One of the best ways to protect your baby against diseases like measles, rubella, tetanus and meningitis is through immunisation. Your baby needs their first injections at eight weeks, then 12 weeks, 16 weeks and one year.
It's a lot to remember, especially if you're sleep-deprived, so here's a handy downloadable vaccination planner – print it off and stick it on your fridge!
Vaccinations are offered free of charge in the UK – just book your appointments with your GP. Remember, as well as protecting your own baby, you're also protecting other babies and children by preventing the spread of disease.
These are the vaccinations your baby will need:
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.
An online version – the eRedbook – is being trialled in some areas in the UK. Sign up via the link if you're interested in participating in the trial or being kept up–to–date with the developments.
Your baby's health checks are very important – they are an opportunity to check that your baby is developing properly.
They are 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 they'll continue until your child is 2 to 2 1⁄2 years old.