A rethink on screen ban for kids under two


Sarah Loughran With new guidelines being developed, the discouragement of use below two years of age is being revised.

Jamming with your toddler: how music can trump reading for development


Liam Viney Simple and fun musical activities can have enormous power in developing numeracy and literacy.

Trouble-shooting toddler social skills


Louise Wedgwood Chances are your toddler's behaviour is all completely normal - but here's how to tackle some common social problems.

Why watching TV can actually be good for toddlers


Gemma Taylor New research shows that after watching an educational children’s television program, toddlers can learn to count to five and read a simple map.

5 ways to keep toddlers and preschoolers busy

Finger painting is a great way for your child to experience sensory play and to encourage fine motor skills.

Jennifer Chung If you have both a toddler and a preschooler, we have some fun ideas to keep them both busy.


Video: Toddler sings the very metal alphabet

The very metal alphabet, as sung by a two-year-old.

Staff writers This little girl wasn't content with the regular alphabet song, choosing to put her own spin on it – a very metal spin.


Cheap summer activities for the under 3s

Chalk + driveway = lots of fun for little kids.

LETITIA ROWLANDS It's that time of year when playgroups, gymbaroo, dance lessons, music classes and all the other activities that keep toddlers busy each week take a break for the festive and new year period.

Tiny golfer won't let disability hold him back


LETITIA ROWLANDS When Joe Morrisey and his wife Marcia found out their unborn son would face life with a physical disability, they were understandably concerned about what his future might hold.

Is e-reading to your toddler story time or just screen time?


Douglas Quenqua When reading increasingly means swiping pages on a device, and we're advised to read to their children early and often, should parents be turning to e-readers for storytime?

5 secrets I learnt from early childhood educators

Advice from the experts: help, but don't rescue.

LINDY ALEXANDER Early childhood professionals make it all look easy, but they have many tricks up their sleeves to help raise happy, well-balanced children.

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Video: Toddler not keen on clean-shaven dad

beard girl

Letitia Rowlands This little girl thought she was taking part in a standard game of peek-a-boo, but her dad had a surprise for her.


Mum and two-year-old create masterpieces together


Jen Ng This artist and mother collaborates with her 2-year-old daughter to create impressively creative pieces of art.

Finding the right balance when playing with your kids

blocks baby

JODIE BENVENISTE Being too involved in our children’s play and not allowing our kids enough free time for unstructured activities can mean our kids miss out on the value that play offers.

Ready, set, get messy - for art's sake


LETITIA ROWLANDS The soon-to-open Sydney Creative Playground will be a place where toddlers and preschoolers are encouraged to explore their artistic sides.


Parents want highly qualified childcare workers, even if it costs more: survey

One parent survey presented to the Productivity Commission backs claims parents prioritise qualifications over savings when it comes to childcare.

JUDITH IRELAND Australian parents don't want the qualification requirements watered down for childcare workers who look after small children, a new survey says.

The new weekend playgroup for working mums

mum baby

Catherine Rodie Playgroups are great for kids and parents alike - but the downside is that they often meet during the week, leaving working mums out of the loop.

Vulnerable children at risk of missing out on early education

Almost 100,000 children from low-income families may miss out on childcare under proposed changes.

RACHEL BROWNE Experts say proposed changes to the work, study or training requirements for parents accessing childcare subsidies could see disadvantaged children losing access to vital early childhood education and support.


Aussie toddler declared "Princess of Instagram"

pixie rose

Letitia Rowlands Nevermind local parks and play centres: two-year-old Pixie Rose Curtis is more likely to be photographed on private jets and lounging by the pool at five-star European resorts.

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Why not all children's TV is created equal

It's important to know which television shows help your toddler and which ones are harmful.

It is important to monitor the amount of time young children spend in front of a screen. However according to new research, it is what type of shows children are watching which can have a big influence on their speech development.

Toddler's adorable impersonation of pregnant mum


Letitia Rowlands Little Ellis has noticed his mum is walking differently lately, and his impersonation of her is hilarious.


Plans to pay grandparents for childcare

Childcare: Nannies, grandparents and anyone else willing could join workers at childcare centres and family day care in being eligible for government payments.

MIKI PERKINS Under a new proposal, grandparents who obtain TAFE qualifications could be paid to look after their grandchildren.


Toddler pleads for return of "stolen" nose


A two-year-old's reaction to a game of "got your nose" shows it doesn't take much to make a toddler cry.

Raising kids in a 'low media' home


Brooke Wilson Can you imagine a life without TV or computers? Some parents are opting for a low-tech, screen-free life for their kids.

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Why music is good for your toddler

music toddler

CATHERINE RODIE Listening to and playing music with your baby or toddler can be a lot of fun - and it plays an important role in early childhood development, too.

The friend everyone needs on their first day of preschool

taiwan video

Neha Prakash A little girl in Taiwan was homesick on her first day of preschool, but her friend was the perfect gentleman.

Crushing childhood creativity starts young

chalk child

KYLIE ORR As a writer and a parent, I see how little creativity is valued in general. The mockery of inventiveness starts early.


Why play-based learning is great for toddlers


Rebecca English Letting young children learn about their world, in their own exploratory way, is at the heart of play-based learning. Here's why it's so good for your kids.

Teletubbies making a comeback


ROSE POWELL The Teletubbies - those mysterious creatures with televisions in their tummies - will be returning to the silver screen, with the BBC ordering 165 new episodes.

How reading with your toddler makes a big difference to their school years

toddler reading

COSIMA MARRINER Growing up with lots of books and being read to as a toddler have a bigger impact on the performance of a child starting school than their temperament or even their socio-economic background.

Toddler set to race go-kart at Ferrari festival

Toddler to race at Ferrari festival

ANDREW MACLEAN A toddler with a need for speed will be racing around Sydney Motorsport Park as part of the Ferrari Racing Day festival.


Two-year-old calls an ambulance and saves mum's life

riley ward

Riley Ward hasn't been talking for long, but the British toddler knew enough words to be able to ring for help after his mother collapsed.

Video: Dad turns son into action movie hero

action movie kid

Melanie Mahoney Many kids would love to be an action movie hero in real life, but very few will ever be able to see themselves in movies like these.

Beautiful wooden puzzles by Berkshire Bowls

berkshire bowls

Babyology Looking for truly original wooden puzzles that are beautiful enough to be on display? This brilliant Etsy store has got what you need.

How to support your child's learning


JODIE BENVENISTE Our children are little learning machines - every day, and in almost every way, they're learning. And long before they get to school, all this activity helps them get ready for a more formal learning environment.


How children learn through play


JODIE BENVENISTE Our kids do need to learn how to read, write and add up, but they also need to learn many other life skills. And all of these can be learned through play.


Children's books for soon-to-be big brothers and sisters


Stephanie Owen Reeder Babies can be cute and cuddly, but their arrival can sometimes cause friction with older siblings. Reading picture books that deal with such issues can help.

Welcome the Brown Wiggle

brown wiggle

"Who ever thought they'd get to hang out as a Wiggle, even if it's just for a day or two?" asks a New Zealand radio personality who has been named the guest Brown Wiggle.

Daycare and separation anxiety


My toddler is starting daycare again soon and I am dreading the first few weeks because I know it is going to be a running battle. What can I do to try and prevent his anxiety?

Mum's open letter to businessman who entertained autistic daughter on flight goes viral


AMBER ROBINSON Shanell Mouland's open letter "Dear Daddy in Seat 16C”, about a man who entertained her three-year-old daughter on a US Airways flight, has gone viral - and finally reached the businessman himself.

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Vaccine objectors rise as parents skirt 'no jab, no play' law

Fenella Cios

Cindy Ngo Conscientious objection to childhood immunisation is on the rise as parents exploit a loophole in the new ''no jab, no play'' law that allows unvaccinated children to be enrolled in childcare centres.

5 tips for parents of children with port-wine stains and other physical differences


Martha and Grant Griffin Our son was born with a port-wine birthmark covering the right side of his face. Here are our top tips for helping parents of a child with a vascular birthmark or physical difference.

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Review: Wet'n'Wild Sydney with babies and toddlers

wet wild

LETITIA ROWLANDS While my five-year-old son and I were looking forward to a visit to Wet'n'Wild Sydney, I wondered what the park would have to offer my 21-month-old son. As it turns out, I didn't need to worry.

Should we teach our children to say 'sorry'?


Andrew Whitehouse When Early Childhood Australia asked if children should be required to say sorry after doing something wrong, even though they may not understand what the word means, the reaction was swift, furious - and divided.

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Review: We're Going on A Bear Hunt stage show

bear hunt

LETITIA ROWLANDS It's a favourite adventure for children of all ages - and now 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' is live on stage at the Sydney Opera House.

The risks of overpraising young children

Praise children for who they are not what they do.

PINKY MCKAY And it’s not only TV celebs who gush, ‘you are amaaaazing!’ It seems as though everyone is saying it, everywhere we go, especially parents.

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My children watch too much television

Child watching televison

Kiran Chug If children are meant to have no screen time before they are two, I'm a terrible mother.


Emma 'the girl with the bow in her hair' ready for new Wiggles tour

emma watkins

Mike Mather Only one of the original members remains in the new-look Wiggles, but newbie Emma Watkins is actually an old hand, writes Mike Mather.

Toddlers in a tizz over Peppa Pig Live!

Peppa Pig

CHRISTINE SAMS Her live concert has sold almost 90,000 tickets in Australia so far, with sales topping $4.5 million. When a new piece of her branded clothing was released in Target last week, it sold out overnight.

Music to their ears: what's your family's soundtrack?


KYLIE ORR I’ll be sure to ground my children's musical interests in some history - depending on your tastes, you may say it is a history of the rubbish I used to listen to - but what will they remember the most?

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Touch and grow for iTots: a third of toddlers have used mobile devices

Charli Meldrum aged 3 from Northmead pictured with her ipad

Tamar Lewin A survey has found that children under 2, on average, spend an hour a day in front of screens.


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Parties for the under 5's

Our forum for the under 5's parties - share your ideas, themes, cakes, stories.

Got questions?

Chat about your toddler's health, sleep, behaviour, eating habits and more with other parents in the Essential Baby forum.

Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.

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What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.


Can't decide?

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