#6 mini mac

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

QUOTE (Oriental lily @ 23/01/2013, 12:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think many things are diagnosed these days than previously. I think mental health is taken more seriously these days as a whole.



This

Edited by Mini Mac, 23 January 2013 - 02:21 PM.


#7 EsmeLennox

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

It is more recognised and more prevalent I think.

#8 bakesgirls

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

If I may ask, what sort of things did you notice in your child that pointed to anxiety? Was it apparent shyness, poor social skills? I'm just trying to get a better undertanding of it.



#9 Feral_Pooks

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

My partner had anxiety as a child, undiagnosed but his parents accommodated him a lot because he was "sensitive", but they never did a thing otherwise to help him with it.

Mum and a couple of her sisters had anxiety as children, one was so terrified of going to school she would freeze and not move, talk, respond... Just sit there like a rock. They took her out of school at 13 and put her to work in a factory. It definitely existed, people definitely understood that there were things going on. My impression is that these sorts of things were usually accepted and accommodated as much as possible by the family, sort of like the uncle who drank to much being "ah yes that's Bill for you, gets a bit full sometimes", and the cousin who was generally "a bit slow on the uptake" but whose uncle got him a job so he would be ok. I don't think people thought about things that we do now as an illness or condition, just as "the way things were" and either tolerated and accommodated it, or tried (with varying levels of success) to smack it out of them.

Dad had a very sensitive younger brother, one of 9 otherwise boisterous and rough boys, and they tried to smack it out of him. Finally they decided he was a "bit funny", possibly gay, and let him be except for routinely showing him lady mags to turn him right. He and I have talked about it and he thinks that these days he might have been diagnosed with some kind of social anxiety disorder, but he somehow managed to function well enough into adulthood, got some therapy and is doing well.

#10 noi'mnot

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

My sister had a lot of trouble coping with all sorts of things as a child - change, new people, challenges, failures, etc. She was very very shy, an ultra perfectionist, and would easily make herself sick (literally) with worry. Most people just thought she was pretty odd, and a "high achiever".

She was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder in her 30s. After discussions with her GP and counsellor about GAD, things just started to make sense for her. She had been dealing with symptoms of anxiety her whole life, and had just been told that this was how she is.

Now that she has been treated and learned some different strategies for dealing with her illness, she's quite a new person. No longer so oversensitive, a lot more self aware, not so highly strung, etc. She is just so much happier now.

I'd say that when she was a kid nobody thought about anxiety disorders really, particularly in the little country town where we were from. Then her behaviours developed into something that was "normal" for her, she internalised those messages that "this is who I am", and it wasn't until it started having effects on her physical health that things were investigated and hindsight told her (and others!) that she has anxiety.

#11 elizabethany

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

I don't have a child with anxiety problems, but I don't think it is a new thing, I think it is just being more accurately labeled, instead of shy, socially awkward, loner or unsociable as they used to be called.

#12 Oriental lily

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

With my dd it basically started when she was born. She never wanted to be alone or not held. Her sleep deteriorated so that she was to scared to fall asleep incase I left her. She would wake up after a cat nap and instantly scream hysterically when she noticed I was not holding her.
So in the younger years it was mainly  sleep and separation anxiety.

Made worse by me doing control crying.

As she got older it become more about 'what will happen'

For example you would take her to a park and she would be hysterical about not wanting to go home. 1 minute after arriving!

She could not enjoy the now because she stressed and worried about the future.

Then it was performance anxiety and fear of failure ( like her speech therapy) she was to scared and stressed about saying something wrong that she refused to do it all.

This is a big concern now because she does not work to her best ability due to being scared of of not being right. Which is making schooling especially assessment and testing hard.

She also at the now age of 9 has more adult fears that she overly thinks about. We might casually mention
A friend or relatives health not being great and she will stew on it. And mention days later and you Realise she has been thinking about and worried about it the whole time.

Also if for example the dog runs out the front door she will have a massive reaction of fear, TERRIFIED he will run on the road and be hit.

A genuine fear? Yes but not to the level of her reaction.

These are just some examples. She is also immature, naive and extremely emotional. Which seems to emphasise it all.

I have gone through years of therapy myself for my own anxiety with mixed success. I try on pass what I have learned to her but it will be something we need to work with.

It's horrible to live with. And makes me sad that she can not have a carefree childhood sad.gif

#13 BadCat

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE (bakesgirls @ 23/01/2013, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I may ask, what sort of things did you notice in your child that pointed to anxiety? Was it apparent shyness, poor social skills? I'm just trying to get a better undertanding of it.


Undiagnosed in our house but both my kids and myself have anxiety issues.

They are mostly apparent in:

Perfectionist tendencies  - fear of the embarrassment of making a mistake

Socially awkward - none of us are comfortable with ordinary social scripts, we know the words to say in standard social situations but feel ridiculous saying them

Worry - I used to worry about war and my parents divorcing (they didn't), DS worries about apocalypse, DD worries about not having everything arranged (it is common for her to dither for 10 minutes before bed listing all the things she needs for tomorrow and making sure she has them sorted)

There are other ways that it shows but they are the main ones for us.

#14 bakesgirls

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

Thanks everyone for the great responses. It certainly has helped me to gain a better understanding original.gif

#15 neelia

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

DD has been formally diagonsed with Anxiety with reluctance to talk. It first showed with symptoms much like selective mutism, she would only talk to her immediate family and barely spoke outside the house. It took approx 1.5yrs to get her final diagnosis, she was video taped in various situations with family present and with strangers to see how she would react and these tapes were analised by a various medical professionals.

Upon further investigation her anxiety was traced back to a situation she found traumatic (I kicked myself for a long time that I didn't speak up at the time) but she may have developed it anyway as DP has anxiety and an OCD which started when he was quite young but wasn't diagonsed until he was approx 14.

Her partical anxiety makes schooling very hard for her for example when she started school she would rather wet her pants than ask the teacher to go to the toilet, non verbal methods did not help as she would not approach the teacher in case she had to talk. Over the year she came along way and with a lot of encouragment and practice at home she would even do show and tell but I would pay for it after school with her behaviour. She will be year 1 next year and I hope we don't have to start the whole process from scratch again but it is a distinct possibilty.

I think anxiety is one of those things that presents slightly different for everyone and for people that do not know my DD well they just think she is shy.

Edited by neelia, 23 January 2013 - 03:43 PM.


#16 steppy

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

My stepson was diagnosed with aspergers but I think he suffered from high anxiety. He had perfectionist tendencies, was socially awkward and worried about everything and we had to handle him by telling him EVERYTHING and being prepared to answer a million questions and giving him lots of warning about things happening so he'd freak out less.

The reason I think it was anxiety and not aspergers is because as soon as he moved to live with us permanently most of it went away. He had problems living with his mother because she was loud, changed her mind at the drop of a hat and had no consideration for his needs in this regard, always had friends over with no notice or went out the night and left the kids with anybody who would take them. She made major decisions that affected the kids without telling them and did nothing consistently. One kid loved it, but he did not. The moment he was removed from that atmosphere, he suffered less anxiety and leaped ahead socially and academically.

#17 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

My eldest has Aspergers and Anxiety. I myself was diagnosed with Anxiety last year but have suffered from it my whole life. My older brother was diagnosed with Anxiety years ago but he has suffered from it since childhood too.

I think it's always been there, it just wasn't recognised as such.

#18 Cyaira

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

This is interesting. I have GAD but it manifested after a traumatic abusive event as a teenager - definitely didn't have it as a kid.

I'd say 95% of people would have no idea unless I told them.

I am not a perfectionist but I constantly mull over 'what ifs' and get anxious if I'm not performing up to my own standard (which is not 'perfect').

Is anxiety easier to recognize in kids or harder than in adults? I' guess they'd be less self aware but also have comparatively under developed coping mechanisms.

#19 item

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

DS has an ASD dx, now sub-clinical, but he does have social anxiety (diagnosed) which we treat with weekly CBT.  Clever little guy can already change worried thoughts into happy thoughts :-). We're hoping that by starting treatment so young (he was 3 when he started CBT) and a bit of careful management, he will grow up with inbuilt tools that he can use without trying.

For me, anxiety stems from my Aspergers dx.  I do CBT and sometimes have short or long term medication to treat the anxiety. DH and I are quite conscious that DS's anxiety and my own can feed off each other, we have strategies at home (eg mothers help/nanny) to help distract him and give me downtime.

Also, in case your curiosity was piqued by another post of mine, the incident/s at preschool really were a big deal and that's one of the reasons the director took the action she did original.gif

ETA we realised DS had anxiety when we were treating his ASD behaviourally (which worked beautifully on everything else) but there were some issues around greetings and also large groups where we knew he had age-appropriate skills but couldn't use them for some reason. The more we tried to expose/desensitise him to some situations, the worse the problems became. It was clearly time for plan B and we found a great psych willing to try and help such a young child.

Edited by item, 23 January 2013 - 04:33 PM.


#20 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

My daughter has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, though it is unclear to what degree and we're following up with a paed in Feb after seeing a psychologist for several months (her recommendation to get her evaluated again). For my daughter it is obvious, she gets significant tics (possible tourettes), in small group and 1-1 situations that she is unsure about particularly at school or with those she doesn't know, she completely closes off. It isn't just being shy - she literally has trouble communicating and looking people in the eye, and participating. She closes off from the world. She also gets nervous and OCD like behaviour, fiddles and fidgets and can't sit still. If she has something significant happening everything gets a lot worse, and she thinks and can't settle her mind. We are moving next week and she has a really bad tic at the moment which I suspect is due to all that is happening around her.

Oh and ETA and she also worries and overthinks everything.

Edited by Katakacpk, 23 January 2013 - 04:16 PM.


#21 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

I want to add in response to the OP question, I think I was a lot like my daughter all the way through childhood and teenagehood, and to some degree now. But nothing was ever done about it; not by the teachers or by parents - no-one really followed up on my issues so they were just part of me. No-one helped or coached me how to do things. In fact apart from seeing a psychologist for my daughter, I otherwise haven't been to one counselling, psychologist or any other appointment; no-one ever intervened. So yes I definitely think it is because people are more aware and more active to do something about it. It took me 35 years to get beyond all this and be happy with the person I am, and not to worry so much. And even then...

#22 baddmammajamma

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

Every "label" my daughter has -- ASD, anxiety, ADHD, and giftedness -- is backed up by a formal assessment and diagnosis. As others have mentioned, anxiety is a very common issue in people wth ASD, as well as people with ADHD.

My strong belief is that if a child (or adult) is suffering from "something" that impairs their daily functioning, the best thing they can do is get a proper assessment and support from a really good specialist. I can't imagine trying to wade through all of my daughter's "stuff" without good professionals and therapy on our side. I would be afraid that I might be missing some key information.

For anxiety, she has just completed the "Cool Kids Program," which is Macquarie Uni's heralded program for helping anxious kids (based on principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy "CBT"):

http://centreforemotionalhealth.com.au/pag...ds-program.aspx

Prior to CBT, she would get paralyzed with worry over very choices and things over which she didn't have total control. The therapy has made a noticeable difference in her ability to manage her emotions and reactions to various challenges. What has also made a big difference for my daughter is the medication she is taking for her ADHD -- we've noticed a dramatic drop in her anxiety levels over the past 3 months of drug trialing (though not every person experienes that benefit).

Edited by baddmammajamma, 23 January 2013 - 04:30 PM.


#23 me-and-mini-me

Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:14 PM

I didn’t realise that my DD had an anxiety problem until she started school, as she is an only child, & I considered her to have normal traits any toddler would have.  When she was in preschool, I was told by the teachers many times about the way she behaved.  I was told that she didn’t interact with the other children, became quite upset when another child prevented her from doing what she wanted to do, she didn’t share, or if she played a game and the other child won it, she would become very upset & angry, and would always cry.  Again, I thought this was normal behaviour from an only child that never needed to share before.
It wasn’t until she started school and I was constantly being told by the teacher of her frequent crying and disruptive behaviour that I thought that there must be a reason for it.  Given that she taught herself to read at 4 years old, I thought perhaps that she was bored, so therefore became disruptive doing her own thing because she finished her work fast, and so I told her teacher.  The teacher, however, was quite adamant that “there was something wrong with her” and in frustration, angrily told me so.  She suggested that my DD see the school counsellor, which I agreed to. It was during this discussion that I found out that a teacher’s aide was going to the classroom every day to specifically have one on one time with her.  After she had seen the counsellor, I was given a report, which suggested that my DD was “severely autistic” as well as suffering from depression. She also suggested that I see a paediatrician to see if she was autistic.  I did see one not long after, who read the counsellor’s report I handed her, then told me straight away that she wasn’t autistic.
In the years that followed, I would consistently be told by her teachers that DD would cry for no apparent reason, at times would be disruptive, would become very anxious, and she didn’t mix with other kids, having no friends.  I found this very hard to believe, as she is always happy and smiling at home, and plays with my friend’s children at their homes, but only for a certain amount of time, as she would then want to go home for quiet time just to get away from them.
In 1st class, she had to have days off of school, as she was having bad dreams which really upset her, and I couldn’t console her and she would shake in fear.  She couldn’t go back to sleep, and wouldn’t believe me that they weren’t real, and as she lost so much sleep, she would need to have the day off school.  Her dreams had to do with her being taken away, for example, by a rocket, and me being left behind.  To this day, I cannot go out without her and be gone for a while without her becoming extremely anxious thinking the worst and that I have somehow died.  She needs to ring me to see that I’m OK before she will calm down, and I then have to reassure her that I will be home soon, and she then wants to have an exact time.  She also freaks out if she doesn’t see me standing waiting for her outside the classroom when it’s home time, or when we are in the shops and she can’t see me, so I always make sure I’m at school before the bell goes, or she can see me or knows where I am in the shops, which is NEVER a distance away.
By year 3, she was no longer disruptive, however, she became much more reserved, sensitive, and the anxiety kicked in more.  She was being picked on by other children many times, and would put up with it, as she doesn’t like hurting anybody’s feelings.  If she thought she hurt another person’s feelings, or made a mistake, or thought she was going to get in trouble, she would be very anxious and suffer from stomach aches.  (I took her to the doctor many times about her stomach aches, as I didn’t know why she was getting them all the time.)  She’s also very gullible and does what any child will tell her to do, just because she trusts them, and doesn’t want to upset them.
When she was in 4th class, I brought her home from school and she said she had something to tell me, and then told me how two boys from school had taken her lunch box and kicked it around the school ground breaking it, and that she “couldn’t take it any more”, and asked if I would do something about it.  I asked her how long they have been bullying her for, and she said “over a year, maybe 2 years”.  I asked her how often they bully her, and she said every time they see her.  I asked her why she didn’t tell me, and she said that she didn’t let it bother her, but I knew full well that she didn’t want to get them into trouble.   I spoke to the vice principal about it the following day, as well as her teacher.  Her teacher commented that as she doesn’t have any friends and stays by herself, she is an easy target, as bullies like to outnumber the person they are picking on.  
Last year, in Year 5, she was put in the same class as these 2 bullies, and has had to share a table with one of them, who consistently annoyed her, but through my persistence, she told the teacher.  Of course, this didn’t stop the boy at all.  He is relentless in annoying her, but is very good in making sure he does it when the teacher isn’t looking.  
During all this, I felt that we were managing her anxiety, as I always talked to her about her feelings. I took it as normal that she was always very sensitive, wouldn’t leave my side when we go out always wanting to hold my hand, is sensitive to loud noises, always needs quiet time, and has lots of fears, however, things took a dramatic change in October last year.  One day, I noticed her demeanour had changed while we were out shopping in the October school holidays – something that I’ve never seen before, so I instinctively knew something was wrong -  and asked her what was wrong.  She told me that she has been having morbid thoughts that have been scaring her, and every time she had them, she got a stomach ache.  I asked her about her thoughts, and she told me.  Most of her thoughts were related to the two boys and her anger towards them and thinking about harming them.  The following week, her thoughts had gotten dramatically worse, and were now consuming her every single thought, but they had progressed to thoughts about anybody she was angry at, not just the two boys, and they involved death or bloody/gory images.  She cried for 2 days solid, and ended up sleeping with me for a whole week as she was too scared to be on her own.  She then progressed to thinking that life was not worth living anymore and many times, wondered what it felt like to be dead, and told me she wanted to kill herself, and me.  So that’s when I went to the doctor to get a referral for professional help, as then it became serious.
She now has many stomach aches with burping, frequently becomes sad and cries a lot, has tension headaches, is extremely overly anxious which sometimes results in her going to the toilet only to have to do nothing, and constantly panics over the slightest thing.  She also finds it hard to fall asleep, and can take anywhere up to 2.5 hours, many times wakes during the night staying awake for a while, and always wakes up early.  Every now and then she seems to go into a depression. She’s angrier that she’s actually having these thoughts, rather than the thoughts themselves, even though she knows that life is worth living, but she still needs constant reassurance and comforting.  I’ve had to explain this to her teacher, who kept a constant eye on her and at times has had to send her out of the class to be by herself as she sees the change in her when she becomes anxious.  The teacher also said to me that she knew when my DD would get anxious at times before, but now she physically sees the anxiety and change in her which starts with her wringing her hands together, whereas before, she would just get very frustrated if things didn’t go right.
On top of all that, she frequently worries about cleanliness and health and if things are poisonous, and if touching or using something could cause something to happen to her, so therefore washing her hands a lot (but no OCD).  In other words, she worries about things that have no basis to worry about.  She also consistently apologises all the time for things that either don’t need apologising for, or wasn’t even her fault, repeatedly saying sorry until we have to say “stop it,  it’s OK, you can stop saying it”.  Because of this, I made enquiries about home schooling her, as at the time I felt it was better that she wasn’t there, however, she wanted to discuss it with her psychologist the following day first.  (She started seeing one in November).  The psychologist told us it was a personal decision, however, she felt it wasn’t a good idea, as she would have no interaction with other children, and needs to learn to become resilient, even though I reminded her that she prefers her own company anyway.   My DD then told me that she wanted to stay in school.  I told the psychologist that I felt like all the bullying over the years has caused her to become like this, as she can’t defend herself, so it’s manifested in another way,  and she agreed that certainly, an accumulation of bullying, could have led to this over anxiety and morbid thoughts.
The child psychologist explained that the morbid thoughts, etc, are very normal for very intelligent or gifted children, as they are very sensitive and they overanalyse and overthink everything, and their brains won’t move on to the next thought, staying stuck on the same ones.
She's been doing cognitive therapy, and has improved, but still has many worries, more recently with the world ending, which she cried a lot about and told me that she loved me at bed time through tears "just in case",  and also worried about the bushfires thinking that we should evacuate, even though we werent even remotely close to them.  I myself suffer from mild anxiety, which the psychologist says she would of got from me, even though I have NEVER shown her my anxieties, but it seems that that didn't work.  She's now going through puberty, and that's a whole other story with her emotions.   sad.gif


#24 *-*

Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:26 PM

QUOTE (bakesgirls @ 23/01/2013, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I may ask, what sort of things did you notice in your child that pointed to anxiety? Was it apparent shyness, poor social skills? I'm just trying to get a better undertanding of it.


For us, it was seeing our daughter curled up in a ball, shaking, crying, fear in her eyes, unable to speak or move.  It was a full blown panic attack.  She had shyness, and poor social skills - but the panic attack was what gave it away.


#25 item

Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

Me and mini me, it sounds like you guys have had a really bumpy ride :-(


QUOTE (*~Katrina~* @ 23/01/2013, 05:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For us, it was seeing our daughter curled up in a ball, shaking, crying, fear in her eyes, unable to speak or move.  It was a full blown panic attack.  She had shyness, and poor social skills - but the panic attack was what gave it away.


Just wanted to add - this!  DS totally shut down when a lady at Bupa said "hi" to him. Eyes shut, head down, shaking with fear for TWO HOURS.  Also, he taught himself relaxation breathing and I could see him using it just prior to situations where he would shut down/act out (although never as badly as that day). It's awful to watch.





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Q: My two-month-old baby doesn't like me. He's perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I've backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn't seem to be working. I'm starting to think I'm just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?

When was the last time a stranger praised your parenting?

Wouldn’t it be great to get some nice feedback every now and then? After all, everyone likes to hear positive praise, particularly when it comes to parenting.

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

15 names on the verge of extinction

If you're looking to revive an older name, or don’t want anything near the top 1000 list, check out these rare monikers for your unique baby.

5 characteristics of great dads

It’s great to see a generation of dads who are more actively involved with caring, nurturing and loving their kids.

Why doesn't Australia have more breast milk banks?

When there’s no question that milk banks are important, why don’t we have more of them in Australia?

Carrie Bickmore announces birth of daughter

Television personality Carrie Bickmore has given birth to her second child.

 
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What's hot on EB

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

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.

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.

The place just for dads of multiples

When a couple discovers they're expecting multiples, the dad can sometimes be almost forgotten in all the excitement and preparation. But one group offers a space just for dads of twins and higher-order multiples.

Brave mum calls for domestic violence law reform

A brave mum of two has shared details of the harrowing attacks she suffered at the hands of her partner in a bid to help other victims of domestic violence.

Why I had the new test for Down syndrome

Early last year I turned 35, and having just found out I was pregnant, I opted to have the new test for Down syndrome.

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.

2015: the year of the sheep

According to the Chinese zodiac, babies born in the year of the sheep are creative and enjoy spending quiet time with their own thoughts.

Breakthrough genetic testing now available in Australia

Pregnant women will for the first time have access to locally analysed, accurate, non-invasive pre-natal genetic testing when the first Australian clinic to offer the services opens its doors next week.

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.

Family kicked off flight after toddler seatbelt drama

An entire family was kicked off a Cathay Pacific flight when a misbehaving toddler refused to put his seatbelt on.

Stolen baby found after 17 years

A baby stolen from her mother's arms shortly after birth has been found through an astonishing coincidence.

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

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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.