Why your baby needs a 6 week check
Your baby will have a complete physical examination within their first three days and regular medical checks.
When your baby is 6 to 8 weeks old your doctor (GP) will examine him / her at your GP surgery. This is known as the 6 week check.
If your child was born in Jersey you'll automatically get a reminder letter when your 6 week check is due. The 6 week check is free.
Children born outside Jersey
You should register with a GP as soon as you arrive in Jersey. You'll get a reminder letter by post when your baby's 6 week check and immunisations are due.
If you've been on the Island less than six months and do not have a health card yet, you may have to pay the health insurance contribution (up to £20.28). Check with your GP.
Doctors (GPs) fees, prescriptions and health cards
Baby / pre-school vaccinations
Change of address
If you change address you should tell your GP and Health Visitor. They'll tell the child health team to make sure the 6 week check and immunisation letters are sent to your new address.
Personal child health record ‘red book’
After you give birth your midwife will provide you with a 'red book'. It explains the different examinations your baby will have. It also has space for recording growth and developmental milestones and immunisations. You will need to take this book with you to all your baby's appointments.
When you go for your baby's 6 week check remember to take your 'red book' with you.
What happens at the 6 week check
Your baby has a 6 week check to make sure they are fit and healthy. There is no reason to be nervous. This is a chance for your GP to get to know your baby and for you to discuss any worries you may have.
It will include the following checks:
|Weight||Your baby will be completely undressed and weighed|
|Feeding||We will ask you about any feeding problems and your method of feeding (breast or bottle, or both)|
|Growth||Your baby's weight will be plotted on a growth chart in your red book|
|Sleeping||We will ask you about how well your baby is sleeping, if your baby is sleeping on their back and if there is a passive smoking risk to your baby.|
Young babies should never sleep on their tummies or their side and should not be in a room where anyone is smoking as this increases their risk of cot death.
For the physical examination, we will check your baby from head to toe. Your GP will:
- examine their eyes, mouth, ears and neck
- feel the pulses in their groin and listen to their heart
- feel their tummy
- check their hips for any signs of instability or dislocation
- check their hands and feet
- test their head control and limb tone to look for any neurological problems
- turn your baby over to examine their spine and anus
- examine a baby boy's penis and scrotum
When the physical examination is complete your GP will discuss the findings with you. Your GP will record the findings in your baby’s red book.
Your GP will discuss the immunisation programme with you. Your baby's first immunisations will be due when they are 8 weeks old. You could book the first immunisation appointment before you leave the surgery.
Baby / pre-school vaccinations
Safety in the home
Your GP may talk about safety in the home and how to prevent accidents.
Your health and wellbeing
You should book your 6 week post-natal check directly with GP. The check may be at the same time as your baby’s newborn physical examination.