Make your Health Visitor Checks Count!
When you have a baby, you will be assigned a health visitor to support you throughout you and your baby’s journey. Health visitors are qualified nurses who work with a range of highly trained and skilled colleagues to promote health and wellbeing, and support families with all aspects of bringing up a child. They are there to give you parenting advice and support, answer any questions or concerns that you may have and carry out developmental reviews.
You can contact your health visitor at any point but all parents will receive at least 4 key visits between the birth of your baby until they are 2 ½ year’s old. If this is the first time you are becoming a parent, you may meet your Health Visitor whilst you are pregnant. This is a perfect opportunity to talk through any worries you may have about becoming a parent.
Visits from your health visitor:
- New baby visit: Your health visitor will visit you at home when your baby is 10 to 14 days old to see how you are adjusting to parenthood and can offer any advice about feeding or caring for your baby, including: interacting with your baby, establishing a routine, feeding, crying and immunisation.
- 6 to 8 weeks old: You will next see your Health Visitor again when your baby is between 6 and 8 weeks old. This again is the perfect chance for you to discuss any issues including physical health, immunisations and your own health and wellbeing. Your Health Visitor can also advise you on local baby and parent group, including Children’s Centre activities.
- 1 year old: After that the next visit will not take place until your child is around 12 months old. This visit may take place at your home or at a clinic and will assess your baby’s physical, social and emotional development as well as general health issues such as safety, diet and dental health.
- 2 ½ years old: The last formal visit you will receive from your Health Visitor will be when your child is around 2 ½ years old. This is a really important visit as it supports you to make sure that your child’s is meeting their developmental milestones and ensure that any issues, including vision and hearing, are identified as early as possible. This visit is also a good chance for you to talk about any language development, behaviour, sleeping or toilet training concerns you may have and make sure your child is on the way to becoming ‘School-Ready’. If your child is at Nursery there may also be an opportunity to have an integrated 2 ½ year check, where a Nursery Practitioner is also present and can offer their thoughts on your child’s development as they see your child on a regular basis.
Health Visitors are here to support you and your family through those important early years of your baby’s life.
Remember you can contact your Health Visitor at any point until your child is 5 year’s old if you have any questions or concerns so make the most out of your visits.
You can contact the Peterborough Health Visiting Service by calling 01733 777 937 or dropping into one of their clinics. You can find out more about the service in Peterborough here.