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.

First look at Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Baby

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Newlyweds send bill to no-show guests

Planning a wedding can be stressful – and, as most newlyweds can attest, it can be very costly, too.

Claire Danes: acting out postnatal depression was difficult

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Sneak peek: Geleeo self-cooling pram & high chair liners

We just spotted Geleeo, a brand new self-cooling pram liner you can buy in time for summer.

The moment a 92-year-old meets her great grandaughter

It's a heart-warming photo this family will treasure forever.

How to prepare for breastfeeding when you're still pregnant

While every woman's breastfeeding journey is different, many hurdles are shared. Knowing what to expect will enable you to make informed decisions if - or when - you meet challenges along the way.

Win a Family Farm Trip with Shaun the Sheep

To celebrate the Home Entertainment release of Shaun the Sheep Movie, Essential Kids and Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are offering one winner and their family a holiday to a farm.

Sneak peek: new Love Mae bamboo dinnerware designs

We do love ourselves some brand new designs in tried and true products. The renowned bamboo dinnerware from Love Mae has just had several more members join the family, in addition to a brand new website.

Mum who killed paedophile gets reduced sentence

A mother-of-five who killed a paedophile has had her jail sentence reduced by a judge who described her case as a "truly exceptional" one.

Win a Justine Clarke Pyjama Jam! prize pack

The Pyjama Jam! tour will see Justine Clarke returning to more intimate venues around Australia, creating the perfect comfy and cozy atmosphere for a PJ party.

Toddler's silent debate with mum about naptime

He might not utter a single word - but this toddler is having a great debate with his mother about nap time.

Silence is golden ... or is it?

Silence is golden, or so the saying goes. But when it comes to children, quite the opposite is true.

Awards 2015: Vote now for a chance to win $2000

Vote for your favourite pregnancy, baby and toddler products for your chance to win your share of $2500 in cash prizes.

Scientists identify potential birth control 'pill' for men

Two drugs that help suppress the immune system in organ transplant patients may have a future as the long-sought birth control "pill" for men, new research suggests.

Running for beginners: taking the first steps

It's that time of year when the weather warms up and there's more opportunity to get out and go for a jog.

Tips for turning yourself into a morning person

Mornings are a great time to spend time in reflection or to get outside and get moving.

Thousands sign petition for unborn babies killed by domestic violence

Almost 8000 people have signed a petition calling for a law to recognise unborn babies killed by domestic violence in NSW.

Pregnant Sarah Harris tells body-shamers to 'get stuffed'

Television presenter Sarah Harris has a message for anyone who tries to body-shame pregnant women or new mums.

In defence of 'brexting'

Mums spend literally hours a day with a baby attached to their boob, or giving them a bottle. Surely they don't all need to be spent looking at the baby?

How a fellow passenger made a mum's day on a flight

As any parent who has ever travelled with a baby knows it can be a daunting experience. The stares and attitude of unsympathetic fellow travellers only serve to make the journey even more stressful. 

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What are your favourite baby products?

The Essential Baby Awards are on now, and we need your help! Have your say on your top picks and you'll go in the draw to win a share of $2500.