Baby and child health

Discover what to expect after giving birth, what to do if your child is ill, and how to keep young children healthy.

The early years

After giving birth, you will continue to receive support from the community midwifery service for 10–14 days.

You will then be in the care of a health visitor who will carry out a Family Health Needs Assessment within the first few weeks of your baby’s birth.

Your baby will then have a medical check from your GP at six to eight weeks old.

Your health visitor will contact you again around the time of your child’s first and second birthdays to assess his/her health.

Registering your baby with a GP

Register your baby with a GP as soon as possible after birth, using the pink card given to you when you registered your baby’s birth.

Your GP will contact you when your child is due for their normal schedule of childhood immunisations.

Advice and support for baby and childhood illness

It is very common for babies and children to be ill and the best option could be to treat your sick child at home.

However, if you suspect it’s a more serious illness, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible.

We advise you to familiarise yourself with how to spot signs of serious illness on the NHS website.

If you are worried about your baby or child’s health, you can do the following:

  • call NHS 111 to describe symptoms and obtain expert advice by dialling 111
  • visit your local pharmacist for advice
  • make an urgent, same-day appointment with your GP – urgent appointments should always be available for under-fives
  • take your baby or child to a local walk-in clinic or A&E in an emergency
  • read NHS advice about looking after a sick child at home
  • read about a wide range of illness and symptoms on the NHS website
Find your local health services

Keeping children healthy (ages 6–15)

You’ll find a comprehensive range of advice on keeping children and young people healthy on the NHS Change4Life website and on the NHS website.