There is so much to think about and remember when you become a parent for the first time, including remembering all of the various health checks your child needs to have!
We know that staying on top of your child’s health check list can be tricky. Keep this child’s health checklist as a cheat sheet for health checks by age.
As always, if you have any concerns about your child’s health please see your family doctor whether its a milestone marked on their health checklist or not!
After Birth + Newborn Health Checklist
- Vitamin K shot (recommended)
- Hepatitis B vaccination (recommended)
- Hearing test
- Breastfeeding assessment and support
In hospital, there are midwives who can help with everything from breastfeeding support to changing your baby, getting a routine started and settling. If you are seeking further support with breastfeeding and latch, ask your midwife if the hospital has a lactation specialist. Want more on newborn health checks? Try this link from Dr Mary L Gavin at KidsHealth.Org
From 1 – 4 weeks baby health checklist
- Visits from Community Health Nurse – checks on feeding, weight, sleep, hips, mum’s wellbeing.
You might elect to have the Community Health Nurse come for check ups at home. Your Community Health Nurse will come weekly to weigh baby, check nappy area, watch you feeding, and ask you how you are feeling. Your Community Health Nurse can come more regularly if you are having any problems or feeling not yourself. They will put you in touch with services and professionals that can help you with any areas of concern with yourself or your new baby.
From 6 – 8 weeks health checklist
- Six week immunisations – diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilius influenzae type B, Hepatitis B, polio, pneumococcal and rotavirus.
This will be your first visit to a General Practitioner or Paediatrician for immunisations and a check up. They will ask you lots of questions to see how you are coping with your new baby. Answer all questions and share any concerns about immunisations you might have so that your doctor can assist with any additional support you and your family might require. If you’re searching for more information on immunisation try NSW Health Immunisation Program fact sheets here.
From 4 months
- Four month vaccinations – diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilius influenzae type B, Hepatitis B, polio, pneumococcal and rotavirus.
If you are looking for any information about your new baby, this is a great opportunity to ask questions. You still have access to your community health nurse and centre, so drop in for anything you might be concerned about. You can also start to look for a local mother’s group if you haven’t already and your community health centre will be excellent with getting that set up for you.
From 6 months
Six month vaccinations – diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilius influenzae type B, Hepatitis B, polio and pneumococcal.
Around this time your baby will have started or will be starting to introduce solids. Speak with your doctor on this check up about the foods you want to try and advice for feeding. If you are having any concerns with breastfeeding, support is still there and your doctor can help with recommending information and services. Want more info on starting solids? Try the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network for great advice.
From 12 months
One year check up including healthy eating, sleep, growth, behaviour, mobility and parent’s concerns.
- 12 month vaccinations – Haemophilius influenzae type B, meningococcal C, measles Hepatitis B, polio and pneumococcal.
This is a general check up with your child’s health practitioner where they will check that your baby is reaching appropriate milestones. If you have any concerns about family life, your baby or yourself, this is a good opportunity to seek support.
From 18 months
- 18 month check up including healthy eating, sleep, taking care of teeth, growth, behaviour, mobility, starting toilet training.
- 18 month vaccinations – Measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, diptheria, tetanus and pertusis.
This is a general check up with your GP or Paediatrician that happens in conjunction with the 18 month vaccinations. Your child will be measured and weighed, and your doctor will ask questions regarding any concerns you might have about their behaviour, mobility, sleep and health. Want to know more about the 18 month check up? Read more at KidsHealth.org here.
From 3.5 – 4 years
- 4 years vaccinations – Diptheria, tetanus, pertusis and polio.
- Sight test
- Speech assessment
Vaccinations can be given any time from 3.5 years to 4 years of age. This is the last round of vaccinations your child requires until they are 12 years.
If your child attends daycare or pre-school, local speech pathologists will come send home information and permission to come into the classroom for a speech assessment. This will cover things like sentence structure, pronunciation and also keeping an ear out for medical problems such as vocal nodules. They make recommendations based on the assessment to either see a speech pathologist or an ENT.
Similarly, a statewide eye screening is done through daycare and pre-school centres to see if your child has any impairments before school starts. If they show signs of vision impairment in the screener, they will be sent for a more thorough screening at an optometrist.
Keep this baby and child health checklist handy so you don’t miss any important milestones. Don’t forget your family doctor is always your best option if you have any health concerns for your little one – they are there to support you as you raise your child!