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

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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.

Funny Father's Day cards

A little fun never goes astray when celebrating special occasions and Father's Day is no different. We've rounded up some funny Father's day cards for your husbands, fathers and other important men in your lives.

Electronic tags may keep newborns safe

The possibility of using electronic bracelets for mothers and their newborn babies is being investigated by Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital. 

Baby steps: when your little one starts walking

As a parent there are so many milestones to look forward to. That first smile, first word - and, of course, that first step.

Julia Watson's new book 'Breakfast, School Run, Chemo'

Tomorrow my friend Julia launches her first book. And while we're all overjoyed, the success is tinged with sadness. You see, Julia has stage 4 bowel cancer.

How not to name twins

Call me boring, but I don't think that when it comes to choosing my twins' names is the right time to use a good pun.

Fun Sunny Life pool inflatables just for babies

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Baby and bulldog born on the same day are best friends

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Breastfeeding basics for beginners

Here are 10 tips to help make breastfeeding successful and stress free for both you and your baby as quickly as possible.

Girl smothers baby brother with peanut butter

This mum had a big clean up job on her hands.

How to hide those under eye shadows

Pandas are the only ones who benefit from under-eye shadows. If you're not fluffy and cute, you'll just look tired.

Young mum dies after being denied pap smear

A mother has died after she was denied a pap smear because she was deemed "too young" to need it.

Birthday cakes banned at childcare centre

A childcare centre in Sydney has banned birthday cakes after parent complaints about excessive sugar and children with allergies being left out.

Triplet surprise for newlyweds

As the radiographer moved the wand over her abdomen, Shelley King got the surprise of her life.

3 yummy Thermomix baby and toddler recipes

Louise Fulton Keats shares her recipes for babies and toddlers, including corn and sweet pikelets, pumpkin and pea risotto, and cheesy bunny biscuits.

Man arrested over toddler Nikki's death

A 31-year-old man has been arrested over the death of two-year-old Nikki Francis-Coslovich in Mildura.

Adoption ban on pregnant women to be lifted

Pregnant women will no longer be barred from adoption waiting lists in NSW, after the Baird Government decided the practice was discriminatory.

Are you getting enough magnesium?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, but we don't talk enough about it and the vital role it plays in great health and energy, as well as disease prevention.

5 workplace lessons for new parents

Take heart in these principles that will transfer seamlessly from the workplace into your new life as a parent.

Mums to follow on Instagram

A creative outlet for many, there are some savvy women complementing their blogs and businesses with riveting Instagrams feeds. We've chosen a few which have bucketloads of appeal; there are some big time players and some smaller local ones, and they each bring their special brand of magic to the Instagram experience.

Review: The Volvo 2015 XC90 SUV has all the safety features your family needs

The new Volvo XC90 SUV's focus on keeping you safe does not come at the expense of comfort in the XC90.

Kim Kardashian reveals she may have hysterectomy

Kim Kardashian has revealed complications during pregnancy means she might have to have a hysterectomy after the birth of her second child.

Why late night snacks wreak havoc on weight loss

 Loath as you may be to admit it, chances are that at some point you have found yourself in the kitchen late at night, devouring food.

Toddler twins pretend to be asleep to fool mum

They say twins have a unique connection. If this cute clip is anything to go by, these toddler sisters like to use their special bond to try to fool their mother.

Dad bags: 10 picks for out and about

Getting out of the house is a big priority in the early years of parenthood and you need to take a well-stocked kit with you. We've chosen 10 of the best nappy bags sure to appeal to dads in style and function.

Win a Mountain Buggy Swift

To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.

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.

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