• This is your fourth 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 eight week maternal and child health visit?

This visit will focus on: 

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 constantly learning about the world around them. They will be showing more emotions and starting to communicate with you in new ways. They might be:

  • smiling
  • bringing their hands together
  • making sounds like they are 'talking'
  • looking at you when you talk to them
  • copying your facial expressions.

What to tell your nurse

Please tell the nurse if your baby is: 

  • NOT making any sounds 
  • NOT beginning to smile
  • NOT looking at you in the eyes.

Activity ideas for this key age and stage

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

  • sing to them during feeds, bath time and when changing their nappy
  • play with them when they are on their tummy on the floor
  • take them for walks outside and chat with them
  • smile at them
  • cuddle and talk to them in a soothing voice.

Have you got your baby bundle?

If you are a first-time parent (after July 2019) and live in Victoria, you may eligible to receive the Victorian Government’s baby bundle which contains nursery essentials and key parenting information and resources to support the health, development and wellbeing of your baby. 

Tell your maternal and child health nurse if you did not receive one.

Where to get help

More information


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Maternal and child health

Parenting basics

Family structures

Communication, identity and behaviour

Raising healthy children

Common childhood health concerns


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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