A new interactive website to help parents and carers keep their babies healthy, happy and safe is being rolled out nationally today by the Department of Health. NHS Baby LifeCheck is designed to provide information and advice to mums, dads and carers of babies aged five months to eight months.
Baby LifeCheck guides parents and carers through a set of simple multiple choice questions, then offers advice and reassurance on making the best decisions for their child. It covers topics including: development, talking and playing, feeding, healthy teeth, safety, sleep routine, immunisations and being a parent.
Created in consultation with parents, the website offers tips, helpful videos and details of organisations which can support people across a range of issues – from weaning worries to feeling down or lonely.
Health Minister Ann Keen said, “NHS Baby LifeCheck is a reliable source of non-judgemental, online information for parents and carers. It provides reassurance and advice about their baby’s health development, happiness and safety. It’s an easy way for parents to find out if they are doing the best thing for their child, whilst also supporting them to set goals or find further help to make improvements for themselves and their baby.”
No identifying information is kept by the website.
First-time mum, Dina Yacob, who has used the website, said, “I completed the Baby LifeCheck for my seven-month-old son. It reassured me that I am doing the right things for my baby. It also reminds you to get on with some things – for example introducing a cup instead of a bottle for drinks – which I knew I would have to do, but had forgotten in the rush of everything else.”
Nicola Stenning, a health visitor in Hammersmith and Fulham, said, “Becoming a parent for the first time can come with the worry of whether you are doing it right; this free service will help parents to find out. NHS Baby LifeCheck will be a useful source of information and guidance for parents of babies between five to eight months, at a time when they receive less frequent visits from health professionals.”
NHS Baby LifeCheck is freely available to parents and carers from any computer with internet access.
www.babylifecheck.co.uk is one of three NHS LifeCheck services. NHS Teen LifeCheck, aimed at 12-15 year olds was launched nationally in June 2009 and NHS Mid-life LifeCheck, aimed at 45-60 year olds, should go live at the end of the year.