What happens at my eighteen month maternal and child health visit?
At this visit, the nurse will review your child's growth, health and development and complete a hearing risk assessment. You will also be asked to answer My Health, Learning and Development – green book. It is under the Parents' Evaluation of Development Status (PEDS) section. Try to complete these questions before your visit.
This visit will focus on:
Remember, you and your nurse can talk about other issues or concerns if they arise.
Tip sheets for this visit
What is my child doing at this key age and stage?
At this key age and stage, your child is learning lots by exploring the world around them. As a parent or carer, you may find it hard to keep up with how busy they are – emptying drawers and 'helping' you clean. Try a playgroup in your local area to meet other families, explore and play.
They might be:
- walking and starting to run
- saying some words and understanding lots more
- feeding themselves with a spoon or cup
- recognising themselves in a mirror
- playing alone, but still liking to be near familiar people.
What to tell your nurse
Please tell the nurse if your baby is:
- NOT enjoying eye contact or cuddles with you
- NOT coming to you for affection or comfort
- NOT understanding any words
- NOT pointing or waving
- NOT trying to communicate with you
- NOT showing any signs of pretend play
- NOT walking.
Activity ideas for this key age and stage
Try some of these ideas to help your baby learn and develop:
- explore outside – talk to them about the trees, birds or cars
- give them old clothes, a plastic bowl or a cardboard box and let their imagination run wild!
- encourage them to meet other children at playgroup or in the playground
- share lots of books, stories and rhymes
- praise them when they learn a new skill, (such as feeding themselves).
How often should I visit?
You will be asked to see your maternal and child health nurse at 10 key ages and stages in your child’s health, learning and development. These include:
Families can access the service at other times by telephone or through a centre visit. Most centres offer a range of times when families can access the service. They typically operate through scheduled appointments, open consultation sessions and some after-hours appointments.
Where to get help
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
Maternal and Child Health and Parenting
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