Infant hub

Welcome to Reading’s Infant Hub focusing on the services and advice for expectant parents, unborns, newborns and up to 2-year-olds.

This Infant Hub has been created as a quick access to support you and your baby.

Much of the information here is available in more detail on our Family Information Service website but is condensed here as a quick reference guide.

The first 1001 days from pregnancy to the age of two set the foundations for an individuals cognitive, emotional and physical development but they are also a time when babies are at their most vulnerable.

What are we doing in Reading to improve services for you

We are looking at our universal offer of support and are developing a universal plus offer of services that may not need to be accessed by everyone, but includes specialist and targeted areas that meet the needs of our families.

This is so that families get the right help at the right time and the right place.

We know it is important we provide an integrated service for parents and one that our health colleagues – (midwifery/health visitors/ perinatal mental health) are able to also offer support to you.

Expanded childcare support

Eligible working parents of children from nine months old can now apply to access up to 15 hours of early education (over 38 weeks of the year) of government-funded childcare from September 2024.

For full information about eligibility and applying for funding, click the button below to head over to the Reading Family Information Service.

Learn more about 9-month old funding

Got a question?

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers. These include details of organisations that can help you.

To register a birth in Reading, you need to contact Reading Borough Council. The link to the right page on their website, with all the information you need, is here.

We work in partnership with the midwifery service to ensure you can access your appointments in the heart of the community. You will have access to your community midwives within the Children’s Centre hubs.

Here are some other sources of information and support you may find helpful:

In later pregnancy you will be invited to an antenatal check at your local Children’s Centre where you will have the opportunity to meet your health visiting team, and find out more about the Children’s Centre offer

If you’re struggling with your mental health or wellbeing, please speak to your midwife, GP or health visitor. There are also useful website links to support you, listed here.

For infant mental health, see the below graphic for useful information.

Useful resources for your and your baby's first 1001 days

Helpful advice

Here are some top tips for common issues which face new parents in the first year

We know many parents may struggle with feeding baby and it can be a challenge whether you choose breast or bottle, so here are a few links to useful support websites.

Crying is normal! A baby’s cry can be upsetting and frustrating and you may be worried there is something wrong with your baby, but their cry is designed to get your attention. You can contact your local Reading children’s centre and health visitor for support and advice. The below websites may also be of help to you.

The Lullaby Trust is a fantastic resource to find reassurance, help and guidance on baby’s sleep. You can find information on all the below topics on Lullaby Trust’s website.

  • Safe sleep for baby
  • Mattress bedding & cots
  • Safe Sleep Easy Read Card
  • The best sleeping position for your baby, including videos
  • back-to-sleep
  • Sharing a room with your baby
  • Safe sleep advice for twins
  • Room temperature
  • Co sleeping
  • Sleeping products
  • Coping with sleep deprivation
  • Smoking and the increased risk of SIDS
  • Premature babies
  • Factsheet for low weight & premature babies

There’s so much to consider in terms of baby safety, from how to hold a newborn to what products are safe. Again, the Lullaby Trust is a great resource with advice on the below on their website.

  • Baby Summer Safety
  • A Clear Cot
  • Holding Baby
  • Product Guide
  • Car Seat Safety
  • Car seats and SIDS
  • Baby Check App

We have loads of information for local and national support for new dads’ on our Family Information Service.

For an at-a-glance list of support information, see relevant search results here.

Dads are also always welcome at our Reading children’s centres! And don’t forget all the information on this page is for you too.

Being a new parent at any age can be difficult and however old or young you are, most parents will have moments when they feel they are struggling.  We’ve listed a few websites below that you may find helpful and reassuring.

Your sexual health and contraception is important once you’ve had your baby. Speak to your health visitor or GP for support around sexual health and contraception.

You can also find details about drop in clinics in Reading here.

You might also find it helpful to learn more about what to expect during the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Early Years Foundation Stage - a guide for parents

Parenting courses and activities at Reading Children's Centres

Teddy bear on grass

Your local children’s centre offers many parent groups and sessions to help you while you are pregnant and after you have had your child.

You can find our more about up-to-date (free) activities at each of our Reading children’s centres and how to register on this website here, or you can read all about each hub in detail on our Family Information Service website here.

If you would like to know more about these and other sessions and groups, get in touch with our Reading children’s centres by clicking the button below. They’ll be happy to answer any queries you may have.

Email us

Reading Children’s Centres on Facebook

We have a very active Facebook page where you will find all of the latest news, information and fun activities.

Join us on Facebook

Family Information Service

Our Family Information Service (FIS) website is packed with information about under 5s and how to access services in Reading

Link to FIS

What childcare is available?

There are several different types of childcare options (settings) in Reading. Learn more about childminders, day nurseries, creches, pre-schools, holiday clubs and more.

Find childcare