Infant Care: Pediatrician Visits The First Year

infant care

As a new mom, it’s easy to find things to worry about. Despite reading all the infant care books, articles, and blog posts that you can lay your hands on, you’ll still worry about your baby. You might find yourself worrying if they are overweight, or underweight. Should they be sleeping more? Are they sleeping too much? Why don’t they have any teeth yet, or why did they get so many so quickly?

This is completely normal! Fortunately, well-baby visits give you regular access to your pediatrician who is your best healthcare partner in caring for your baby. Regular check-ups will ease your concerns and allow you to ask all the questions you may have.

What To Expect During a Pediatrician Visit?

First-year doctor visits often become a highlight for new moms. It is reassuring to see how much your little one has grown and developed, as well as being able to ask about anything that may be worrying you. Three important things will happen during each visit.

Check-In On Your Well-Being

Your doctor will check in on how you and your baby are doing. He’ll ask how baby’s feeding is going, as well as sleeping patterns. You’ll have a chance to ask any questions you may have or raise any concerns that have popped up since your last visit.

Check Out How Your Baby Is Doing

Your doctor will do a physical examination of your baby which will include things like:

  • Weight, height, and your baby’s head circumference and length. These figures will be recording and plotted on your baby’s growth chart.
  • Gentle pressing on baby’s belly to feel for anything unusual.
  • Heartbeat or breathing irregularities, using a stethoscope.
  • The normal growth and movement of the back, spine, hips, arms, and legs.
  • Baby’s eyes.
  • Otoscope check for ears and nose.
  • Baby’s mouth and throat.
  • Checking on the lymph glands in the neck and underarms.
  • The fontanelles, or soft spots on the head.
  • Genitals, hernias, or undescended testicles.
  • Skin tone and color, including any birthmarks or rashes.
  • Age-specific reflexes.

Check The Vaccination Box

At the end of the visit, your baby will be given any scheduled vaccines that are due. Many doctors leave this until just before you leave to keep your baby happy and relaxed through their check-up. A calm baby means you’ll be able to converse with the doctor throughout the examination. It also means you’ll be able to focus on comforting your baby after the shots have been given.

How Often Do Check-Ups Happen?

Your baby’s first check-up and vaccination will happen at the hospital. After that, the timing may vary from doctor to doctor, but generally, first-year baby check-ups happen a few days after you’re discharged, at one month, two months, four months, six months, nine months, and again at one year.

How To Make The Most Of Each Infant Care Visit?

Managing a doctor visit with a newborn on a tired brain can drive all the questions you wanted to ask straight out of your mind. Here are some simple tips to help you make the most of each visit.

Timing Matters

If it’s possible, schedule your appointment at a time when your baby is likely to be fed, rested, and at his most cheerful. If finding a time in-between nap times, fussy times, and mealtimes sounds like a bit of a joke, you probably have a baby who isn’t in a predictable routine yet. Don’t stress, some babies take much longer than others to adjust to a predictable routine. If that’s you, pick the time of day when you have the most energy and are least cranky!

To avoid long waits in the waiting room, aim for the first appointment of the day, or the one straight after lunch. These are usually quieter times that will help you get in and out without too much hanging around.

Keep Two Lists

Just as important as having a list of things to ask your baby’s potential infant daycare center, you’ll need to start a doctor/baby list too. Keep a notebook and pen in your baby bag or use your phone to jot down two important lists. (These will obviously be non-urgent lists. For any urgent health-related issues, contact your doctor straight away.)

List 1 – Questions to Ask the Doctor

Keep a note of any questions you think of in-between doctor visits. Doctors have the uncanny ability to wipe your mind clear at the exact moment you should have your questions ready to fire. It can be questions about anything from burping to breastfeeding, and everything in-between, including the right color and texture of healthy baby poop.

List 2 – Answers to Questions the Doctor Might Ask

Keep a note of your baby’s milestones, keep track of time and length of feeds, how many soggy and dirty diapers per day, and how long your little one sleeps for. Keep a note of when teething symptoms start and the appearance of new teeth. All these details are important during the early months.

What Should a Baby Wear?

This is the one occasion when comfort and ease trump style. You’ll need to undress your baby for her check-up, so opt for clothes that are easy to get off and back on again. Fussy styles with tricky fasteners aren’t the best choice for a doctor’s visit with an infant who may be unhappy by the time it comes to getting dressed.

Are First-Year Infant Care Visits Worth It?

The first twelve months of your baby’s life are packed full of milestones and memories. Good health choices in these foundational months can create a foundation for a healthy, happy, toddler. You’ll be your little one’s main nurturer and protector through this time but finding a doctor that you trust will give you a partner in the health of your baby.

Looking for top-quality infant care in Parkland, Florida? Give Parkland Children’s Academy a call today at (954) 688-5877.

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