Throughout your baby’s first year, the health visiting team will continue to offer you support and advice about the health and care of yourself and your baby. We hold child health clinics across Milton Keynes for advice and support. You do not need to book an appointment to attend these.
We have a Singe Point of Access via our administrative team. You can call us on 01908 725100 Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm where there is a duty Health Visitor/School Nurse available to speak to you and help and support you.
Six to eight week visit
You will receive a routine follow up home visit from your health visitor between six to eight weeks. The health visitor will be interested in your health and wellbeing as well as that of your baby, so it is an opportunity to discuss how you are feeling, coping and any concerns you have. You can speak to them in confidence and the team can offer you further support if needed.
Routine immunisations are offered at eight, 12, and 16 weeks. Your child will also be offered subsequent immunisations as he/she gets older. Your health visitor will explain the schedule for these. Immunisations are carried out in the GP surgery. Each surgery arranges these slightly differently so you are advised to phone and check how your surgery operates.
New parenthood can be a time of stress and sleeplessness for mum and dad. The pregnancy and the period after childbirth can bring about a range of emotional changes for parents and other members of the family. While many find this to be a positive experience this emotional upheaval that can result in mental health problems. Fathers as well as mothers are susceptible to anxiety and a decline in emotional wellbeing during this time. Many fathers report that they feel isolated during this time because attention is focused on their partner and new baby. Couples can also experience less quality time for their relationship after the birth of a baby, which can have a negative impact on their emotional wellbeing. While postnatal depression is generally associated with women, it can affect many men too. Between a quarter and a half of all new parents whose partner is depressed also become depressed themselves. Your health visitor can talk through these issues with you and signpost you to further support if necessary.
What is postnatal depression
The symptoms of post-natal depression are similar to any other depression and it can develop within the first six weeks of giving birth although it is often not apparent until around six months. Postnatal depression can sometimes go unnoticed and many women are unaware they have it, even though they don’t feel quite right. It may be more common than many people realise, affecting around one in 10 women after having a baby. There is help available and whilst it is very common to feel that you are alone, your health visitor is skilled at identifying where help is needed and signposting you to support.
Child health clinics
Child Health clinics are offered at various locations in Milton Keynes and your health visitor will give you information about all clinics and the nearest one to you. You don't need an appointment to attend a child health clinic. At the clinic you can talk to the member of health visiting team about any concerns or questions you may have and they may put you in touch with another member of the team who can help with specific support, for example with breastfeeding, sleeping or behaviour. Details of your nearest clinic are in your red book or contact our Single Point of Access on 01908 725100
Please do not attend the clinic if your baby is unwell (has a temperature or has had an episode of diarrhoea or vomiting in the previous 48 hours). You can speak to your GP or call your health visitor for advice
The Children’s Centres offer support for families across Milton Keynes, with a range of services for families with children from 0 to five years old, as well as for expectant parents. Four of these centres have been further developed as Family Centres offering a wider range of services for the whole family, including older children and grandparents. There are two day nurseries that link with the centres. Once registered staff will work with you and your family to give every child the best possible start in life and give you the support and advice you need, including:
- parenting support
- health services such as baby clinic, and development checks
- signposting to childcare
- support to access Time for Twos funding
- healthy eating sessions
- employment support
- activities to support school readiness, such as stay and play sessions
- courses to further your skills
Introducing solid food
It is recommended that you start to introduce solid food to your baby when he or she is 26 weeks old and is able to sit well with a steady head, and can coordinate her hand to her mouth reasonably well
Don’t worry that it is a messy process or that baby does not eat much initially. It’s about textures, flavours and new experiences – give plenty of praise and make it fun.
It is important to start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first milk teeth start to appear (around six months), using a soft child’s brush and suitable toothpaste. Try to encourage your child to clean teeth twice a day, with you brushing thoroughly even if your child likes to have a try themselves first. We recommend that you take your child to see a dentist from around two years of age.
10-12 months development review
When your child is aged around nine months you will receive a letter inviting you to make an appointment for a development review. We ask you to phone the Single Point of Access number to make an appointment convenient for you. Once an appointment has been made, you will be sent a questionnaire to complete. We ask you to complete the questionnaire prior to the appointment and bring it with you to the appointment. This is an opportunity for you and the health professional to observe together how your baby is developing and for you to ask any questions.
We use the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) designed to give you a better understanding of your child’s development and progress with communication, movement, problem solving, and personal-social skills (washing hands, using utensils playing games, understanding others feelings).
The ASQ results will help identify any early concerns about your child’s development so that assistance can be put in place to support your child to reach their potential. Please bring your child’s red book to the assessment.