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.

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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?

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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?

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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'?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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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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!

Finding baby name inspiration in unusual places

Sometimes the greatest baby name ideas come from the most unexpected places, as these EB members show.

The case for inducing at 37 weeks

While we often think of pregnancy as a 40 week affair, experts agree that 37 weeks is actually “full term". So is there an argument for inducing all births at 37 weeks?

Does controlled crying really work?

Controlled-crying techniques may help some babies sleep through the night, but for many exhausted new parents, it's just a recipe for more tears all round.

How I taught my infant to use a toilet

As people become more aware of these benefits, I hope more parents will practice this method, so we can cut down on nappies and improve baby bonding.

'I thought it was impossible': Emily Symons pregnant at 45

Aussie actress Emily Symons has announced she is pregnant with her first baby.

Shallow water blackout kills fit, healthy dad

A little girl will grow up without her father after the fit and healthy 34-year-old passed away while doing something he had practised his whole life.

Afternoon naps may be bad for toddlers' sleep

You could be doing yourself a disservice by encouraging your toddler to have an afternoon nap, according to new research.

Best gifts for newborns, new mums and christenings

We've compiled a guide to some of the most popular presents for newborns and new mums, and for christenings and naming days.

Jaime King to be a mum again

Actress Jaime King is pregnant with her second child, giving 16-month-old James a sibling.

Nannies should receive government funding

The Abbott government should extend funding to nannies, and direct childcare payments to low and middle income families, a landmark study on childcare has found. 

Common skin irritations in newborns (and how to treat them)

As many as one in two newborn babies suffer from skin irritations in their first few weeks. So what are the most common rashes and irritations to look out for?

10 wall decals for the nursery or playroom

Wall decals are the answer to creating a beautiful nursery or children's space without lifting a paint brush, a spirit level or even a hammer.

Preschooler walks 2.4km home alone

Three-year-old Cain Trainor headed off home after his first day at a new preschool without telling anyone.

Video: Why mums get nothing done

In spite of being in an almost constant state of motion while looking after the kids and trying to keep things together at home, it can seem as though parents have managed to get nothing on the to-do list done by the end of the day.

The middle name game

The middle name is no longer an afterthought, and parents' inspiration comes from many places.

Have a baby or your money back - but there's a catch

A new IVF scheme offers couples the chance to fall pregnant and give birth - or get their money back. But there's more to it than you might think.

A rare glimpse inside the womb

A baby born still inside the amniotic sac gave US doctors a rare glimpse at life inside the womb.

Battered mum forced to write to her attacker ex in jail

Three years ago Jason Hughes viciously attacked his ex-partner. Now she has to write to him three times a year.

Woman pleads not guilty to ultrasound scam

A West Australian woman will fight allegations that she scammed expectant mums by selling them fake ultrasound pictures of babies.

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

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Let's celebrate 300,000 fans on Facebook

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