Children aged 0-5

Last updated: 6 2 2019

​​Having a child of pre-school age means great joy but also many challenges for you as a parent.

  • Pregnancy

    ​​Here you can read more about where you can turn during and after the pregnancy, as well as about unwanted pregnancies.

  • Pregnancy and alcohol

    A woman who is pregnant should not drink alcohol. The fetus will be exposed to the harmful substances in alcohol if you drink when you are pregnant. Alcohol increases the risk of miscarriage, and can harm your child's development.

    Help is available

    If you need support in order to stop drinking, your midwife can guide you to the right help within the medical care services. You can also speak to a doctor at your medical care centre. And you can always call the 1177 helpline and get medical advice.

    Parents and alcohol

    Children can be negatively affected if their parents consume large amounts of alcohol. Small children are sensitive. An environment with drunk people can feature loud, sudden noises and unfamiliar smells. Parents and others may also touch or hold the child in a less calm way than the child is used to. When you drink alcohol your ability to consider your child's needs is impaired. There is also an increased risk of accidents in connection with alcohol use.

    Help is available

    Support is available if you want to change your drinking habits. Seek help and advice at your medical care centre or social services. And you can always call the 1177 helpline and get medical advice.

    You can also call the Alcohol Helpline if you are concerned about your own or someone else's drinking habits. Specially trained counsellors will take your call. The call is free and anonymous, meaning that you don't need to say who you are. You can reach the Alcohol Helpline on
    020-844 448.

  • Pregnancy and tobacco

    Tobacco contains many toxic substances. The fetus is exposed to these harmful substances if you smoke or use snuff when you are pregnant. That implies risks for the the fetus and for your pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of e g miscarriage, fetal damage and sudden infant death syndrome. Reducing or quitting tobacco use during pregnancy brings great benefits, as these risks are then reduced.

    Help is available

    You can get help to quit smoking or using snuff. Ask your midwife or doctor for advice. While you are pregnant you should avoid nicotine patches, nicotine chewing gum and e-cigarettes as ways to help you quit smoking or using snuff. And you can always call the 1177 helpline and get medical advice.

    You can also get help from:

    The Quit Smoking Helpline – a website with more information about tobacco, where staff can give you free advice over the phone. Call 020-84 00 00 if you need help to quit smoking or using snuff.

  • Passive smoking

    Children are entitled to a smoke-free environment. Protect your child from tobacco smoke and make sure that no-one smokes in their vicinity. When children inhale smoke they are exposed to the same harmful chemical substances as the smoker. This is known as passive smoking.

    Children are sensitive to passive smoking. It can give them serious infections, allergies and asthma. Passive smoking is also a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome.

    Help is available

    As a parent you are an important model for your child to imitate and learn from. Help is available if you want to quit smoking. Ask for advice and support at your medical care centre. And you can always call the 1177 helpline and get medical advice.

    You can also get help from:

    The Quit Smoking Helpline – a website with more information about tobacco, where staff can give you free advice over the phone. Call 020-84 00 00 if you need help to quit smoking or using snuff.

  • Children who are born in Sweden

    Children who are born in Sweden have the same citizenship as their parents have. If the child's parents are citizens of a country outside of the EU, the parents must apply for a residence permit for the child. The child will most often receive the same permit as the parents have.

    Acknowledgement of paternity

    If the child's parents are married and the mother is registered in the population register in Sweden, the husband is registered as the father of the child. If the child's parents are not married, the father of the child must acknowledge his paternity. In most municipalities, it is the social welfare board that deals with issues of paternity, but this might also be handled by social district boards or municipal district boards.

    If the child's mother is an asylum seeker when the child is born, and is not married to the other parent, the child's paternity and maternity must be registered in conjunction with registration in the population register. This is done after the child has been granted a residence permit in Sweden.

  • The child’s development

    The child will go through many developmental phases and it is usual that parents will have many questions about the child's development.

  • Child safety

    It is important to child proof your home if you have a child of this age.

  • Parental leave

    Being on parental leave means that you are on leave from studies or work in order to look after your child. It is usual that both women and men take off from work or studies in order to be home with their children. The division of parental leave between the parents has strong connections to the perspective of the rights relating to children. A child has a right to close contact with its parents.

  • Parental insurance

    Parental insurance means that parents can be away from work in order to take care of their child. It is called parental leave. When you have parental leave you can seek parental support from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.

  • Activities during parental leave

    There are various activities you can do during your parental leave if you would like to meet other people on parental leave.

    Open preschool is a place to meet and socialise with other adults, while the children get an opportunity to play with other children. Everyone is welcome, you don't need to register beforehand, and there is no charge. In some places there are open preschools that are intended particularly for recently arrived parents, and these preschools also offer opportunities for support in learning Swedish. Open preschools may be run by the municipality, but also by churches or associations.

    Other activities include baby get-togethers in libraries, parent cafés, child rhythmics, and baby swimming.

    Some shopping centres and bigger department stores have family and breastfeeding rooms. These rooms provide a quiet setting in which to sit down to breastfeed, change nappies and heat food for your child.

    Swedish with a baby

    Through Swedish with a baby you can meet other parents and practice your Swedish

  • Preschool

    If you are working or studying, your child may go to pre-school for the entire day starting at one year of age. It is a right. If you do not work or study, the child may nonetheless go to a public pre-school for some hours a day starting at 3 years of age.

    The municipalities are responsible for there being pre-schools and for children being offered places in them.

  • The child's health

    Children's Health Care (Barnhälsovården) focuses on children from birth till the start of the pre-school class. A central mission of children's health care is to follow all children's health, development and living situations.

    Children's health care central offers health care examinations and vaccinations, but you can also get advice on everything which affects your child's development.

    When your child is sick and needs health care, you can turn to the health care central.

  • Advice and support

    There are various places in the municipality to which you can turn in order to get advice and support, to receive parenting training, or to share experiences with other parents.