I have a new baby – what now?
The SmartStart guide
- 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
Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) is a leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand babies.
Protect your baby by giving them a safe place to sleep. You can do this by following the P.E.P.E guidelines recommended by the Hapai SUDI Prevention Co-ordination Service and endorsed by the Ministry of Health.
PEPE stands for: Place, Eliminate, Position and Encourage
Place: Place baby in their own baby bed in the same room as their parent or caregiver. If you want to be in the same bed as your baby, your baby should still be in their own bed (eg a wahakura or pepi pod). This bed must be firm and strong enough to prevent it collapsing if you or someone else rolls onto it while asleep.
Eliminate: Eliminate smoking in pregnancy and protect baby with a smokefree whanau (family), whare (house) and waka (vehicle)
Position: Position baby flat on their back to sleep, with their face clear of bedding
Encourage: Encourage and support mothers to breastfeed
Watch the video below about safe sleep.
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.
Newborn hip checks
Most newborn babies are checked for 'clicky hips' and hip dysplasia. This service is available at Nelson and Wairau hospitals.
Page last updated: 15/11/2017