A toddler looks at a measuring tape

What To Expect At Your 1 Year Health Visitor Review

What happens at your little one’s 1 year health visitor review (in the UK)?

Your little one approaching their first birthday is an exciting milestone! So much happens in their first year. At some point between 9-12 months, you’ll be contacted about your 1 year health visitor review. You will usually receive a letter in the post about this, but you can contact your local health visiting team if you have any questions about your appointment or need to rearrange it.

This check-up is nothing to worry about, it is an opportunity to talk about your little one and how they are developing. It is a chance to ask an expert about any questions or concerns you may have.

The 1-Year Health Visitor Questionnaire (UK) – What Questions Are They Likely To Ask?

Before your appointment, you’ll be sent a questionnaire, usually in the post, about things your child can do. This is called an “Ages and Stages Questionnaire”. You’ll be asked questions like “Does your baby like to play games such as Peekaboo?”, “Does your baby have trouble falling asleep at nap time or at night?” or “Does your baby pass a toy from one hand to the other?” Most questions will have a tick box that say “often” “sometimes” and “never”.

A lot of questions have space for extra comments too if you want to add them. Do not worry if you can’t answer all of the questions, the health visitor can help you if needed. The idea is to go through the questions and activities with your child when they are happy and relaxed at home in a familiar environment. They will not be asked to perform in the appointment, the health visitor will just talk to you and ask questions.

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At a check up, a baby is cuddled by their mum as dad smiles. The health visitor smiles and holds a toy dinosaur.

Don’t Worry

It’s important not to worry though and remember this is not a test. The questions asked are just to give an overall picture of your child’s development. It’s not a list of everything they should be able to do by now. Little ones develop at their own rate, with some walking before others. Some know more words than others, but each will get there in their own time. So discuss anything that you may have concerns about. But remember the health visitor is just doing a review to see if you need any extra help. The health visitor will do all they can do try and put you at ease, and a lot of them will have toys in the room where you have your appointment, for your child to play with.

How Long Is The Appointment And Where Will It Be?

In the past health visitor appointments have sometimes taken place in the family’s home, but these days the appointment is more likely to be in your local clinic or health centre. The appointment will probably last about 45 minutes, although this can vary slightly.

What To Take

When heading to your 1 year health visitor review (in the UK) take your completed questionnaires and your child’s red book (health record book that you got when they were born). Also bring notes of anything else you’d like to talk to the health visitor about. If you have a partner who is helping to raise your child, it may be useful for them to come along too.

A mum and toddler sit behind a Perspex screen to talk to a health visitor

What Do Health Visitors Look For?

They will have a look at your questionnaire that you filled in. And then they will ask about how your child is sleeping, eating, their speech , their behaviour, if they are at nursery/ other childcare setting and some other questions about their development. They will also measure their height and weigh them.

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Do Babies Get Blood Drawn At 12 Months?

The health visitor will not do a blood test, and there is no routine blood test carried out at 12 months. If you have a concern about your child’s health, do talk to your health visitor, pharmacist or GP who can advise.

What Happens Next?

Your next development review will be around 2-2.5 years, unless your health visitor suggests a follow up appointment. If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, your local health visitor team should have a phone number or email address you can contact them on for advice and support.

Just remember that all little ones will learn new skills in their own time, and it doesn’t always help to compare them to their friends!

Expert Advice

While we can share our experience as mums, we are not medical professionals. The NHS has reliable and helpful information on health conditions and baby development. You can read their article about you baby’s development review here.

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Helen Holding

Helen Holding

Happity's Growth Marketing Assistant. Helen works hard to get more classes around the UK onto Happity, connecting more parents with activity providers every week. Mum of one beautiful daughter, Lyra. When she's not working she is usually enjoying toddler classes with Lyra. Their current favourites are toddler gymnastics and Forest School!