Under fives

Find out about caring for your child from 1 to 5 years of age.

Title: Your Child: The First Five Years. Episode 09 of 15.

Title: Amiria & Watene’s Whānau

[Shots of Amiria showing her children how to use a poi.]

Amiria (voice-over): The biggest thing for me with my kids is just knowing that they're happy and that they're taken care of and shown that they'll always be loved. I have two kids – Kahukura, she's five, and Tawhai is fifteen months.

Title: Ria & Barry’s Whānau

[Shots of Ria and Barry playing with their children.]

Ria (voice-over): It's not easy but it's worth every moment. It's definitely one of the hardest things you'll ever do – being a parent – but it also has the best rewards.

[Interview with Ria and Barry.]

Barry: We have two beautiful children – Ocean, he's three, and Kārearea, she's four.

Title: Kanae & Steve’s Whānau

[Shots of Kanae and Steve playing with their children.]

Steve (voice-over): Children are so curious about the world and I think, when we're in this environment with all these new things for the kids to see and learn about, of course they have so many questions. They want to touch everything and then find out what it's all about. It's wonderful to be a part of that learning experience. We now have two beautiful children – Hugo, who is four years old, and Kyla, who's just turned two. I think the children have a lot of fun in the house, just playing together. It's really wonderful to see the children with so much laughter, and joyfully chasing around each other and interacting with each other.

[Shots of Ria and Barry playing with their children.]

Ria (voice-over): They light up when they're with mum and dad, and mum and dad are interacting with them. It doesn't have to be anything special or grand. It's just being with them.

[Well Child Tamariki Ora Nurse Carmen arrives at Kanae and Steve’s house.]

Kanae (voice-over): We feel we are well supported by our Well Child nurses. They’re here to support – not only for the baby, but everyone in the family.

[Interview with Carmen.]

Title: Carmen Timu-Parata, Well Child Tamariki Ora Nurse

Carmen: Often it is someone to say, you're actually doing a really good job, that can help you.

[Amiria and Well Child Tamariki Ora Nurse Erika play with Erika’s baby.]

Erika: That's all normal and all part of the age and stage.

[Interview with Amiria.}

Amiria: You know, you don't have all the answers, but they're there for you to ask any questions you may have.

[Shots of the parents playing with their children.]

Erika (voice-over): The best advice I could give at this age would be to spend as much time together doing things, so that children are learning at the same time, as well as you're there supervising them, letting them do stuff.

[Interview with Erika.]

Title: Erika Ware, Well Child Tamariki Ora Nurse

Erika: That's the best way to learn, to have fun, and be safe together.

[Amiria reads picture books with her children.]

Amiria (voice-over): With his learning, I've noticed he really likes books. When we're talking to him, he tries to copy noises. I speak te reo to him.

[Interview with Erika.]

Erika: Some of the things that can help our children's learning and development are things like taking the time to read to them, sing to them, play with them. Talking is very important as well.

[Ria draws with her daughter.]

Ria (voice-over): Kārearea likes to draw. I'll sit with her and draw and we'll learn how to spell her name. Just having those things there to provide an outlet for them to be creative.

[Interview with Amiria.]

Amiria: What's important to our family is my kids knowing a bit about their identity. That's something that I encourage other Māori and Pacific families – be proud about your heritage and your whakapapa, and pass a little bit of that knowledge on to your kids.

[Interview with Kanae and Steve.]

Steve: I think our aspirations for bringing up children is for them to be happy, ultimately. We want to provide a supportive environment where they can really bring out the best of themselves. We hope that in the future they'll be able to make a positive contribution to society and the people around them.

Title: Our thanks to the families and health workers who appeared in this video for the Ministry of Health. Find out more about pregnancy and child health on www.health.govt.nz/yourhealth.

In this video, three different whānau share their stories about the rewards and challenges of being parents. We hear how the Well Child Tamariki Ora nurses give them support and advice.  Find out what advice our whānau have for you.

Looking after your child’s teeth is important. Healthy baby teeth are needed for chewing and proper speech development.

There’s no set age at which you should move your child from a cot to a bed, but many children are ready between 18 months and 2 years of age.

Helping children to learn to behave the way you want them to is one of the most important jobs of being a parent. Find out about managing your child's behaviour.

Most small children have tantrums. Here are some tips to stop tantrums before they start, and to help your child when they do have a tantrum.

Fussy or picky eating is common in children under 5 years - but most children will eat when they are hungry. 

Babies and young children get sick often – it’s a normal part of childhood. Get help quickly if your child shows any of these danger signs.

In this section

  • The next few years of your child’s life will bring you many more rewards and some challenges. Read more
  • Between 1 and 2 years your child may become more independent and their behaviour may change. Find out about caring for your child at 1 - 2 years of age. Read more
  • Children at 2–3 years of age are learning about themselves and what they want and don’t want. Read more
  • Children at 3–5 years of age are busy, are interested in new things and enjoy being active. Your child may understand most of what you say and start to speak in short sentences.  Read more
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