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Newborn and the first two years of life

Congratulations on the birth of your baby (or babies!)

Father holding baby

During the period from birth until two years of age your baby will learn and develop at an incredible rate. Your baby will start this journey as an entirely dependent being and gradually develop into a little person with personality. This section provides brief advice on some of the key stages you will go through with your baby. Further advice can be sought from your Health Visiting Team.

What to expect from the Health Visiting service in the first two years

New birth visit

The health visitor will come to see you at home between 10 and 14 days after the birth of your baby. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your labour, birth and experiences so far as a parent. Your Health Visitor will be able to support you with advice on feeding and caring for your baby, as well as being able to sign post you to local support services for the early weeks of parenthood.

Postnatal visit

Your Health Visitor will come and see you again for your post natal review when your baby is about 6 to 8 weeks of age. At this visit you will be able to share your experiences of parenting and any questions you might have about your baby’s health or development. Your Health Visitor will ask you about how you are feeling and whether you are experiencing any anxiety or low mood.

One year review

This health review is provided as part of the Healthy Child programme. The appointment is not a “test” but an opportunity to discuss your child’s achievements as well as any areas where your child may not be developing as expected. 

You will receive an Ages and Stages questionnaire with your appointment letter from your Health Visitor. Before your appointment have fun with your child trying the activities and make a note of what you see and anything that you would like to discuss at the appointment. Please complete as much as you are able. Do not worry if your child is unable to complete all the activities, we will go through this with you at your appointment.

Please bring your child's Personal Child's Health Record Book (Red Book) with you.

We are here to help if you are worried about your child’s health or development at any age before they start school. Please contact your local health visiting team for advice and support.

Child Health Advice Clinics are held regularly in your area, no appointment is necessary. Many parents find the clinic an easy opportunity to talk to a member of the health visiting team about the things that are worrying them about their child’s health or development. You can also have your child’s growth reviewed and many clinics have a “self-weigh” facility if you just want to pop in and have no other concerns. Find details of your local child health advice clinic.

Health Visitor Advice Line:  A member of your health visiting team is available Monday to Friday 9-5 for telephone enquiries/ advice.

We know that asking for help is not always easy, however mothers in Hampshire have told us: "That initial call is the hardest step to take... I felt so much better"