The SmartStart guide is a one-stop guide to pregnancy and caring for a baby for the first six months. Information for new parents includes:
  • how to register your baby's birth
  • applying for WINZ support and Working for Families tax credits
  • breastfeeding and safe sleeping arrangements for baby
  • baby sleep advice
  • coping with a crying baby
  • parenting classes and support
  • childhood immunisation
  • postnatal depression
  • help for children with special needs
  • returning to work and childcare subsidies

 Visit SmartStart now and see all the really helpful resources there.


Safe sleep support

Keeping your baby safe in bed is essential to their health and wellbeing and in bringing you peace of mind. This is very easy to achieve for you and your baby.

Ensure that your baby is sleeping in a safe way by making sure that they:

  • always sleep on their back to keep their airways open and clear
  • are in their own bassinet, cot, wahakura or other baby bed that will prevent people from accidentally laying on top of them
  • are put back in their own bed after feeding – don’t fall asleep with them
  • have clothing and bedding that keeps them at a comfortable temperature – one more layer of clothing than you would wear is enough; too many layers can make your baby hot and upset them
  • are in a smoke free environment to allow baby to breathe air free of smoke
  • have a parent who is alert to their baby’s needs and free from alcohol and drugs
  • have their baby’s bed in the parents’ room at night for the first six months of life.

Visit the Ministry of Health 'Safe Sleep' website for more information.


Baby's first health check

At your baby’s birth and during the first couple of days your LMC (or specialist doctor) will:

  • check that your baby is healthy and well
  • measure your baby’s weight and head size
  • check your baby body: heart, lungs, pulses, nerve responses, sex, hips, eyes and ears
  • give your baby Vitamin K to prevent bleeding problems, if you agree to this being given
  • check your baby’s development
  • help you to start breastfeeding your baby
  • support you and your whānau looking after your new baby
  • explain the screening tests for rare problems in your baby and, after your baby is 48 hours old (2 days old), take a spot of blood from baby’s heel to send for testing


Newborn hearing screening

Your Lead Maternity Carer, GP or hospital specialist will refer your newborn baby for a hearing test.

This may occur before you go home with your baby, and should be completed by the time your baby is one month old.

The test is simple, safe, quick and won't cause your baby any discomfort.

Read about the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Programme here.


Newborn hip checks

Most newborn babies are checked for 'clicky hips' and hip dysplasia. This service is available at Nelson and Wairau hospitals.


Enrolling your baby with a GP

Your family GP (doctor) can provide free healthcare and advice for you and your baby. Pharmacists can also offer good, free health advice.

Find a GP in the Marlborough region

Find a GP in the Nelson Tasman region