Vaccinations and newborn screening tests
One of the best ways to protect your baby against diseases like measles, rubella, tetanus and meningitis is through immunisation.
Remember, as well as protecting your own baby, you're also protecting other babies and children by preventing the spread of disease.
Your baby's vaccinations
Your baby needs their first injections at 8 weeks. Vaccinations are offered free of charge in the UK – just book your appointments with your GP.
Don't panic if you miss a vaccination appointment, just make an appointment as soon as possible.
Newborn screening tests
You will be offered newborn screening tests for your baby soon after they are born.
These screening tests are recommended by the NHS. This is because results from these tests can help make sure that your baby is given appropriate treatment as quickly as possible if needed.
It#s important to think carefully whether you want to have these screening tests. Your decisions will be respected, and healthcare professionals will support you.
Ask your midwife or doctor for more information about newborn screening.
The red book
Your baby's Personal Child Health Record is also known as the red book or PCHR.
It's used to record your child's weight and height, vaccinations they've been given and other important health information.
You can also add information yourself – it's a great way of keeping track of your child's progress.
Remember to take it with you when your baby has appointments at the clinic, GP or hospital.
Health and development checks
Your baby's health checks are very important – they're an opportunity to check your baby is developing properly.
They're usually carried out by your health visitor either at home or in your GP surgery, baby clinic or children's centre.
These development checks are also a good opportunity for you to raise any concerns you might have.
Your baby's very first health check takes place shortly after they are born and will continue until your child is 2 to 2-and-a-half years old.
Read more about your baby's health and development reviews.