You and Your Baby
From the moment you bring your baby home, there is a lot of support available locally. Of course, while you have a newborn, your main priority will be getting to know your bundle of joy and adapting to your new family life.
Here at Halifax Opportunities Trust, we work with a range of organisations to deliver many services that help you, your baby and family thrive. From groups to health visits, there are many ways we can support and, because we operate from spaces across central Halifax and throughout the Upper Valley, there’s always a local centre you can drop by.
Taking your baby home
Once you have given birth and you and your baby are at back home, a Health Visitor will visit to check-in on your health after delivery, as well as your baby’s health. They will ask you some questions about your general health as well as your mental well-being; giving birth and the following few days and weeks after can often seem overwhelming and it may take time to adjust.
These first few weeks with your baby will be both challenging and rewarding. The first 12 weeks of your baby’s life are known as the fourth trimester, as you will continue to bond and learn from one another. You baby will also still feel safest close to you and, if you are breast feeding, will probably cluster feed and wake in the night for feeds. They will also feed for comfort as well as for food.
When your baby is six to eight weeks old
Your Health Visitor will be in touch to offer support and advice for you and your baby. You will also be invited for a routine check-up for you and your baby, with your GP.
In these weeks you may be feeling more mobile (especially if you’ve had a C-Section) and getting out and about with your baby. Our Children & Families team may be in contact with you to let you know about the support and groups available at your local Children’s Centre, which might include.
Your baby is 8 – 12 weeks old
As you come the end of the fourth trimester, you may start noticing your baby is becoming more expressionate and they are reaching some developmental milestones, like turning to sounds, smiling and pushing themselves up during tummy-time. At 12 weeks, vaccinations will be offered to your by your GP.
If you have any concerns or questions about your baby’s development, the Health Visitor team are contactable and may offer a home visit to check-in and answer any of your questions. Your Health Visitor may also contact you to visit and discuss your local Children’s Centre activities or parent and baby groups, as well as the general health of you and your baby.
Three to four months
You might find at three to four months you have established a routine with your baby and understand many of their likes and dislikes. If your baby is breast feeding, this might be a little more established too and you may be looking into combination feeding or feeding breast milk through a bottle. Whatever approach you take to feeding your baby is entirely your choice; working out what is most effective for you and your baby is what matters most.
At 16 weeks (approximately four months) your GP surgery will contact you to invite your baby for their vaccinations and your Health Visitor may be in touch for a check-in at home, to talk about your journey so far as well as give some advice on starting to wean.
Six to 12 months
When your child reaches six-months-old, they will be ready for trying their first solid foods. Your baby may have expressed some interest before this stage, which is a good sign that they are ready. Your health visitor can offer you help and advice on weaning and the types of foods to give your baby.
You will probably find your baby is a lot more vocal and mobile, too. Before their first birthday, they are most likely pulling up on to furniture, crawling and may have taken their first steps. As the reach 12 months, you will be contacted by your GP for their vaccinations and the Health Visitor for a catch-up.
You may also be considering your return to work and looking into your childcare options. Halifax Opportunities Trust runs four nurseries throughout Calderdale, of which three provide Early Years Childcare. You can explore these settings here: https://www.regen.org.uk/home/children-and-families/nurseries/
If you want to learn more about your child’s development, you can speak to your health visitor or visit one of the many free groups and activities organised by your local children’s centre and speak to fellow parents.
Our Children’s Centres hold regular breastfeeding groups throughout Calderdale, where you can speak to other parents and share experiences, as well as gain support and guidance from experienced peer supporters. They also host a virtual session too, if you can’t make it to one of our centres.
We also host a baby clinic at some of our centres, where you can meet your health visitor for baby weighing or to discuss your baby’s health. This service is appointment only, please call Locala on: 0300 3045076
Baby Yoga builds on your Baby’s physical and mental development. It will aid in your Baby’s brain development, sense of coordination, balance, sensory and motor skills. Classes are suitable for babies 8 weeks old to pre-crawling (Babies must not yet be crawling).
Supporting you throughout pregnancy and into your baby’s first year, we work with a range of agencies to offer wrap around perinatal mental health support.
Ready Steady Nursery
Providing support and encouragement so your child can reach goals that prepare them for starting nursery.
Stay and Play
We have many Stay and Play groups throughout Halifax which offer a rolling programme of fun-filled activity sessions for families with children aged 0-5
Our weekly baby groups are suitable for infants aged 0-24 months. It is a supportive group with lots of fun activities to support your baby’s development.
Free and fun activities for all the family, aimed at families with children aged 0 -8 years old.
You can make an appointment to speak to a Family Support Worker for confidential support and advice on family issues. Book-Ins are held, face to face at the centres, via appointment only. If you do not live within walking distance of our centres, or have difficulty accessing our book-ins due to disability or other issues, we may be able
Your Health Visitor or Midwife may suggest a referral to one of our Peri-natal Mental Health Family Outreach Workers. If you agree to a referral then we can offer support from 32 weeks of pregnancy until your baby is 1 year old.
This would include:
- Emotional support
- Practical help to source equipment and be ready for baby
- Referral to other agencies
- Support to access groups and activities
- An opportunity to learn how to massage your baby
To explore all activities and groups we offer, in your local area, please visit:
- Calderdale Start for Life – Family Journey | Calderdale Council
- 50 Things to Do Before You’re Five in Calderdale
- Childcare Choices | 30 Hours Free Childcare, Tax-Free Childcare and More | Help with Costs | GOV.UK
- You can collect your Healthy Start vitamins from Jubilee Children’s Centre and Todmorden Children’s Centre https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/getting-vitamins/