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6 - 8 Week Check

The 6-8 week check will cover many of the same things as the new birth visit* You may have noticed your baby is starting to smile, coo and are able to support their own head for a few seconds. At this age you can talk to use about activities you can do with your baby, like tummy time*. As your baby becomes more active, and begins to roll and move more, your health visitor can give you information about baby safety.

You may notice your baby is beginning to notice the difference between day and night and you can discuss having a pattern to settling baby down to sleep*. 

We know around this time mental health can impact the family and so we can discuss this during the visit. 

At this visit we give you a Bookstart pack this is to encourage you to review books with your child and begin sharing and enjoying books*.

We can weigh and measure the baby at this visit and make sure they are progressing well with their growth. Your health visitor will be able to tell you about local drop-in's, where you can see Healthy Child Programme staff to ask questions.  You may now be thinking about taking your child to baby groups, your local Early Childhood and Family Service offers free groups and baby massage (ASK CC what they want us to put here)

 

You might not be thinking about weaning* yet, but we can talk about it. If you haven’t heard from the GP surgery about baby’s immunisation* we can advise you about it. In the next year your child’s first tooth is likely to come through, you can discuss teething with your health visitor. We recommend introducing a tooth brush once teeth come through and getting your baby seen by the dentist by the time they are one year old.

  • At this visit we can teach you how to use the scales we use and so you will be able to self-weigh your baby, if you want to. We will show you where in your red book you can write your baby's weight and how to plot it too. If you do decide to self-weigh and want some reassurance of the weight you can call Just One Number and speak to a health visitor (they can check the plotting on health records). 

    There are self-weigh scales all round Norfolk that can be accessed by parents, have a look on the page*. Unless advised to by a health professional, we don't advised weighing your baby more frequently than monthly. 

    *insert self weigh video*

     

  • We know around this time mental health can get worse and so we will ask how both you and your partner are getting on both physically and emotionally. This is not because we don’t think you’re coping but know of other support services who can support you, if you need them.
    There are local charities* (Mind),  the children’s centre*, Norfolk Wellbeing Service*, Wellbeing webinar*, homestart*. To get a better awareness of how your mental health is impacting you, we may ask you questions from a questionnaire (EPDS, PHQ-9, GAD-7). The results will reflect how you are feeling during that time, and is part of a wider assessment.

  • At this visit we will discuss tummy time. This will probably begin baby laying on your chest and developing their strength. It progresses onto them laying on their tummy, for a few seconds to begin with and the time will gradually increase. To make it more exiting for baby you can put books up in front of baby to look at and toys to look at and will eventually reach out for. One of the most exciting things for a baby to look at is your face. They like to look at your changing facial expressions, try facing them to you and pulling different faces and as they coo, you make similar noises to them. 

    Bookstart

    Image of tummy time looking at a book, baby gym reaching for things dangling

    Interaction video

  • The Department of Health recommends all children according to the vaccination schedule set out. In the first year there are 3 lots of two vaccinations; these are done when your baby is around 8, 12 and 16 weeks old. Your GP (CHECK) should contact you about this, but if you have not heard, you should contact them to arrange it. The vaccination schedule can be found here* and more information here* (Imms page)
    If you have any worries you can discuss these with your practice nurse or health visitor. 

    For the 8 and 16 week immunisations, it has the Meningitis B vaccination. It's recommended your baby has infant paracetamol, within half an hour after that vaccination, as your baby will likely get a temperature.

    For some children they will be offered a BCG vaccination...

    if you're planning on going abroad you can get vaccinations done sooner if there is a need, due to visiting a high-risk country etc. 

  • Talk to your baby whilst you’re changing their nappy to encourage them to interact in speaking.

    Place your baby in front of a (safe) mirror and encourage them to notice their reflection.

    Sing songs to your baby and move your baby to the rhythm, or touch their tummy gently and sing pat-a-cake, do “this little piggy went to market” with their toes and hands.

    Try and build tension by touching your baby and fussing them when you do and then

    Baby’s like looking at black and white images, help a sibling to feel involved by getting them to create bold black and white pictures.

    Put a sock puppet/puppet on your hand and encourage your baby to follow your hand, try moving in different directions to get your baby to follow it (or hold a toy).

    When you take your baby out, discuss everything they can see and hear as this is them beginning to understand the world around them.

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