Over the first few years of their life, your baby will be given a series of tests, assessments and opportunities to see health professionals as part of the new Healthy Child Programme. This section explains what the tests are, and when they'll happen.
For more information about any of these tests or if you're worried about your baby's or child's development, contact your health visitor. You can ask them to refer you to a paediatrician (children's health specialist).
One day to one month: newborn hearing
This is a test to check whether your baby's hearing is normal. It can be done either before you go home from hospital or by a health visitor in your home or at the clinic.
One to three days: newborn physical examination
This includes screening of your baby's heart, hips and eyes (and testes in boys), plus a general physical examination. The test can be carried out by a baby specialist or specially trained nurse. It doesn't have to be done before you leave hospital.
Five to eight days: newborn bloodspot
This is a heel-prick blood test for phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disorders (see External links for more information). In some areas, the test also includes MCADD, a metabolic disorder.
Six to eight weeks: physical examination
This involves screening of your baby's heart, hips and eyes (and testes in boys). Your baby will be weighed and given a general physical examination. You'll be asked whether your baby is being breastfed or bottle fed.
Eight weeks onwards: vaccinations
Vaccinations are routinely offered at eight, 12 and 16 weeks, 12 and 13 months, and three years and four months.
Six to eight months: hearing assessment
An infant distraction test is offered if your baby didn't have the newborn hearing test.
Between eight and 36 months: general reviews
You may be offered a general review of your child's well being between eight and 12 months and again at around two to two-and-a-half years.
Between four and five years: school entry screening
This includes vision screening, a height and weight check and a hearing test. Your child may also be given a general health review.