Milestones checked by your public health nurse at 3, 7 and 18 months

Your local public health nurse will provide examinations of your baby’s development free of charge at your local health centre. He or she will check your baby’s development against normal developments for your baby’s age. Each check-up is a chance for you to discuss any health issues or concerns regarding your child or your family.

Three months

At your baby’s three month developmental check-up your public health nurse will check:

  • Your baby can kick vigorously
  • Baby can lift its head up to a 45 degree angle when lying on his or her stomach
  • Hold his or her head up for at least seven seconds
  • Is startled by loud noises
  • Plays with his or her hands and feet
  • Recognises parents and responds when they approach
  • Is able to open and close hands into a fully formed fist
  • Baby’s eyes are able to follow a slow moving object about six inches away
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Seven months

At the seven to nine month developmental check-up, your public health nurse will check:

  • Baby can walk on feet if held standing
  • Focus on toys and activities for more than one minute
  • Dental health
  • Your baby can sit unaided
  • Will lean forward to reach for an object without tumbling
  • Eyes and ears, and growth measurement
  • The results are checked against your child’s previous measurements to see that your child is growing and developing steadily.
  • Boys are checked to see if both testes have descended.

If you or your public health nurse at all concerned about the check-up, your child will be given an appointment for a further check-up or referred to a specialist for further assessment.

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18 months

At the 18 to 24 month developmental check-up, your public health nurse will check:

  • Your toddler can pick up small objects with their thumb and forefinger
  • Can throw and kick a ball
  • Imitates sounds
  • Has a vocabulary of ten or more words
  • Waves ‘bye bye’
  • Points to objects when asked
  • Can feed themselves with a fork and drink from a cup
  • Begins climbing
  • Recognises pictures
  • Your public health nurse checks your child’s growth which is then measured against your child’s previous measurements to make sure that your child is growing well.
maternity & infant