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Moving to Melbourne

(21 Posts)
luluiso Wed 12-Feb-14 14:19:02

Hi! I am moving to Melbourne in early March with my little one (7 mnths) and boyfriend. I have so many questions and I wonder if anyone with experience of living in Oz could help me to answer some of them?
-what do I need to take to protect my baby in the sun? Are sunglasses necessary? I will obviously get a wide brim hat. What will the weather be like in March and how cold does it get in the winter?
-are there NCT-type groups over in Oz? Anyone know of any in Melbourne? We are being put-up in South Yarra for the first month or so.
- are there any baby-related things (books, toys) that I can't easily buy in Oz which it would be worth stocking up on before I go?

Thanks : )

SookyLaLa Fri 14-Feb-14 12:04:48

sorry can't offer much advice as I had my DD in the UK and had no need to use NCT before! However we used to live in South Yarra and I really miss it!

Re the sun, hat definitely and sunscreen but March can be a fickle month, it can be hot, or bloody cold - flip a coin! I actually bought this when we went to Portugal when DD was little and it's fab, a great investment and it meant we didn't have to stress over sunscreen etc when we went out

How long are you going for? One thing to consider is how much support do you have currently? I found it tough here having no support and I didn't know any different so just something to think about.

Good luck!

SookyLaLa Fri 14-Feb-14 12:05:06

whoops, link didn't work

luluiso Fri 14-Feb-14 13:23:36

Hi! Thanks for coming back to me! We are going for up to four years and I have no support there at all! Really close to my family here so a little worried about that. I am hoping there might be mother and baby groups I can join in order to meet other people quickly so that I can get a support network. Thanks for advice re. sun shade. I will get one of those.

Donki Fri 14-Feb-14 13:28:38

There are lots of outdoor playparks when your DD is a Little older. We went for a visit when the YD was not quite 2 - and whilst most people might tour round the coast we ended up more or less doing a tour of the play parks of SE Victoria! There were some brilliant ones.
I can't really comment on NCT groups...

Donki Fri 14-Feb-14 13:32:27

the local paper this might be of interest.
A swift google found this

yetanotherworry Fri 14-Feb-14 13:34:10

A lot of mums just peg a blanket or towel over the pram's shade, if that makes sense. There is a national play groups association. I lived in SA for a few years, when i arrived I phoned up the play groups contact line and they gave me details of local groups.
Books are expensive so we used libraries a lot. Libraries are also good for story time, we made some good friends here. We also made use of a toy library but toys can be bought cheaply in target and kmart.
You don't mention your baby's age but we struggled to find clothes for 12-18 m and 18-24 m. Age ranges go from 1-2 y, things may have changed in the last few years though.

Donki Fri 14-Feb-14 13:34:47

Good luck. I loved the two visits we made to my father near Geelong. The YD would really have benefited from the outdoor lifestyle, and Melbourne was very cosmopolitan.

SookyLaLa Fri 14-Feb-14 14:22:13

Sitting here watching it piss down yet again makes me wish I was heading home. OP I hope you enjoy the opportunity (and do think hey it's only for such and such a time when you're having a down time). It's a great experience to live anywhere else outside of your home country which is what i have to told myself everyday this wet winter and even when it's tough and you are wondering if you did the right thing, I always think it's better to regret something you have done as opposed to something you didn't do grin

TerrorAustralis Sat 15-Feb-14 08:10:58

-Sunglasses are not necessary. A good hat is sufficient most of the time and baby sunblock when you're outside for a long time. Mid-April through to mid-September you won't need either in Melbourne.

-Melbourne winters do get pretty cold by Australian standards. Daytime temps often only get up to 12-14 degrees, with most of the day colder than that. So babies need a warm hat, jacket/coat etc, and you need to bundle little ones up with a warm blanket and foot muff in the buggy.

-Playgroup is very big. They can vary from group to group and I have heard some horror stories of very unwelcoming groups. But if you find a good group they can be a wonderful way to socialise and meet other parents. Try one out, but just bear in mind if the group doesn't suit you it's worth trying another one.

-You can get everything you need but prices are often more expensive than the UK. But loads of UK shops now ship to Aus, and you can often get free shipping.

have4goneinsane Sat 15-Feb-14 08:22:47

We love our life in Melbourne and having a little one is a good way to meet people.

Once you've decided on where you are living get in touch with your local MCH centre (Maternal and Child Health - HV equivalent). It is probably worth asking if they can link you up with a Mothers' group in your area. We have mothers' groups here rather than NCT groups (a bit more like the NHS post-natal groups). They are usually formed for about 8 weeks when babies are about a month old but many develop a life of their own and continue on - our local MCH nurses have referred several extras to our group (and we have picked up some extra 'strays' in playgrounds over time, including one woman who'd just arrived from the UK and knew no-one).

Someone else has mentioned playgroups - a good way of meeting lots of people too.

March weather can be anything from 14C-40C so come prepared for anything! A shade cover for the pram is a good idea, as is a raincover! (BTW pushchairs are called prams here, apart from umbrella-fold pushchairs which are 'strollers') On the whole the aim is to keep bubs out of the sun until they are a bit older. Sunscreen, hats etc are recommended from end September to beginning of May, and you can get VERY burnt even on a dull, cool day.

South Yarra is very nice but rather pricey, we live in the inner West and love it (although lots of Melburnians regard 'over the bridge' as a different planet!) Places like Yarraville, Newport, Altona, Spotswood, Seddon and Williamstown are cheaper than their Eastern equivalents whilst still being close to the CBD. You can also support the Western Bulldogs in the AFL and hope they win another Grand Final one day!

Melburnians are quick to be friendly, often a bit slower to develop in-depth friendships, but if you are in need people tend to step up.

Happy to answer other questions, it's a big move, but an exciting one.

chloeb2002 Sat 15-Feb-14 12:51:28

Probably most sun related things are best bought here? More selection as it's a hot climate :0)
It does get cool in the southern states tho.
All the major stores have sales all the time. Currently in the midst of summer sales. Last week I bought togs for 7$ shorts for 10$ t shirts 3$ so really plenty of deals! wink

specialsubject Sat 15-Feb-14 12:52:47

I live in the UK, am not a baby and I wear sunscreen for all except the middle two months of winter.

Oz is nearer the equator than we are and there is the ozone hole, as well as less cloud cover and pollution.

slap it on. Sunscreen is the one thing that is a bargain in Australia.

Scotinoz Sat 15-Feb-14 18:12:33


South Yarra will be a great base to start. We lived there got a couple of years before moving out to the 'burbs.

There are lots of Mums & Bubs activities even though the actual Mothers Groups start when the bubs are 8weeks. Rhyme Time at the Library (it's on Toorak Rd and there's a fab Indian just along from it), Gymboree, cinema, etc. Check out Playgroup Victoria, Child & Maternal Health and MeetUp.

Weather is tricky. Last Saturday was 40, yesterday was 28, forecast for the week starts sunny and 25, ends with rain and 19. The winter can get chilly - I remember scraping frost from the windscreen last year. Layers are the key!

You can get most stuff here, although it can but really expensive. Big W, KMart and Target are good for kids stuff. Next, Tesco, M&S ship clothes for free.

I'll come meet you for coffee if you and easy mat leave days. Always love an excuse for a trip up Chapel Street and will happily pass on my cafe/resturant recs smile.

luluiso Mon 10-Mar-14 20:37:36

Thank you so much for your replies! Sorry I haven't come back before, I have been super busy packing up the house, organising flights and arranging for shipment of furniture etc. Scotinoz, I would really like to meet for a coffee. We fly next week...

luluiso Mon 10-Mar-14 20:38:29

have4goneinsane, I willl check out my local MCH centre too.

chloeb2002 Tue 11-Mar-14 00:51:03

From previous post about clothes sizes..
0000 newborn
000 0 to 4months
00 5 to 9 or ten months
0 10 to 18 months
1 12 to 24 months
2 age 2

Sole guides to all Aussies baby clothes they are weight guided on age. Which makes more sense at babies vary hugely in size. By two most are in age two clothes tho! My dc never did more than sniff 0000 and 000 grin
But spent ages in 1 !
Sorry but no shortages in baby clothes and cheap at that! I buy offseason in advance. So just shopped for 18 pairs of various sized swimmers. None more than 3$ each!
Dd who competes gets her togs from wiggle uk. But so does the rest of the squad! Not due to UK deprivation. But they are very cheap! wink

Scotinoz Fri 14-Mar-14 02:26:36

Luluiso - when you land and fancy that coffee, give me a shout!!

giggly Sun 16-Mar-14 16:41:55

Sorry quick hijack, chloeb2002 I get confused about kids sizes, so a kids size 10 shoe = their age? as opposed to the size of the shoe????

Sleepytea Tue 18-Mar-14 10:41:34

Shoe sizes are the same as UK. Although in our experience, they don't do width fittings and like to fit them to last at least a year.

chloeb2002 Wed 19-Mar-14 09:14:42

Uk ladies shoes are two sizes smaller so a uk 6 is an aus 8. This kicks in about size 4 uk size. As in adults shoes are a ladies 6. Kids shoes in general are the same size. Although I find shoes vary from supplier to supplier world wide!
Men's sizes are the same here and uk. wink

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