Summary

  • This is your fifth key age and stage visit with a maternal and child health nurse in your local area. 
  • Maternal and child health nurses work in partnership with families to care for babies and young children until they start school. The service is free for all Victorian families.
  • You will visit a maternal and child health nurse at 10 key ages and stages from birth to three and a half years.
  • Your nurse can help you with things like breastfeeding and feeding your child; sleep and settling, making sure your child is growing, learning and developing well; being a parent and looking after yourself.

What happens at my four month maternal and child health visit?

At this visit, your baby's growth, health and development will be reviewed. 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:

  • addressing the PEDS questions in your green book
  • safe sleeping
  • food in the first year of life
  • playgroups and how to join
  • how to share books and stories with your baby
  • how play helps learning and development
  • immunisations.
  • your baby’s safety
  • family relationships and wellbeing

Remember, you and your nurse can talk about other issues or concerns if they arise.

Don't forget your 'green book'

When your baby was born, you should have received a copy of My Health, Learning and Development – green book. This book belongs to you and your baby and is full of information about early child development, and services and support.

Make sure you take your green book with you each time you see your nurse so you can jot down any issues, and record information on your baby's growth and development. 

If you don't have a green book, let your nurse know.

What is my baby doing at this key age and stage?

At this age, your baby is curious about their world. They like lots of love, attention, and interesting experiences to help them grow learn and develop. They enjoy floor play, cuddles and lots of eye contact. They might be:

  • rolling from tummy to back
  • lifting their head high when playing on their tummy on the floor
  • beginning to follow people or objects as they move around
  • smiling and laughing
  • reaching for toys or objects.

What to tell your nurse

Please tell the nurse if your baby is: 

  • NOT responding to noises
  • NOT making any sounds 
  • NOT enjoying eye contact with you 
  • NOT lifting their head.

Activity ideas for this key age and stage

Try some of these ideas to help your baby learn and develop:

  • play with them when they are on their tummy on the floor
  • read to them – and hold them close so they can see your face and the book 
  • talk to them about what you're doing and listen for their reply!
  • smile and make funny faces
  • show them different colours, shapes and textures.

Where to get help

Tip sheets for this visit

More information

Parenting

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Maternal and child health

Parenting basics

Family structures

Communication, identity and behaviour

Raising healthy children

Common childhood health concerns

Immunisation

Keeping yourself healthy

Child safety and accident prevention

Grief and trauma

Support for parents

Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Maternal and Child Health and Parenting

Last updated: October 2019

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