Toilet Training


Time to start introducing the potty or toilet to your toddler and not sure where to start? Here is our section on toilet trainng with expert advice, other mum's experiences, and forums to share and ask advice from other mums.

Family's heartbreak as dad can only help one sick twin

Binh and Phuoc both suffer from Alagille syndrome, which affects the liver.

LETITIA ROWLANDS It's a heartbreaking dilemma no parent should ever have to face: you have two gravely ill children, but only possess the power to help one.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Well, tantrums certainly keep life interesting ...

Ariane Beeston Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Comments 1

When an older sibling starts school

While some kids breeze through the transition, it can be very unsettling for others.

DANIELLE COLLEY When one child goes to ‘big school’ and leaves the other behind, it can cause deep upset. Here's how to make the transition easier.

When kids will only eat white food

It's easy for toddler meal time to become a battleground.

Armin Brott It seems like all they want to eat is white rice and plain pasta. Why won't they eat anything else, and what can I do to get them to expand their preferences?

Video: Big brother tells it how it is

tired boy

Sometimes older siblings can tell their little brothers and sisters great lies - but sometimes they tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

When siblings play rough

Rough play between siblings is a normal part of development.

Meaghan Leahy Physical violence between young siblings is upsetting for parents and can be difficult to manage. Here a few tips to help keep the peace at your house.

12 parenting goals worth striving for in 2015

Resolve to play more: The child in you will love it, and your children will too.

Ariane Beeston Here are 12 parenting-based goals worth striving for in 2015. Some you’ll be doing already, while others may require a little more practice.

Comments 1

Teletubbies baby comes forward

The Teletubbies sun, as seen on the show.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Millions of babies around the world have been enthralled by her laughing face over the past 19 years. However only now has the girl whose infectious smile featured on the Teletubbies sun come forward to set the record straight.

Preventing childhood falls

Little ones are known for hunting out household hazards.

Kids who get hurt in falls from furniture often live in homes without safety gates or weren't taught rules about climbing in the house, a new study found.

Boy with autism gets a lift from four-legged therapist

Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal

Kathy Antoniotti Abandoned as a baby, then later diagnosed with ASD, Angel had a difficult start to life. Then came his grandmother - and a special dog.

Video: If a grown man threw a public tantrum

Parents of young children everywhere will appreciate this clip showing what it would look like if a grown man threw a toddler like tantrum in public.

Terminally ill dad raises $1 million for young daughter with cancer

Kelli and her step-dad, Tom.

LETITIA ROWLANDS As far as bucket lists go, the first item Tom Attward wanted to tick off was a fairly ambitious one - to raise almost $1 million to save his step-daughter's life.

Gorgeous toddler Izzy a model of diversity

Izzy Bradley as she appears in the Target ad.

LETITIA ROWLANDS With her blond curls and winning smile, it's not surprising little Izzy Bradley was chosen to appear in a toy catalogue for Target in the US.

Video: Kids excited by world's worst Christmas gifts


LETITIA ROWLANDS Struggling to find last minute stocking fillers before Santa's visit this week? If this cute video is anything to go by just raid the fruit bowl in order to keep your kids happy.


Why I'm kind of excited about my daughter's nits

Bryony Gordon Is it weird to say that I am secretly thrilled to find that my daughter Edie has nits?

Toddler freed after getting trapped in escalator

Kelsey Wilkie A shopping centre escalator needed to be pulled apart to free a toddler's trapped hand.

E-cigarette fluid kills toddler

US figures show reported incidents of exposure to liquid nicotine have more than doubled in the past 12 months alone.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Parents are being warned about the dangers posed by electronic cigarettes after a toddler died from nicotine poisoning when he consumed the liquid contained in the devices.


End of an era: no more childcare

We questioned if we were doing the right thing for our children; we needn't have worried.

KYLIE ORR As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

Comments 1

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing right now, either.

CATHERINE RODIE I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Comments 3

Can you teach a toddler to sleep in?

CATHERINE RODIE Parents share their tips on getting their early risers to sleep in, even for just a little bit longer.

Comments 2

Video: Tallulah, 2, cuts her own hair

girl hair

Jen Ng This funny video shows a little girl who has just been caught cutting off her own hair.

'You poked my heart': Video shows cutest argument you'll see today


Is it sprinkling or is it raining? This seemingly simple question is the focus of a lively debate between two young children in a video that has stolen the hearts of millions around the world.


Metal shards found in Sydney playground

Some of the pieces of metal found at the playground.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Pieces of sharp metal have been found protruding from rubber matting and scattered across equipment at a Sydney playground.

Sleep or ice-cream? Life's tough choices

sleep ice cream

It is one of life's most difficult decisions - what's more important, sleep or ice-cream?

The anatomy of a nap

<i>Family Matters</i> is on sale now.

Pat McDermott From the beginning my children took as their motto: "the only good adult is a wide-awake adult." To them, a sleeping parent means a child is not doing their job.

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

crying boy

JESSICA RUDD Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

Comments 1

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

When is the right time to start the Christmas countdown?

MATT CALMAN A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.


Those special moments of sibling bonding


MATT CALMAN Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

KYLIE ORR We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Comments 2

What parents really want for their kids

What's your biggest wish for your child's future?

JODIE BENVENISTE Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

Video: Sweet toddler gets emotional while watching animated film

Jen Ng This video of a compassionate little girl crying as she watches a movie about a lost penguin is adorable.


Dad's adorable LED Minnie Mouse costume for daughter

Glowy Zoey's Minnie Mouse costume.

Melanie Mahoney Oh, boy! Glowy Zoey's LED Minnie Mouse costume sure is magical.

New app helping in the search for childcare

Parents can use a new app to see whether there childcare centre has available spots.

Gayle Bryant A new app is allowing childcare centres to manage absences and available spots with ease. It even promises to help families save money!

When should you tell your child you're having a baby?

toddler pregnant

JO HARTLEY Becoming a big brother or sister isn’t a responsibility to be taken lightly. So when should you tell your child you're expecting again?


Best picks for baby and toddler shoes


Babyology Here's a great selection of footwear from pre-walker to walker ensuring comfort and style for growing feet.

What toddlers say versus what they really mean


Ariane Beeston The thing about toddlers is that what they say isn’t always what they mean. That would be far too easy and they’re complicated little creatures.


One month later: where is William Tyrell?

Missing: William Tyrell.

MELANIE MAHONEY It has been a little over a month since William Tyrell disappeared from his grandmother’s home, 33 long sleepless nights for his family as they mourn the absence of their cheeky young boy.

Comments 9

Forget the trends, let's get back to commonsense parenting

mum toddler

MICHAELA FOX Forget the new 'Lawnmower' parenting trend; try using plain old-fashioned commonsense instead.

Woman in psychiatric assessment after alleged child abduction attempt


Louise Hall A woman who allegedly attempted to abduct a toddler from her mother's car has been referred for a psychiatric assessment.

Your kids are changing - are you?

Effective parenting requires us to be adaptable at every stage.

JODIE BENVENISTE Our children are always changing, and we need to grow with them, says psychologist Jodie Benveniste.

Are we too soft on our kids? How to get the balance right


JODIE BENVENISTE Changing times mean new parenting approaches have emerged, so how can we find the balance between being too strict and too soft on our kids?

Does stay-at-home parenting get better?

Patricia Tan Parenting doesn’t ever get easier; the challenges just change. But the challenges of caring for young children definitely lessens as they get older.

The last days of babyhood


MATT CALMAN The transformation's happened gradually, but it also seems like an overnight thing. My little baby isn't a little baby anymore.

Royals sue paparazzi for 'preying' on Prince George

Privacy concerns: Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince George.

Gordon Rayner Photographers accused of carrying out "surveillance" on the Queen's great-grandson Prince George are the target of legal action by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

It’s not just the early days of parenting that are challenging.

MICHAELA FOX I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

The casualties of toddlerhood


Ariane Beeston Despite child-proofing and supervising, accidents and mishaps still happen when little people are involved. Consequently, the list of causalities from my son’s baby and toddlerhood is long.

Comments 1

'Gentle parenting' explained: no rewards, no punishments, no misbehaviour

parent child

Rebecca English Positive discipline (also known as gentle parenting) uses neither rewards nor punishments; children are encouraged to practice good behaviour for its own sake.

Comments 1

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

Voice of many: <i>You Have to F---ing Eat</i> is teh sequel to the hugely popular 2011 children's book parody <i>Go the F--- to Sleep.</i>

SARAH THOMAS A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.


Video: Two-year-old tells mum off for laughing at her


Jen Ng This little girl is not happy that her mum started laughing during her performance - so she tells her exactly how she feels about it.


Coping with a bolter

run girl

MATT CALMAN My 15-month-old has suddenly added a burst of real speed to her toddle. She should be classed a flight risk.



Toilet Training

Is your child ready? Looking for the signs and getting started

Challenging Behaviour & Discipline Techniques

Coping with tears, tantrums and trying times


Toddler Growth Chart

Compare your baby's length and weight for age against the World Health Organization's standard growth charts for children aged 0-3 years.

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

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

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Back to School Offer

We've got you covered for this school year. Use to meet local nannies now.