Healthy Child Programme: 0 to 5 years


Help for you, your baby and toddler

Woman with 2 toddlers in playgroundHaringey's Healthy Child Programme promotes children's health and development by offering support and information to children and families in Haringey.

The section of the programme aimed at 0- to 5-year-olds is led by health visitors from Whittington Health NHS Trust (external link), working in partnership with Haringey Council. 

Information from your health visitor

All families can access the health visiting service in Haringey. You will be offered at least 5 health reviews between pregnancy and when your child starts school: 

  • when you are pregnant (between week 28 and 36 of pregnancy) 
  • when your baby is born (between 10 and 14-days-old)
  • when your baby is between 6 and 8 weeks old
  • when your child is 1 year old
  • when your child is 2 to 2½-years-old

Health visitors will give you important information on health and wellbeing for you, your child and your family. This guide provides a useful summary of the information your health visitor may discuss with you. 

How to contact your health visiting service


020 3074 2650 (for sign posting to your health visiting team)


Website (external link)  

The service operates 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Back to top

Feeding your baby and toddler 

Your health visitor will be able to provide information and support with feeding your baby.

Infant feeding

Haringey supports breastfeeding mothers. You're very welcome to breastfeed in all schools, nurseries, health and children’s centres.

The council provides breastfeeding peer support in the community, with free baby feeding drop-ins. Email for more info.

Read more about breast feeding and its benefits:

Breastfeeding support helplines

National breastfeeding helpline

0300 100 0212

  • 9:30am to 9:30pm every day

Breastfeeding Network (BfN) support line

Bengali/Sylheti speakers: 0300 456 2421

  • 9:30am to 9:30pm every day

National Childbirth Trust (NCT)

0300 330 0700

  • 8am to midnight every day

Bottles and dummies

Not all women are able to breastfeed, and when this happens, your health visitor will provide information on how to safely and responsively bottle feed. See the guide to bottle feeding leaflet (external link) and First Steps Nutrition's A Simple Guide to Infant Formula (external link)

Find useful information on weaning your child off bottles and dummies from the Institute of Health Visiting (external link).

Healthy Start vitamins and vouchers

Healthy Start Vitamins are free in Haringey for babies from birth who are exclusively or partially breastfed. They include vitamins A, C and D. Babies who receive more than 500ml of formula milk don't need vitamin supplements, unless you have been advised differently by a health professional.

Healthy Start Vouchers (external link) may be available to you if you receive certain benefits. These are free vouchers which can be spent on milk, fruit and vegetables.  

Introducing solid food

Back to top

Bonding with your baby

'Five to Thrive'©

During your pregnancy, your midwife, sonographer or health visitor will give you a booklet called 'Five to Thrive'© and discuss the information in it with you. It focuses on 5 simple things you can do to help your child's brain develop:

  • respond
  • cuddle
  • relax
  • play
  • talk

Due to copyright reasons, we're not able to provide an electronic link to the booklet, so please ask your health visitor for a copy.

Building a happy baby

This leaflet from Unicef (external link) provides information on your growing relationship with your baby, including:

  • getting to know your unborn baby
  • meeting your new baby
  • responsive feeding
  • setting up the foundations for a close and loving relationship

Sharing stories with your baby

Your health visitor will give you a free Bookstart Baby pack (external link) at your new birth visit to help you share stories and rhymes with your new baby.

Bookstart encourages families to read together every day and inspires children to develop a love of books and reading. 

Emotional development

Your health visitor will give you a ‘How to Be’ guide at the one year review to help you strengthen your relationship with your child and to understand and manage their behaviour. This Anchor Approach guidance has been produced by Public Health Haringey. Read more about The Anchor Approach.

Back to top

Keeping your child healthy and safe

During your health reviews with your health visitor they may discuss the following things with you: 

Safer sleep

Find guidance on reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, commonly known as cot death, on the Lullaby Trust website (external link). Ask your health visitor if you need more advice on keeping your baby safe while sleeping.

Download the ‘Infant Sleep App’.(external link), a free app from BASIS with tips on helping your baby sleep.

Safety at home and out and about

The Child Accident Prevention Trust provides  information and advice (external link) on preventing childhood accidents.


Most babies start teething around 6 months. Find more information on the NHS Pregnancy and Baby Guide (external link).

You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear. 

NHS dental care for children is free. Children should be taken to the dentist around their first birthday. Here's a list of dentists in Haringey (external link)

Avoid adding sugar to your baby’s food and bottle. If formula feeding, move to full-fat cow’s milk at 1 year, and aim to move your baby to cups/beakers from 6 months, and finish using a bottle by 1 year. 

The Oral Health Promotion team provides advice and support to parents and staff at Stay and Play sessions in children's centres. They are also available for classroom activities and parents' coffee mornings in nurseries.


To protect your baby from serious infections like measles and polio, make sure their vaccinations are given on time. They will need injections at:

  • 8 weeks
  • 12 weeks
  • 16 weeks
  • one year
  • 2 years, and annually after this (the flu vaccine)
  • 3 years and 4 months 

For more information and to create a personalised vaccination timeline for your child, go to the NHS website (external link)

Back to top

Getting ready to learn

During your appointments, your health visitor may discuss the following subjects with you.

Speech and language development

Being active

  • Children should be physically active for at least 180 minutes a day. Those who aren't yet walking can be active through things like tummy time, reaching for objects, and parent and baby swim sessions. Find more information on activities just for them (external link).
  • Children who are capable of walking can be active through different physical activities, energetic play, games, walking and skipping. View activities (external link).

Early education and childcare

Toilet training

  • Information on toilet training to help your child make the transition from nappy to toilet as quickly and smoothly as possible is available here (external link)

Back to top

Your health and wellbeing as a parent or carer

Your health visitor will contact you between week 28 and 36 of your pregnancy. They will introduce you to the Healthy Child Programme and offer support for your own health and wellbeing.

Ask your health visitor for advice on the following information and services available in Haringey: 

Emotional wellbeing

Children’s wellbeing is closely linked with their parent’s wellbeing. Some new parents feel overwhelmed after the birth of a baby so it's important to talk to your health visitor, midwife or GP if you or your partner feels under pressure. Find information and advice for mothers (external link) and fathers (external link) on emotional health and wellbeing. 


Regular activity can relax you, keep you fit and help you feel more energetic. Find information on exercising after having a baby as part of the NHS pregnancy and baby guide (external link).

And visit One You Haringey (external link) for support on how to get more active, including local activity classes.

Immunisations during pregnancy

Check out NHS information about the flu vaccine (external link) and whooping cough vaccine (external link). Both are recommended for all pregnant women.

Eating well

Relationships, sexual health and contraception

For information about sex and contraception after birth, visit the NHS Pregnancy and Baby Guide (external link). Local sexual health services are available in Haringey and can provide further information and advice. 

Domestic abuse

If you’re worried about violence or abuse from your partner, ex-partner or a member of your family, get help and advice here.

Help to quit smoking

The Haringey One You service (external link) offers free one-to-one support and group sessions, and can also support you through text messages and phone calls. One You Haringey also visits Whittington Hospital and North Middlesex Hospital maternity departments. Ask your midwife for more information. 

Alcohol and drugs 

The HAGA Alcohol Service (external link) offers free alcohol support in Haringey to those who think they have an alcohol problem, and those affected by alcohol. You'll also find advice and information on treatment.. 

The Grove Drug Treatment Service (external link) is a free and confidential service for anyone living in Haringey over 18 years of age.

Back to top

Benefits, rights and support for parents

Support organisations

  • The Twins Trust (external link) national charity provides information and support networks for families with twins, triplets and more. 
  • Bliss (external link) special care baby charity provides support and care to premature and sick babies.  

Back to top

Further information and support

During your appointments, your health visitor may discuss the following topics with you.

Child health clinics

Visit the Whittington Health NHS Trust website for more information on child health clinics (external link).

Children’s centres

Health visitors work closely with children's centres in Haringey, which bring together a range of services for children under 5 and their families. Services include:

  • access to child and family health services
  • a friendly place to play and learn
  • somewhere to meet other families and carers
  • access to family-friendly support services
  • support on looking for work or training
  • opportunities to become a volunteer in the community

Parenting support online

  • Information on parenting support in Haringey This includes baby yoga, family therapy sessions, coffee mornings, baby feeding drop-ins, information on starting solids and more.
  • All prescriptions and NHS dental treatment are free while you’re pregnant and for 12 months after your baby’s due date. To claim free prescriptions, ask your doctor or midwife for form FW8.

Online information guides and apps for your phone

Back to top


Back to Healthy Child Programme information page

Back to top


Page last updated:

July 5, 2021

Tell us what you think about this page

Please use this space to tell us how we can improve this page, or the website in general.

If you have a service problem or complaint you need help with then please visit our contact pages.

* = response required

Ease of use

Overall, how easy was it to get the help you wanted today?

Service required

What was the main service you were interested in today?

Purpose of visit

What was your main purpose for coming to the website today?


Did you find what you were looking for? (optional)

Device and browser information

It will help us understand any problems if you can tell us a bit about what you are using to browse the website:

Which type of device are you using right now? (optional)
Which browser are you using? (optional)

Your comments

Please use the following space to tell us more about your visit today. 

Please note that if you want to report a problem with a council service or have a general service request, you will need to contact Customer Services directly.