The early years of a child’s life are very important for their health and development
The early years of a child’s life are very important for their health and development. Healthy development means that children of all abilities, including those with special health care needs, are able to make the best of their life and contribute to the lives of others as well.
When your baby is born you will be given a ‘Red Book’ – this is the ‘Personal Child Health Record’.
There is lots of information in there for you and we would like you to use it to record important health facts for your baby. Please take it with you everywhere so that if your baby is poorly you have up to date information on your baby for the health professional you see.
It will also mean that when your baby is grown up they have a record of all their health appointments and immunisations.
The Red Book is available in lots of languages. Please ask for your own language and we will try our best to get this for you.
Whenever you meet with a member of the health visitor team they will be checking that your child is doing the things we would expect for their age, but as parents or carers we see you as the experts of your own child. If you ever have any concerns, please contact your health visitor at your local well baby clinic.
During the first few years parents or carers will be invited to see a member of the health visiting team to check that their baby is meeting their developmental milestones – we call these core contacts. There are four core contacts, 10 to 14 days after your baby is born, when your baby is between 6 to 8 weeks old, 9 to 12 months old and at 2 ½ years old. From 9 to 12 months to help you and the health visitor team know your baby is doing what we expect, we use a tool called ‘The Ages and Stages Questionnaire’ – this is normally sent to you to complete before your health visitor team appointment and is very easy to fill in, but if you need some help please ask.
All children are different and develop at their own pace but your love and attention is their best encouragement.
If there are any concerns for your baby’s development, your health visitor will explain to you so that together you can decide the best plan to help your child.
Lots to learn…
Healthy bladder and bowels
What children should drink
Where to go for help
As soon as teeth erupt in the mouth brush them twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste. The Department of Health advises that fluoride toothpaste should contain no less than 1,000ppm for children aged between 0 and 6.
Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day with a pea sized amount of the fluoride toothpaste and it should be spat out after brushing without rinsing as this helps to maintain fluoride concentration.
If you would like more information about dental hygiene, follow the links below.
Helping your baby learn to sleep
Most parents look forward to their baby beginning to sleep through the night, but every baby is different and the age they sleep through the night will vary. Our definition of sleeping through the night is missing one night feed, so in reality if a baby sleeps six hours overnight this is a good night time sleep behaviour. Around 3 months old is an optimum window for beginning to put in some good sleep habits.
Encouraging good sleep habits
*If your baby is under six months you will need to keep the room where they are put to bed dark and quiet and stay near them. Or, you can put them to bed a little later and get a much needed early night yourself just for a few weeks. Once they are six months and in their own room or able to be left alone, bring bedtime earlier.
If you need some extra support, just call your health visitor or pop in to one of the well baby clinics.
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Adoption is one of the most rewarding ways of making a difference in a Child's life. If you decide to take up the challenge, we'll be there to support you every step of the way.