All New Zealand children are entitled to 11 free health checks from birth to three years. The checks aim to ensure that children are growing and developing as well as possible. Included in the checks are clinical assessment, health education and family/whānau support.
Baby checks are at birth and then at 24 hours, five days and around 2-4 weeks. Babies are weighed and measured to ensure that they are developing correctly. These sessions provide a great opportunity for parents to ask questions from an expert and have any problem addressed; difficulties with breastfeeding or sleep for example. They can also be used to discuss immunisations and vaccinations. These checks will be carried out by your lead maternity carer (LMC).
Between the ages of 4-6 weeks and three years, there are seven core health checks available, typically these are around 4-6 weeks, 8-10 weeks, 3-4 months, 5-7 months, 9-12 months, 15-18 months and 2-3 years. These checks may be carried out by a Well Child Provider of your choice e.g. Plunket, Māori health provider, community nurse, a general practice team (doctor and practice nurse). Your LMC will be able to give you a list of Well Child Providers in your area.
More information about Well Child services is available on the Ministry of Health website.