Nothing changes your life like becoming a parent. Among other things, you probably never knew how much new stuff you`re going to need to properly look after your child. But do you really need it, and how do you know if you’re getting quality goods? For retailers, mums and dads can be sitting ducks, ready to plonk down as much money as it takes to give their baby "the best".
To help you navigate the ever-expanding new-parent marketplace CHOICE brings you expert, independent parenting advice. It's hardly new territory for CHOICE – we`ve been testing baby products for over 40 years. So join us as we help guide you on the path to parenthood.Scroll down to begin path
CHOICE knows a thing or two about babies and toddlers. After all, our experts have been testing their products for more than half a century, offering advice and suggestions to members that save them money and provide them with full peace of mind. Whether it's rolling strollers along our custom made rig for hours on end in the CHOICE labs, or checking for sharp edges and finger traps in - well, pretty much everything - safety is at the forefront of all we do.Watch Who is CHOICE
One of the first things you should do when you’re planning a family is review your health insurance. It's best to do this before you`re pregnant, as waiting times of between nine and 12 months could apply until you’re covered for a full-term birth. If you receive treatment as a private patient, your private hospital insurance will not always cover the full cost.Read full article ›
Almost all pregnant women take some sort of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) supplements; surveys show that about 90% of pregnant women are using them. CAM includes vitamin and mineral supplements, and it’s recommended all pregnant women take folic acid and iodine supplements, so this high level of use isn’t surprising - although about 10% appear not to take these important nutrients, which is a concern.Read full article ›
When it comes to baby products, beautiful designs, cute patterns and bold and bright colours are important, of course, but what really counts is safety. In this guide, the experts help you plan for your new bundle of joy. Includes a handy checklist of what you definitely need, possibly and definitely don’t need for your first-born.Download your guide ›
These are the must-have items for most families. You might not need all of them, but you should consider each one. For example, even if you don't have a car, it can be much easier to accept lifts from friends and family if you have your own car seat or baby capsule for your child. Once you have some idea of what you want, shop around for the best price.Read full article ›
All parents want the best for their children and there's a huge range of products out there to choose from. But beware — some could do more harm than good. Here's a list of products we believe can pose a risk to your child's safety. CHOICE doesn’t consider any of these necessary to your child's development, and recommends you think twice about purchasing any of them.Read full article ›
What’s not to love about buying second-hand or, better still, helping yourself from someone else’s council clean-up? It saves you money, reduces landfill and sometimes you can score a bargain.
But before you buy (or pick up a roadside freebie), check out this CHOICE list of second-hand items not to buy. Using any of these products without knowing their history or taking proper precautions could lead to serious injury. In many cases the risk is to your child, but some second-hand products pose a risk to adult users too.Read full article ›
If a second hand stroller is going to save you money then this free CHOICE report is a great place to start. This is the full CHOICE report from August 2011 where we tested 24 different models of strollers ranging from $98 to $1599.Download your report ›
If you would prefer a new stroller then the latest CHOICE 2013 stroller report is available as a single report purchase here.
Once you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy, it’s time to start thinking about packing your bag.
When it comes to a hospital bag you can never be too prepared, as only your baby knows when you are going to need it - and that might mean 3am and fast! Of course there'll be things that are personal and important to you to have on-hand, but here's a list of the basics to get you started.Read full article ›
There are the essentials you need for your new baby, such as a cot, nappies and baby clothes... then there are the nice-to-have items. Some parents might regard some of these as essential too, but most families won’t need all of them. However, they can make life with baby easier and (depending on your home) safer too.Read full article ›
The Paid Parental Leave scheme is an entitlement for working parents of children born or adopted from 1 January 2011. While the Baby Bonus is tax-free, Paid Parental Leave and Partner Pay are considered taxable income and can affect your eligibility for Family Assistance and Social Security payments.Read full article ›
The financial shocks for first-time parents probably won’t be as bad as some of the less tangible parenting challenges that will come in later years, but it’s important to understand that baby goods marketers have gotten better than ever at getting you to buy stuff.Read full article ›
In today’s digital age there is an app for almost everything. So, we put together a list of the apps we feel can really help you along the path to parenthood. Whether it’s tracking important milestone dates, or finding the nearest public toilet, there’s an app for that!Read full article ›
When it comes to mothers’ groups you don’t have to search too hard to hear a horror story. Tales of “Queen bees” and “yummy mummies” vying to outdo each other with a more expensive pram, a better dressed baby or even by fitting back into their size 8 jeans first abound. But I reckon that’s a long way from the truth for most of us new mums, and my own experience couldn’t be more different. In fact, looking back, I’d say my mothers’ group was one of the best experiences of becoming a parentRead full article ›
One of the most useful facts to have emerged from the CHOICE testing labs over the past half-century or so is that the most expensive product isn’t always the best one. That’s important information for parents, and it’s a story we continue to tell. Our strict testing standards put safety, durability and performance under the microscope, and the results often fly in the face of the marketing claims. In short, we test hundreds of baby products every year, and it’s not always the costliest that earns our CHOICE Recommended stamp of approval.Read full article ›
A good child care centre is like gold dust - hard to find, and these days, it seems, just as expensive. And once you've sold a limb to pay for it, you then have to join the back of a very long queue to sign up.
When CHOICE surveyed parents in 2012 asking about accessibility, affordability and quality of child care, what we found was concerning.Find out more here ›
When you have a child, you can begin to see potential danger everywhere. Poisons, electrical sockets, climbable furniture – your home seems suddenly full of dangers for your inquisitive and mobile toddler.
All the products we looked at are potentially useful, but you probably won’t need most of them – a few key devices together with some common sense and good safety habits will ensure your home is safe enough. In the end, there’s no substitute for keeping an eye on your kids and teaching them about safety.Read full article ›
People say that mum knows best – and they’re right! So the path to parenthood wouldn't be complete without real mums sharing their thoughts and advice on the journey
Having a new baby in the house can come as a big shock. Each one comes with its individual set of behaviours and, at times, problems.
The good news is that help is at hand. We speak to some of the organisations that specialise in “baby craft” to find out what kind of services are out there.
The information presented throughout CHOICE’s Path to Parenthood aims to help you make savvy purchasing decisions for your baby, choosing products that are safe and suitable and avoiding the marketing spin.
As your little one starts to grow, the food choices you make will have a significant impact on their development. To help you out, CHOICE has created a guide to Kids and nutrition.Download your free Guide ›