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Peuterbureau - Baby, dreumes, peuter and kleuter .

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The Dutch have a great selection of terms for your infant, which can only poorly be translated into English. Baby, older baby, toddler and small child is the best I can do, and if you can improve on it please let me know at ! This being Holland , they're nice and categorical about the divisions, as follows:

  • Baby: less than one year old.
  • Dreumes: between one and two years old.
  • Peuter: between 2 and 4 years old.
  • Kleuter: 4+ years old.

What it means for the age 0-4 clinic is that they have a rough division a bit after a year, so that babies and older infants are seen separately. At the last 'baby' visit - 15 months - your infant magically transforms into a peuter (toddler) and the receptionist will inform you that you don't need to make an appointment yet, but will be contacted for the next visit. The peuterbureau visits will generally be around two years, three years and three years nine months - just before the child normally starts school. You'll receive a letter with an appointment time, which you can amend (by phone or mail) if you wish, and including any extra information relating to the particular appointment.

Things tend to be a bit jollier at the peuter stage, as the parents are less at the help-I-might-drop-his-head stage and the children too are more adventurous. On the other hand, this is also the age at which children may begin to remember that the nasty lady gave him a horrid sting in his arm last time, and to play up accordingly . The clinic staff can help you in lots of areas now, such as behaviour (tantrums ...), sleep, eating, nightmares, you name it. Just ask!

Oh, and if they haven't already warned you about your child's thumbsucking, they will now really start going on about it and the associated problems - lisping, malformation of teeth, mouth breathing etc.. Be warned.

Note that the GGD's admin is not faultless and they might forget your child at some point around this age, so that it is worth keeping track of when the crucial (vaccination) appointments are. Should you - as has happened more than once to me - fail to get a call-up letter at the appropriate time, you can ring to request an appointment. Their website has a lot of information (in Dutch) about the system, and their phone number is 071-5161318.

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