6 - 8 Week Review
- Activities To Do With Baby
- Early Development
- Parental Mental Health
- Weighing Baby
- Baby Teeth
- Financial Support
- Vitamin D
- Domestic Abuse
- Safer Sleep
At this visit we will discuss tummy time. This will probably begin by baby laying on your chest, lifting their head and developing their strength. You can build up to them laying on their tummy on the floor, for a few seconds to begin with. You can gradually increase how long they play on the floor for.
- They might feel a bit unsure at first – get down on the floor with them so they can see your face.
- 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.
- Put some toys and books (you will get your Bookstart pack at this visit) in front of baby to look at with you. They will eventually reach out for them.
As the protection your baby got from you in the womb is now decreasing it is important your baby gets their immunisations on time. 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. *Click Here* to see when your child’s immunisations are due.
Your GP should contact you about these. If you have not heard from them, you should contact them to arrange it. *Click Here* for more information.
If you have any worries you can discuss these with your health visitor or practice nurse.
As part of the 8 and 16 week immunisations, your baby will have the Meningitis B vaccination. It's recommended your baby has infant paracetamol, within half an hour after that vaccination as babies can get a raised temperature.
Some children will be offered a BCG vaccination. Read more about this *here*.
if you're planning on going abroad discuss this with your GP practice. You may be able to get vaccinations earlier if you are visiting a high-risk country.
Talk to your baby all the time. It doesn’t matter what you say you will be helping them learn to enjoy words and sounds. Nappy changes are a good time for chats, songs and nursery rhymes. They will soon be ‘joining in’ with coos, smiles and giggles.
Place your baby in front of a (safe) mirror and encourage them to look at 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. They will soon learn to get excited when the ‘tickle’ bit is coming up.
We will give you a Bookstart pack. Even at this young age your baby will benefit from looking at and enjoying books with you. Baby’s like to look at black and white images. You could help a big brother or sister to feel involved by getting them to create bold black and white pictures.
Put a puppet on your hand (you could make one from a sock) and encourage your baby to watch your hand. Try moving it in different directions to get your baby’s attention. You can do this with other toys too.
When you take your baby out, talk to them about all you can see and hear. This is them beginning to understand the world around them.
*Click here* to take a look at our 'Talk and Play' pages.
Having a new baby is not easy and sometimes around 6-8 weeks you may notice you are finding it tough. It is tiring and can feel like a big life change. 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 caring for yourselves is an important part of caring for your baby. We can tell you about other services who can support you, if you need them.
There are local charities and services which can support you. Here are a few;
- MIND *click here*.
- Early childhood and Family Service *click here*.
- Norfolk Wellbeing Service *click here*.
- Wellbeing webinar *click here*.
- Home-Start *click here*.
We often use questionnaires to help us talk with you, about how you are feeling and how best to support your mental health. It is important that you try and answer the questions as honestly you can so that we can help you feel better. Getting help when you need it is good for you and the whole family.
We can weigh and measure your baby to reassure you they are progressing well with their growth. We can also teach you how to use the scales we use. Then 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 about 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. Take a look at the self weigh page *here*. You can also watch the video guides about weighing your baby below.
Unless advised to by a health professional, we don't advise weighing your baby more frequently than monthly.
In their first 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.
Now is the time to apply for any benefits you might be entitled to if you have not already done so.
Some families on a low income will be entitled to Healthy Start vouchers and these can be signed in pregnancy or postnatally by your health visitor or midwife. During the coronavirus outbreak these do not need to be signed by a professional. *Click Here* to find out more.
If this is your first baby and you are on a low income, towards the end of the pregnancy, or before your baby is 6 months old, you may be entitled to a Sure Start Maternity Grant. This is £500 to help with the cost of having a baby, and does not need to be paid back. Speak to your health visitor to find out more.
During pregnancy and until your child is one year old, mum is entitled to free NHS prescriptions and dental care, with a Maternity Exemption Certificate. You can discuss this at your midwifery appointments. All children are entitled to free prescriptions and dental care, whilst they are in full time education.
If you are breastfeeding you should consider taking a vitamin D supplement (containing 10 micrograms).
It is recommended breastfed babies from birth up to one year of age also be given a supplement of 8.5 to 10 micrograms vitamin D per day. It's worth checking if you are entitled to Healthy Start food and vitamin vouchers; *click here* to find out. If you're not, ask your GP or health visitor where to buy them.
Babies who are formula fed do not require vitamin D if they are having 500ml or more per day of infant formula. This is because infant formula milk has added vitamin D.
Experts recommend that weaning starts at six months but you might find it useful to talk about it now. We will get in touch when your baby is around 3-4 months with more information about weaning. You can find out more about the 3-4 month check *here*.
We will talk to you about your important relationships. Adjusting to having a baby can be a stressful time for parents. You may have different ideas about parenting than your partner. You are probably both tired from disturbed sleep and the demands of caring for a small baby. It takes time to adjust to the changes that a new baby brings to life. All of these things could cause conflict to arise in your parental relationship.
For some people having a baby can make it clearer that their relationship is not a healthy one. We routinely discuss domestic abuse during visits. We do this because we know domestic abuse can get worse during pregnancy and after the baby is born. This is a chance to talk through how your relationship is affecting you and your baby. It can help to have someone to help you think through how you can keep yourself and your baby safe.
Domestic abuse can take many forms and is not always physical violence. It can be;
- Controlling behaviour, such as preventing someone seeing their friends and family.
- Making someone feel humiliated, stupid or bullied.
- Sexual abuse.
- Financial abuse, such as getting you or the family into debt or controlling the money you can access.
*Click here* to find out more.
There are services and charities who can offer support. We can talk to you about these and how to make contact with them;
*Click here* for information about safer sleep for babies.
You and your baby are getting to know each other more and more. All the things that you do to care for your baby are helping your baby learn that they can trust you to always be there for them. This special bond will last a lifetime.
Even on those days when you ‘try everything’ and can’t work out what your baby wants the important message your baby gets is that you are always trying to help them. The most important things for your baby’s healthy emotional development is the relationship that they are building with you.
You have probably already noticed that you are the ones your baby most wants to be with. They love to look at you and may be beginning to return your smiles.
Responding when your baby smiles or cries, holding them close when they need you, is really important. We now know that it affects their brain development. Babies who always have their physical and emotional needs met can make more of the brain connections that help them learn and thrive.
You may feel worried (or others might tell you) that you are ‘spoiling’ your baby by always going to them but this is not so. When your respond to your baby they;
- Learn they can trust you to meet their needs and so will learn to cry less often.
- Will know their feelings matter to you.
- Have the confidence to learn new things because they know their basic needs for love and care are always met.
- Will have a positive first important relationship with you, and be more likely to have healthy relationships in the future.
So enjoy all those cuddles with your baby it is building your bond and good for you both.
We recommend all Mum’s do pelvic floor exercises after the birth and for the first year. When a baby comes, we know this is a busy time and want to make sure you are thinking about your own health and wellbeing too, so can talk about healthy eating and exercise and your health visitor can advise about contraception postnatally.
We Need Your Help!
Video appointments are new, so we would love to hear from you about how your appointment went. *Click Here* to let us know.
Parents with babies under 1 year - what do you know about Vitamin D?
Due to some cases of babies being unwell due to low Vitamin D levels, the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and the Healthy Child Programme have developed a survey to try and help prevent this.
The survey is to find out what parents know about Vitamin D and vitamin supplements. The survey responses will be collected and reviewed by the NNUH paediatricians and the results used to help prevent babies becoming unwell.
The survey is anonymous. It would be great to get as many responses as possible.
*Click here* to complete the survey.
Who Can Help?
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
The Lullaby Trust - Baby Check App - This app has simple checks that you can do if your baby is ill and helps you think about whether they need to see a doctor or health professional.