athomeparentingwithJoFrost2017 - 78
Your health visitor will be your first
port of call, both to check your
baby's progress and also to discuss
any concerns. They can speak to a GP
on your behalf or refer your baby on
to other health professionals.
They will meet with you when your
baby is between one and two weeks old,
and explain what developments are
likely to take place in the next month,
says freelance health visitor and practice
teacher Esther Power.
'For example, at around six weeks,
your baby will be moving all their limbs
and become quite excited,' she says.
Lara Shaffer, a consultant paediatrician
in neurodisability and child health, adds:
'When they are on their back, they will
kick their legs symmetrically, with no
signs of a preference for a side of the body.'
You and your baby will have a
'six-week check' at your GP surgery,
where your baby's head circumference
will be measured, a key indicator of
healthy development, and their weight
checked. It is another opportunity for
you to express any concerns, says Elaine
McInnes, project development manager
at the Institute of Health Visiting.
She adds that parents can aid their
baby's developmental progression. 'We
advise you put your baby on their tummy
from six weeks to help upper body
strength, head control and coordination.'
Remember there is a big range
as to what constitutes 'normal'
✦ Stay off the internet. Much of
the information is misleading,
some even scaremongering. If
you must look, visit a trusted
website such as nhs.uk/Tools/
✦ Socialise with other mums
and their babies
✦ Don't compare your baby
with others - every child will
progress at their own pace
✦ However, trust your instincts
- if something doesn't feel
right, don't hesitate to speak to
your health visitor or GP.
078 | JUNE 2 017
'Babies start to roll over at around
three to four months - but there is a
big range of motor development,'
says Lara. At around this time you
may notice that when she is lying on
her tummy your baby may begin to
try to arch her back.
'This is the first stage of attempting
to move by herself and will help your
baby strengthen the neck muscles
which will aid her when she begins to
try to sit up unaided.'