In defense of TV

tv toddler

AMITY DRY Feeling guilty after hearing about the latest study on kids' exposure to TV? Amity Dry says you're not alone - but that this is one study she'll be taking with a grain of salt.


Do hospitals offer frequent flyer cards for climbers?

Child climbing tree

Kylie Orr Until her third child, Kylie Orr had never had a climber. She's now got her second injury-prone Spiderman-wannabe ... and it's driving her up the wall.

A touch too much

high five

Amity Dry A school in Victoria has banned high fives, and Amity Dry thinks it's a sign that the world's gone mad. What are we teaching our kids when we don't allow them to act on these harmless instincts?

Have you ever visited the land of empty threats?

Nagging mum

Kylie Orr Empty threats are often blurted out by parents in the heat of the moment, when frustration with our children trumps all else. Kylie Orr revisits some of the pearlers she's come out with, and a few classics from years gone by.

Have you turned into your mother?

Turn into mum

Kylie Orr It may start with the birth of your child, or take a good few years to set in, but you will eventually turn into your mother, Kylie Orr writes. But is it really so bad after all?

English for beginners

Toddler with blocks

Kylie Orr Her toddler will eventually pronounce words properly, but Kylie Orr loves the mispronunciations her son is coming up with along the way. Sceezy cuggle, anyone?

How do you make time for family time?


Joseph Kelly Do you make time for family time? Have you figured out a way to get some balance into your family so that "family time" means actually interacting with each other? Are modern "conveniences" a blessing or a curse?

Summer traditions

Cooking with Kids. From left, Charlie, 11yrs, Henry, 9yrs, Tom, 7yrs, Ava, 6yrs, and Daphne 4yrs, all making pizza.Story by Kate Gibbs for SMH Good Living. Photo by Quentin Jones.

Joseph Kelly Every year we have our Christmas holidays in the same beachside town with my three brothers, four sisters and all their children. A tradition that the kids love is the annual "boys' night" which is held at exactly the same time, but in a different location, to the "girls' night".

The simple life

Painter girl

Joseph Kelly When I was a young boy, the most mystical place I knew of wasn't in my imagination or in any books I had read. It was Phil's hardware store and it was packed with some of the most amazing, fascinating and down-right weird things I could imagine.

Have you ever accidentally hurt your baby?


Joseph Kelly You can't help bad luck. No matter how under or over protective you are, accidents happen!

Generation next: Are you a better parent than your parents?

parents kissing baby

Joseph Kelly It is only natural that you will judge yourself by comparison to the people whose parenting you had the most contact with: your own mum and dad. So how does your parenting fare?

Toddler-induced exhaustion

Sleeping todller

Joseph Kelly There is nothing more precious to me now than sleep. Not a morning arrives when I don’t think everything about the impending day will be improved by just ten more minutes of sleep.

Ikea: Swedish for 'hell'?


Joseph Kelly Have you visited Ikea and lived to tell the tale? Do you know of anyone who has taken a child into the store and walked out unscathed?

Theme parks: hell on Earth?


Joseph Kelly There are a lot of very crazy things that people do for love. I proved my love for my daughters by taking them to Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.

No son? You're a failure!

Three girls sisters in striped tops

Joseph Kelly A son would be lovely, but my three daughters are more than enough.

Doing the drop-and-go

Unisex party

Joseph Kelly The drop and go party requires you the parent to be confident that your child won’t eat their own body weight in lollies, throw up on their new party clothes and fight the birthday child for the presents.

Zen and the art of parenting

dad baby beach

Joseph Kelly Really, parenting shouldn’t be that hard. You take two people that love each other very much. By all accounts these two people have enough love left over to be shared about with any small people that they are blessed enough to create. There’s some money coming in to pay the bills and make sure everyone is fed and clothed. Nothing easier. And then the children arrive.

The Guilt trap

Family shopping

Joseph Kelly The wonderful thing about being a parent is there is always something to feel guilty about.

Care factor

Dad and daughter

Joseph Kelly Are men as caring as women? Gender roles may have changed, but it seems society hasn't caught up.

Parenting or working - which is harder?

dad daughter

Joseph Kelly In Dad's Diary this week, Joseph finds out that staying at home is not quite the laid-back experience he'd hoped it would be.

Music to drive you GaGa

Dad and kids in red car

Joseph Kelly My car is generously appointed with speakers. There’s one in each door, two in the cargo area and a couple of tweeters next to the door handles. All this is designed so that I can blast myself silly to some testosterone fuelled guitar-God driven rock mayhem. Only this never actually happens because my musical taste, along with most other things in my life, is dictated to me by the three hecklers in the back seat.

Where do kids learn these things?


Joseph Kelly Are there things that you’ve said in front of the kids that have come back to haunt you? Have the kids ever told you something you knew you weren’t supposed to hear?

Kids and Finance: What do you teach them?

Joseph Kelly Is it wrong to try and burden kids with the concept of financial responsibility, or is it wrong not to provide a good financial base for your kids? Is it something better left to the free market to decide?

The bedtime shuffle

Your toddler and sleep

Joseph Kelly Our bedtime routine has turned into a bit of a farce lately. Every night we go through the same charade of getting the girls bathed and dressed for bed. Putting kids to bed is one of those exercises that seems to get harder the more you practice it. A lot like golf, only far less fun.

Your child's mementos - do you cherish or chuck?


Joseph Kelly To bin or to bind? How do you manage the unending influx of irreplaceable artwork generated by your kids?

Do you judge your kid's friends by their names?


Joseph Kelly 2 Judge, or Not 2 Judge... Is it wrong to judge a child based on their name? What do you think of “unique” names and “creative” spelling?

Do you go on dates by yourself?


Joseph Kelly Every second Tuesday one of us stays with the kids while the other goes to the movies. And it is one of the greatest sanity savers I could ever think of.

Who brings kids on holidays?

Tackling childhood obesity by getting Mum fit

Joseph Kelly I have discovered the flaw in the whole holiday caper – everyone wants to relax. Except of course for the kids, who are keen to party like its 1999.

Pregnant women - hot or not?

A pregnant woman with a man.

Joseph Kelly Call it the pregnancy "glow", but it seemed as though Susie had tapped into the essence of life.

Weekend with Barnaby


Joseph Kelly Last weekend I was running at break-neck speed from late Friday right through to late Sunday. And all because of a stuffed toy bear.


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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.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five new mums will join the Essential Baby Test Drive Team and discover great new baby toys from Fisher-Price & write a review to be published on Essential Baby.

Two children fall from second storey window

Two young boys have been rushed to hospital after falling out a second-storey window of a home in Eastwood.

Victorian Labor to introduce same-sex adoption laws

Thousands of same-sex couples with children will have the right to be jointly recognised as parents by Victorian law.

Sneak peek: Maxomorra bee dress, t-shirt and romper for babies

Cutest snap find on the planet - bee rompers, tees and dresses for babies.

Toddler found two days after going missing

A two-year-old girl who disappeared on Friday night from her great-grandparents' home in rural Ohio was found alive Sunday evening in a nearby field.

Dad builds the ultimate bed for his toddler son

The transition from cot to big kid bed might be a little easier if every toddler had a bed like this one.

Is Woolworths now cheaper than Coles?

Woolworths appears to have taken the upper hand in its price battle with Coles after investing millions of dollars lowering the cost of groceries, according to new figures.

Aussie babies and parents stranded in Nepal after surrogacy ban

Parents say Australian babies are being "kept captive" and cannot come home after a ban on commercial surrogacy in Nepal.

Wannabe dads left behind in IVF debate

If virgin women can become mothers through IVF, maybe we're ready for another miracle - genuine equality for men in the parenting debate.

The health and fitness lessons I've learned

What I once assumed about health and fitness is wrong.

Our angel baby story: Hunter James

I have two children: one living, the next an angel baby.

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.

Your choice or theirs: the tug-of-war over baby names

They had just decided on a name they both agreed on, but then the grandparents threw in an offer of $10,000 in exchange for choosing something else.

Dad-to-be's tearful reaction to pregnancy news goes viral

After 17 years of trying, this man had given up hope of having a family.

Claire Danes: acting out postnatal depression was difficult

Actress Claire Danes found it difficult pretending to have postnatal depression in Homeland, as she had just become a new mother herself.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.


Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration