When your baby is 4–6 weeks old they will have their first health and development check with the Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse. Find out about things to think about before the visit.
It’s a good time for you to ask questions – so it helps to write down any questions you have before the visit. Remember to have your baby’s My Health Book with you at the visit.
What happens at the visit?
At the visit, the nurse will:
- ask about breastfeeding and offer help if you need it
- check that your baby is healthy and well, and measure their length, weight and head size
- check that your baby can see and hear well
- check your baby’s development
- ask if your baby has been immunised or if an appointment has been made for the 6-week immunisations
- talk to you about how you are and how you are getting on – including being a new mum, your mood, having sex and contraception, your whānau, smoking, drinking and drugs, money worries, family violence, etc.
Before the visit
Before your baby’s check, read through the 4–6 weeks check pages in the My Health Book. Most babies can see and hear well, but the few who can’t need help as soon as possible. Check your baby’s eyes and ears often by going through the questions below. Talk to your nurse if you answer ‘no’ to any of the questions.
Can your baby see well?
- close their eyes against a bright light?
- stare at people’s faces when they are up close?
- turn towards light?
- smile at you without being touched or spoken to?
Can your baby hear well?
When there is a sudden loud noise, do they:
- jump or blink?
- stir in their sleep?
- stop sucking for a moment?
- look up from sucking?
Things to talk about at the visit
The check is a good time to talk with the nurse about your baby and being a parent. You could talk about:
- your baby’s feeding; breastfeeding
- sleep – safe sleeping for your baby; sleeping patterns
- what your baby’s behaviour means (eg, crying)
- ways to play, have fun and be active with your baby
- how to enrol your baby with the Community Oral Health Service
- knowing when your baby is sick and what to do about it
- being smokefree
- keeping your baby safe – at home and while out and about
- car seats and car safety
- your feelings about being a parent and where to get help if you need it
- whānau relationships.