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.

Tell us what you think

to WIN 1 of 2 $500 Coles/Myer gift cards

Dealing with a toddler's morning tantrums

Your schedule is not important to your two-year-old, and you cannot convince her otherwise. So what can you do?

Child in suitcase 'could have died eight years ago'

A child whose remains were dumped in a suitcase in the South Australian bush is believed to have been a girl aged between two-and-a-half to four.

MP breastfeeds baby during parliamentary session

An Argentinian mum and politician has caused a stir on social media after being filmed breastfeeding her baby.

My baby's first seizure

It was 1am on a cold winter's night when I woke suddenly to the screams of my 12-month-old son. Our lives were about to change forever.

Portable pools 'more dangerous than permanent ones'

Inflatable and portable children's pools may be required to be sold with compulsory fencing to prevent backyard drownings, with some experts even floating the idea of a ban.

Heartbreaking moment mum kisses her one-week-old goodbye

At 11.07am on April 2 this year, Sarah Marriott welcomed baby Sebastian into the world.

The amazing Tee Pee bed and kid-friendly Frankie Bunk bed

These kids' beds definitely fit the brief of providing personality and personal space for little people who are moving up in the world.

The funny things kids say when you're pregnant

Since becoming noticeably pregnant, my son has taken more of an interest in the sibling he'll soon have.

The real problem with having one child

In this age of political correctness, it seems the one subject still subject to discrimination is that of the Only Child.

Six-week-old baby found dead, believed stabbed

A neighbour heard a child screaming before a baby was found dead, believed to have been stabbed, in a house in Newcastle.

The fire hazard in more than 70,000 Australian homes

So far, 206 Samsung washing machines have caught fire and some have exploded. But many remain in people's homes.

How having a baby can bring on OCD

We all know that having a baby can turn your life upside down - and it can also bring a raft of new anxieties and worries.

IVF gender selection being considered for Australian parents

Couples using IVF may be able to choose the gender of their babies and women could be financially compensated for donating their eggs.

The best age to get married (according to the latest study)

Not too young, and not too old. That's reportedly the best age to get married. Not everyone agrees.

Yes, you can get pregnant before your period returns post-baby

After giving birth, the last thing you want to think about is contraception. But you can get pregnant before your period comes back.

Fellow diner rewards mum after toddler's tantrum

Parents of toddlers everywhere know the feeling. After working up the courage to take your child out for lunch or dinner in public you are rewarded with a mid-meal meltdown. 

IKEA begins massive safety campaign after two toddler deaths

Two children were killed when pieces from their Malm furniture line tipped over.

Beaneasy: sweet nursery furniture with a twist

If you're looking to introduce an organic element into your baby's nursery but want to step away from natural timber, we have the perfect alternative.

A dad's guide to hyperemesis

I am in no way qualified to advise women on how to cope with hyperemesis, but I've learnt some lessons that might be worth sharing with other partners.

Woman adopts best friend's four daughters after cancer tragedy

Best friends share everything - and for these two life-long friends, that includes family.

Baby Leo's mum excluded from $500K trust 'for her own protection'

Samuel Forrest didn't want his wife as a trustee of their baby Leo's half million dollar trust for her own "protection", it has emerged.

Confirmed: men gain weight when they become dads

Men who become fathers experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index, a measurement of body fat based on height and weight, according to a new, large-scale study

Carer investigated over washing machine photo posted 'for a laugh'

She said the photo of a boy with Down syndrome in a washing machine was taken just for fun, but no one else was laughing.

Mum's premature labour nightmare after high tea salmonella outbreak

An opulent high tea at a luxury Melbourne hotel has left 44 people with salmonella poisoning - including a pregnant woman, who went into early labour.

The day my son started a fire

Would you know what to do in a fire emergency? How safe is your home and family?

Prince George celebrates second birthday

Prince George's second birthday has been marked by the release of an official picture showing the toddler smiling as he is held by his proud beaming father.

Which beauty treatments are safe in pregnancy?

Is it safe to use fake tan, hair dye and nail varnish during pregnancy?

The five ways I know my 'baby' is no longer a baby

The truth is, I can no longer deny that my walking, babbling, somewhat-independent little miss is no longer a bona fide 'baby'.

Review: Cybex Platinum PRIAM pram

I'm not usually one who believes in love at first sight but that's exactly what happened when I first saw the Cybex PRIAM.

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.

Find a Nanny or Babysitter

Search by Postcode

Find a Babysitter

  • Daytime nannies
  • Casual babysitters
  • After-school care
  • Live-in nannies

What's hot on EB

Tell us what you think

to WIN 1 of 2 $500 Coles/Myer gift cards

Why I'm choosing to be a single mother right from the start

I believe that you get out of families what you put into them, and I will give mine my all.

Mother and baby units are a necessity for mental health, not a luxury

I have had two postnatal psychotic episodes. The first when my eldest child was six weeks old, and another after my second child was born.

30 French baby names

French names are always in fashion, but a few have risen in popularity in recent years.

New mum's Spanish maternity nightmare

A British woman who gave birth in Spain has told of her ordeal after spending weeks trying to convince medics the baby girl was hers.

Preparing Rover to be a good dog with baby

Some friends of ours say that it's dangerous to have a dog around a newborn and that we should start looking for a new home for him. Is it?

Company offers to ship working mums' breast milk home

First Apple and Facebook announced they would pay $20,000 towards the cost of their female employees freezing their eggs, now IBM in the US has come up with an innovative new policy aimed at retaining female employees.

Prince William speaks of his pride at wife Kate and 'little joy of heaven' Charlotte

The Duke of Cambridge opened up about family life and his plans for the future in an interview to mark his first day as an air ambulance pilot.

'Glowing' eye saves baby Mason's life

A simple photo taken in front of an evening fire gave new mother Sarah Bowers the power to save her baby's life. 

Parenting and decision overload

Of all the advice people told me before having a baby, no one warned me about the amount of decisions involved.

FREE TICKET

See Pinky McKay live in Sydney

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!