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Friends and family first point of contact for parenting advice

Blog post | 01 May 2019

A study has revealed that many parents will turn to friends and family about their child’s behaviour and development before seeking advice from healthcare professionals. This means that Australians may be following outdated and inaccurate advice when it comes to parenting.

More than 1,000 Australian parents participated in an online survey about their child’s behaviour and development.

The survey revealed that:

  • 1 in 3 Australian parents are reluctant to seek advice about their child’s behaviour and development for fear of being judged or seen as a failure.
  • Sleep is the biggest concern for almost two thirds of parents (62%) during their baby’s first year.
  • 38% of parents with toddlers are concerned about their child’s behaviour such as biting, hitting or tantrums.
  • 38% of parents with babies are concerned about their child reaching milestones such as smiling, rolling, sitting up or crawling.

“If parents are concerned about their child’s behaviour, they should call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby. Our maternal child health nurses will be able to provide useful guidance, strategies and support to navigate through this challenging time,” said Dianne Zalitis, Clinical Lead of Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.

“Friends and family are an invaluable source of support for parents – but may not always have the most up-to-date and accurate information to answer the many questions and challenges parents face,” said Ms Zalitis.

“Speaking to a health professional can help provide parents with reassurance about what is typical for a child at various stages of their development, or when it might be appropriate to act on concerns,” said Ms Zalitis.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby is a free Australian Government service available 7 days a week. Speak to a maternal child health nurse by calling 1800 882 436.

More information

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

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The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

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