Although your baby is new born, some of the tips and ideas within this fact sheet are great to start using now. Babies are unable to calm themselves and they need a calm, loving adult to soothe them. You may also find this fact sheet useful if you have a toddler running around!

Routine Screening Reviews at 6 to 8 weeks

Your baby should have had a routine physical examination at 6 to 8 weeks, usually by your GP. As you know, COVID-19 has placed a huge challenge on the NHS and, if this screening opportunity has been missed due to current circumstance, this Parent Tip advises what to look out for. To access this information leaflet please click the link below.

Getting to know your baby

Whether you are the birthing parent or co-parent, your relationship with your baby begins before birth. Did you know that babies can hear in the womb and be sensitive to bright lights at around 16 weeks? By around 25 weeks of pregnancy, your baby may be moving around to music and responding to touch.

Some parents-to-be find it hard to imagine their baby. This may be due to feeling anxious or because their own experience of being parented was difficult.

Bonding takes time – so don’t feel guilty if you don’t feel that rush of love straight away. Click the link to access the information leaflet

Safer Sleep for your Baby

While no single cause has been identified, there are a number of known risk factors and lots of simple ways that parents can make sure that their babies are sleeping as safely as possible. For more information click the link below.

Happy children happy parents fact sheets

The relationship with your baby starts before birth. Did you know babies can hear from around the 24th week of pregnancy and may move around to music?

Tummy time

Tummy time –  Why tummy time is important – Tummy time helps to build the muscles your baby needs for sitting and crawling. Your baby can start to spend time on their tummy from newborn. Little and often is best to begin with. If your baby has difficulty lifting their head you can roll up a towel and put it under their armpits. Put some toys nearby for them to reach out to.  Only do tummy time when your baby is awake and alert, and you’re there to keep an eye on them.

Children’s centre

The vision of Lewisham’s Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership is that:

“Together with families, we will improve the lives and life chances of the children and young people in Lewisham”.

Giving our children and young people the best start in life and ensuring that the right support is available in the right place, at the right time, is key to this. Our new offer through Lewisham Children and Family Centres will bring together services to ensure that this is achieved.

Further information

You may be thinking of returning to work or study and need to find child care for your baby or toddler. Lewisham council have a list of Ofsted child care providers in your area and a guide of what to think about when choosing your child care provider:  


Lewisham Family Information Service (FIS) provide free advice to Lewisham families with children for:


  • Childcare and free early education
  • Children/ family Centres
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • Health
  • Schools and Learning
  • Support for parents and carers
  • Young people activities and clubs

FIS Leaflet


Newborn Bloodspot Test (Heel Prick test)

Every baby is offered newborn blood spot screening, also known as the heel prick test, ideally when they’re 5 days old.


Newborn blood spot screening involves taking a blood sample to find out if your baby has 1 of 9 rare but serious health conditions.

Most babies won’t have any of these conditions but, for the few who do, the benefits of screening are enormous.

Early treatment can improve their health, and prevent severe disability or even death.

From 6th September 2021, the Newborn blood spot screening will now also test for SCID (Severely combined immunodeficiency). This is the name given to a group of rare conditions that cause major immune system problems. You can chose whether or not to have your baby screened for SCID. If you decide not to have them screened for SCID but still wish to go ahead with the Newborn blood spot screening, then your baby would be screened for the other 9 conditions covered. For more information on the SCID screening, click here.

When your baby is 5 days old, a health professional will prick their heel and collect 4 drops of blood on a special card.


More information can be found on the NHS website link here


One of the conditions tested for is sickle cell or haemoglobin S. This is sometimes called having a sickle cell “trait”.

If you have been informed your child carries a gene for sickle cell then more information can be found on the Gov UK link here


One of the other conditions tested for is an unusual haemoglobin.

If you have been informed your child has a gene for an unusual haemoglobin then more information can be found on the Gov UK link here

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