Strong Babies

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Government of SA - Strong Babies

We all want our babies to grow up strong and healthy. Knowing what babies need can help you give them the best start in life.Photo of a mother

The first weeks and months of life are really important for babies. Happy, healthy babies get off to a good start in life.

Babies’ needs

Babies need:

  • love
  • gentle care
  • a peaceful home
  • happy times with you
  • regular health checks.

What you can do

You can:

  • look into their eyes — tell them you love them
  • talk with them — tell them what you are doing
  • play with them gently
  • read books, sing, tell stories every day
  • comfort them when they cry.

When babies feel loved, they learn to love you too!

Keeping babies safe

  • Mmake sure immunisations are up to date — your doctor or nurse will tell you what they need
  • Put babies in a rear-facing capsule in the car
  • Don’t smoke in the car with children under 16 years — it is against the law
  • Stay with babies when they have a bath, or are near any water
  • Never leave babies alone with pets
  • Keep small objects and poisons away from babies — they love to put things in their mouth.

Babies need clean, fresh air. Don’t let people smoke around them.

Safe sleeping

  • Always sleep babies on their back —never on their tummy or side
  • Use a safe cot — no pillows, doonas, soft toys
  • Sleep baby in a cot in your room for the first 6 to 12 months
  • Don’t sleep baby in bed with you — they could suffocate.

A relaxing bedtime routine is good for babies and the whole family. Babies love a bath, feed, cuddle, song or story.

Breastfeeding is best for baby and mum. It’s all babies need for the first 6 months. Talk with your child health nurse if you have any questions.

Looking after yourself

When you are healthy and happy, it’s easier to look after baby:

  • eat well, exercise and do things you enjoy when you can
  • see your doctor for a check-up
  • if you feel upset, talk with someone you trust
  • join a play group — share ideas with other mums and dads
  • find out about services in your area that can help you.

Looking after a baby can be hard work. If you feel angry or upset, take a break and calm down. Remember — never shake a baby.

Joining a playgroup is good for parents and baby too.

Looking for more information

ParentLink - for other parenting guides, online parenting information:

Child and Family Centres - for parenting information and support

Raising Children’s Network - covering topics for parenting newborns to teens

Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation t 6296 8900

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service t 6284 6222

Relationships Australia Dhunlung Yarra Service is dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples t 6122 7100


This guide’s content was produced by Parenting SA.

© Department of Education and Child Development, Government of South Australia. Reproduced with permission and adapted by the ACT Government to reflect Australian Capital Territory laws (11/17).

Important: This information is not intended to replace advice from a qualified practitioner.


Published by ParentLink
Community Services Directorate, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601, email parentlink@act.gov.au, telephone 13 34 27.


Published by ParentLink
Community Services Directorate, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601, email parentlink@act.gov.au, telephone 13 34 27.

ACT Government Publication No. 17/0604 (June 2017)

The text for this topic is copyright Parenting SA, Government of South Australia.