Infant healthcare programme, age 0-5 years

The infant healthcare programme for children aged 0-5 years is a free service for children and parents, available in their municipality. The health centres involved offer help and advice from public health nurses, doctors and physiotherapists. The staff at the centre are covered by a duty of confidentiality.

Mor og barn hos helsesykepleier

Illustration: Rebecca Ravneberg / Helsedirektoratet

What is the infant healthcare programme, age 0-5 years?

The infant healthcare programme, age 0-5 years, is a free healthcare programme for all children from birth until they start school. During this period, they are offered 14 consultations at the health centre. The next consultation for the child will be agreed from one consultation to the other, or you will receive an invitation to the consultation by post or phone (text message).

See also: Parents and children are entitled to postnatal care

All you have to do is go to the health centre

You can always contact the health centre when you need to, in addition to the consultations under the infant healthcare programme. To contact the health centre, all you need to do is go to the centre during normal opening hours or phone them. You do not need an appointment or a referral. You can ask for an interpreter if you need one. 

See your municipality’s website for more information about opening hours and the services offered by your health centre.

Your child is entitled to health check-ups

The infant healthcare programme works with GPs, psychologists, kindergarten staff, the child welfare service, coordinating units, family therapists and the educational-psychological service (PPT) as and when necessary.

Your child is entitled to health check-ups by law. As a parent, you are legally obliged to make sure your child gets their health checks. The services provided by the infant healthcare programme help to ensure that children receive the support they are entitled to.

Changing health centre or public health nurse

People normally go to the health centre where they live, but it is also possible to go to another health centre or your GP if you wish.

You are responsible for notifying the health centre if you move to another municipality or country.

What happens at the health centre?

Health centres aim to support parents and reassure them in their role as parents, and to help ensure that children have a safe and good childhood. This means that the public health nurse gives parental guidance and speaks to everyone about issues such as the importance of interaction, nutrition and sleep, as well as about drug use, violence and neglect.

Parents are also free to bring up any issues they are concerned about. During most consultations, the public health nurse will talk to you about the child's:

  • diet
  • sleep
  • wellbeing
  • interaction
  • environment and safety
  • the mental and physical health of the parents

The child will be weighed and measured in an undressed state (possibly in their underwear and/or top) during regular consultations, and when the parents so wish.

The child will have a medical examination at the following ages:

  • 6 weeks
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
  • 2 years

The invitation to the examination will be sent out shortly after the child reaches this age.

Vaccinations are carried out during regular consultations, in accordance with the Norwegian Childhood Immunisation Programme.

A summary of who you will meet and when

​Age of child

​You will meet

​Vaccines

​7-10 days

​Public health nurse (home visit)

​No vaccines

​4 weeks

​Public health nurse and possibly a physiotherapist

​No vaccines

​6 weeks

​Public health nurse and doctor

  • ​Rotavirus

​3 months

​Public health nurse

  • ​Rotavirus
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, Hib infection and hepatitis B
  • Pneumococcal disease

​4 months

​Public health nurse and possibly a physiotherapist

​No vaccines

​5 months

​Public health nurse

  • ​Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, Hib infection and hepatitis B
  • Pneumococcal disease

​6 months

Public health nurse and doctor

​No vaccines

​8 months

Public health nurse

​No vaccines

​10 months

​Public health nurse

​No vaccines

​12 months

​Public health nurse and doctor

  • ​Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, Hib infection and hepatitis B
  • Pneumococcal disease

​15 months

Public health nurse

  • ​Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

​18 months

​Public health nurse

​No vaccines

​2 years

​Public health nurse and doctor

​No vaccines

​4 years

​Public health nurse

​No vaccines

Post-natal groups

Some health centres offer postnatal groups to new parents. In a postnatal group, you can share your experiences and thoughts with other parents from the local community who are on parental leave and have a baby of the same age.

After your child is born, a health centre which runs postnatal groups will contact you and offer the parent who is on parental leave the opportunity to join a postnatal group. You can also contact the health centre yourself to see whether they run any postnatal groups.