Baby Essentials Guide

Essential Baby brings you tips, tricks and advice on all things baby. As a mum-to-be or a new mum or even a 2nd, 3rd or 4th or more time mum, there are always changes to even the basics. We teamed up with CHOICE to help you make some of the big decisions on some of these baby essentials.

Find out how to choose a cot, what you need to know about health insurance for families and choosing a doctor and first aid course and head over to our page on prams & strollers.

Choosing a cot


CHOICE Cots might only be used for a relatively short period of time in your time’s life, but it’s vital that they're safe for your little one to use. Here’s what CHOICE says to look for when buying a cot.

Five reasons not to miss the Essential Baby and Toddler Show

tickets B&TS

From advice to entertainment, there are lots of reasons to make sure you get in early for your FREE tickets to this year's Essential Baby and Toddler Show.

CHOICE advice on baby hammocks, portable high chairs and booster seats

table baby

CHOICE Confused about what's okay and what's not? The CHOICE experts explain what you need to know about keeping your baby safe.

Choosing a family doctor and first aid course

baby doctor

CHOICE The CHOICE experts suggest things to think about when choosing a doctor for your baby, and which first aid courses are best for parents.

Choosing a double stroller

double pram

CHOICE If you have twins, or a baby and toddler close in age, a two-seater stroller could be just what you need for getting the kids from A to B. CHOICE reviewed the safety and ease of use of a range of double prams.

Choosing a portable cot

portable cot

CHOICE Portable cots are very handy when you're on the move, but how can you tell which are the safest? CHOICE looked at 19 portable cots to find the best models.

Choosing a digital baby thermometer

baby thermometer

CHOICE Illness is, unfortunately, an unavoidable part of childhood. Every family home needs a good thermometer so you can easily check your children for fever, which is a typical symptom of illness.

Are multivitamins worth it?


CHOICE You can buy multivitamins for different genders and ages, but is this segmentation necessary? And really, should you - or your children - be taking multivitamins in the first place? CHOICE investigates.

Labour and birth: the partner's role

dad birth

When a woman goes into birth, she'll usually have her partner with her - that's you. And although you don't have to go through the physical strain of having the baby, your supporting role is just as important.

How to write a birth plan

pregnant belly

There are so many forms to fill out during your pregnancy: from Medicare to Family Assistance Office forms, health insurance and hospital forms, life can seem like a constant procession of paperwork. But there's one document that's more interesting than most: your birth plan.

Saving for your child’s education

graduate girl

CHOICE The cost of putting your child through school has increased by 70% over the past 10 years, so the sooner you start saving, the better. Here's a guide to different ways of saving.

Choosing organic baby foods

baby eating

CHOICE Parents want the best for their baby, and when it comes to buying baby food, more parents are choosing organic – even though it means paying a premium. But some of these organic foods contain more real food than others, and it can be hard to know exactly what you’re getting.

The parent trap: babies and kids marketing


CHOICE While there’s no doubt shopping for the new person in your life can be extremely enjoyable, it can also be confusing. Among all the marketing hoopla, how can an expectant parent determine what’s essential, what’s nice to have and what’s not needed?

New rules on health insurance

Doctor computer

CHOICE Confused by the new health insurance rules? CHOICE explains the basics of what you need to know – and can help you choose the best fund for your family.

Choosing a convertible car seat

car seat 2

Choosing a car seat for your child can be a big decision – it has to fit your car, suit your taste, and, most importantly of all, be safe for your little one. CHOICE gives a guide of what to look for.

Choosing a pram or stroller

stroller dad

CHOICE As a pram or stroller is usually one of the most expensive items new parents purchase, it's important to ensure that your baby pusher is just as safe and practical as it is aesthetically appealing. Learn what CHOICE recommends you look for when buying a stroller.

Choosing a baby monitor


CHOICE Baby monitors can give parents great peace of mind when caring for their little ones, but with so many monitors to choose from, how do you know which one is best for you? After reviewing 14 monitors, CHOICE explains what features to look for.

Buying for baby: keeping costs down

Computer couple

CHOICE For the first four years of your baby’s life you could spend, on average, over $20,000 on baby purchases, with the bulk of the cost in the first 12 months. CHOICE gives some tips on how to keep your costs down during this exciting but confusing time.

Buying for baby: the CHOICE checklist

Pram mum

CHOICE There are so many baby products on the market these days that it’s hard to know where to start. CHOICE tells you which products are essential, useful, optional or not recommend.

So you're pregnant? There's an app for that

Pregnant woman iphone

We review the best pregnancy apps for the iPhone, from the serious and informative to the silly and just-for-fun.

Preparing a sibling for the new arrival


Gill South Entrusting your suddenly huge, galumping toddler near a tiny newborn is one of the hardest things you have to negotiate as a parent. It's a time of adjustment for everyone, but you can get through it together.

What to pack in your hospital bag

Prepare for baby

Justine Davies Having a written checklist of things that you want to take to hospital with you can make the world of difference to how comfortable your stay will be. And when you're setting out on the parenthood journey, comfort is key!

Preparing your home for baby

Snug baby

Use that nesting urge to make sure your baby's new home is clean, safe and healthy.


CHOICE empowers consumers to get the most out of all their purchasing decisions by providing a mix of advocacy and advice.


Buying for Baby

Ask questions or offer buying advice to other expectant parents in our forum for mums.

EB Product Reviews

See what mums are saying about the latest products.


Weekly Guide to Pregnancy

A comprehensive, Australian week-by-week guide to your baby's development and the progress of your pregnancy.


Are you are parent or planning to be? We want to know what you think - let us know and you'll be in the draw to win a $500 gift card.

Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.

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What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.


Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration