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

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?

vitamins

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

Piggybank

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

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

140x93_siblings

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

Choice.com.au

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

Forums

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.

Guides

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy

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

Tools

WIN A $500 VISA DEBIT CARD

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.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

A solo birth, a wasp swarm and a forest fire: mum and baby's amazing story of survival

Desperate, out of petrol and low on food, a new mother lit a fire in the hope of attracting attention.

Boy found on swing died of hypothermia and dehydration, autopsy finds

The story was chilling and heartbreaking: a three-year-old boy was found dead in a Southern Maryland park, his mother pushing him on the swing.

Child's play and laughter help battle fatigue

Feeling fatigued? Uh-huh, thought as much. Join the queue.

Dad shares entertaining 'how to hold a baby' clip

For many new dads, their own child is the first baby they have ever held. So one dad has posted an instructive YouTube video titled "How to Hold a Baby".

The Australian baby with 100,000 Facebook fans

She may be only eight months old, but Egypt has already amassed more than 100,000 fans and received a letter from royalty - Hollywood royalty that is.

Public welcome outside church for Princess Charlotte's christening

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have invited well-wishers to see Princess Charlotte outside church in Sandringham on day of her baptism.

Tongue tie: what you need to know

Tongue and lip tie can lead to many problems for babies - and their parents. Here are the signs of tongue tie and how it's treated.

My daughter is small but that doesn't matter

My daughter may be small, but it's my job as her parent to refocus back where it belongs - on who she is as a person

Wet wipes linked to rise in allergic reactions

The government has issued a health warning after a rise in allergic skin reactions has been linked to a preservative found in some wet wipes.

Gay couple in their 80s first to wed in Dallas after Supreme Court ruling

Love may have won, but it came with quite the wait.

William Tyrrell's family marks birthday with cake and renewed appeal

The family of missing boy William Tyrrell will mark his fourth birthday on Friday making a cake to share with friends and family as NSW police renewed their public appeal for information on his disappearance.

What all parents should know about safe babywearing

A picture of Ryan Reynolds always gets the girls talking, and a recently shared photo has done exactly that - but this time, it's for all the wrong reasons.

Baby's head shape reveals potentially fatal condition

Thinking her baby just had an unusually shaped head, a mother was shocked to discover it was instead linked to a dangerous condition.

'Help - my toddler hits me!'

My toddler has started hitting when he gets frustrated, is feeling ignored, or just thinks it might be fun.

Why IVF success rates may not be what you think

Transparency, accountability and responsibilityare essential measures to protect IVF vulnerable patients.

On the 10th anniversary of my son's death

This day marks a significant day. Today marks 10 years since I lost my son Kai.

Mother-in-law 'from hell' inspires survival guide

The happily ever after Nicola Milan had imagined wasn't to be – and she blames her mother-in-law.

Name your baby Quinoa, win a $10K gift card

Choosing a name for your little bundle of joy is always a major decision. It can be something traditional, trendy, creative … or inspired by the menu of your favourite chain restaurant.

Owning a pair of nail scissors does not make me a hairdresser

It's been a whole year since sleeping in until 10am. A whole year since having a peaceful shower.

The 83 children who were tragically let down in the last decade

Over a 10-year period, 83 children died from domestic violence abuse in NSW, with three quarters of the victims aged five years or under, the NSW Ombudsman has revealed.

Expert Q&A: Gross motor skill development in toddlers and preschoolers

Dr Katie Heathershaw answers questions about jumping, toe walking, riding a bike and being pigeon toed.

Is it reasonable to expect your partner to give up drinking in pregnancy?

From the moment that I fell pregnant with my son, I realised just how much my life had already started to change.

Stroke victim joins class action against makers of popular contraceptive pill

"I was terrified I would always be this way. The pill needs to come with a much higher warning."

Sexy time

Why you should get excited about scheduling sex

Unfortunately, the belief that sex should always be spontaneous is a myth. It just isn't.

When newborn photoshoots get messy

When it comes to newborn photoshoots, it is all about the timing.

Orphaned baby daughter Ayla wakes from coma

Former All Black Jerry Collins' critically injured orphaned daughter has awoken from her coma and is able to bottle-feed.

Dad takes miraculous catch while feeding baby

One American father has taken multitasking to a new level at a Cubs-Dodgers baseball game at Wrigley Field.

'Samuel is our firstborn, and he will never be forgotten'

Having lost their firstborn at one day old, the Carrolls were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Isobel into the world a year later.

Channel 10's Sarah Harris expecting first child

The Studio host Sarah Harris doesn't mind if her first baby is a boy or girl, but she does hope it is born with one thing in particular.

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Get your FREE ticket to the Baby & Toddler Show

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.