SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- This is your eighth 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 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 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 . 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
- helping your child to eat healthy food
- being sun smart (learning )
- how play helps learning and development
- family and wellbeing
- how to prevent injuries.
- social communication
Remember, you and your nurse can talk about other issues or concerns if they arise.
Tip sheets for this visit
- (available in multiple languages),
- Baby teeth are important! Tooth tips for families, 18 months to 6 years (pdf) (available in multiple languages),
- Baby teeth are important! Tooth tips for families, 12 to 18 months (pdf),
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.