Children all develop at different rates depending on their genetics, their personality and how they're parented.
If there's something worrying you, talk to your health visitor, GP or a member of staff at your local Family Centre.
Health and development - the five checks
There are five health checks that all babies and children should have from birth to two and a half years. Your Health Visiting team will carry out these checks.
Your red book
Shortly before or after your baby is born, you’ll get a personal child health record (PCHR). This usually has a red cover and is known as the “red book”.
You should bring your child's red book every time you visit a baby clinic or your GP. They will use this book to record your child's five key checks, and other information that you may find helpful.
The five key checks
Support with a physical and mental health assessment, getting ready for parenthood, guidance on bonding and early child development.
Help with feeding, bonding and interacting, immunisation and safety, for example car seats.
Your GP will carry out your 6-week postnatal check.
Continued support on feeding and bonding, and a particular focus on the mothers’ mental health. Your child will be weighed and have a physical examination to ensure all is well. There will also be a discussion around vaccination.
A review of your child’s development through the ASQ-3 questionnaire.
You will be offered:
- additional local support if needed
- advice on nutrition and dental health
- information on the two-year free nursery offer to support school readiness.
When your child is two your health visitor and your child’s key person (if they attend an early years setting) will carry out a health and development review.
This is a key time to support your child’s development. Specific problems may begin to be evident for example:
- general development, including movement, speech, social skills and behaviour, and hearing and vision
- growth, healthy eating and exercise
- behaviour and sleeping habits
- dental hygiene
You'll be sent an ASQ-3 questionnaire about your baby's development to fill in before the review. A health visitor, keyworker or childminder can help you with this.
Child development support 0 to 3 years
If you think that your child’s development may be delayed, you can also contact the Portage Service.
The service works with parents/carers and their child(ren) in the home, with development activities.