It is important to ensure your baby is registered at your GP surgery after they have been born so they have your child on record and can contact you to arrange an appointment for your baby’s 6 to 8 week check.
At this appointment, a GP will examine their eyes, hips, heart and, for boys, their testicles will be checked.
Your health visiting team will contact you separately to review your baby’s health and development at 6-8 weeks; this is not the same as the routine physical examination carried out by your GP.
Please contact your GP if you have not yet heard about your baby’s 6-8 week review.
If you have any concerns about your baby’s health or development before the 6-8 week check, contact a health professional such as your health visiting team or GP.
Here is what your GP will assess at your baby’s 6 to 8 week check:
- Do you think your baby can’t ever fully open both eyes when awake?
- Do you think your baby doesn’t watch your face and follow you with their eyes?
- Do you think that your baby doesn’t follow your face if you move your head from side to side when you’re standing close (less than 1 metre)?
- Do you think that your baby’s eyes shake, flicker or wobble?
- Do you think there is something unusual about, or in, your baby’s eyes? For example, the dark central area (pupil) looks cloudy or the eyeball is an unusual shape or size?
- Do you think the whites of your baby’s eyes are yellow?
- When you change your baby’s nappy, do you find that one leg can’t be moved out sideways as far as the other?
- Does one leg seem to be longer than the other?
- Do you have any other concerns about your baby’s hips?
(If the answer to either of these is ‘yes’, you should speak to your GP the same day)
- Does your baby seem breathless or sweaty, at any time, especially when feeding?
- Does your baby have blue, pale, blotchy, or ashen (grey) skin at any time?
Remember: If the answer to any of the questions above is ‘yes’ you should contact your GP or Health Visitor.
Your baby’s length, weight when they are naked and head circumference may also be measured at this appointment.
It’s very important that your baby has all their vaccinations at the right time.
Delaying vaccinations will expose your baby to the risk of getting very severe diseases. You will be invited for your baby’s vaccinations at eight, 12 and 16 weeks. It’s very important that you attend these, and your GP can discuss them with you at your baby’s 6-8 week check.
In some instances, your GP may give your baby their first vaccine at the 6-8 week check.