Most parents know that they should take their baby in for regular wellness checkups, but may not be sure how often these appointments should occur. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies have a checkup at the following ages: when they are 3-5 days old,and then at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months old. After that, they should have annual checkups.
If it’s time for your baby’s first wellness checkup, know that this is an important milestone in your child’s life, and you want to make sure everything goes smoothly. In this article, we will talk about some tips on how to help you prepare and what usually happens during the first wellness check-up.
How to Prepare for Your Baby’s First Wellness Checkup
Before the appointment, write down any questions or concerns you have. This will help you remember everything when you’re talking to the doctor. Dress your baby in loose, comfortable clothing. You’ll need to undress them for part of the exam, so it’s easier if they’re not wearing too many layers.
After ward, be sure to ask the doctor any questions that you have about your child’s health or development, such as milestones they should have reached and anything else you can do at home to help keep your little one healthy and safe. A wellness checkup is a chance to ask any questions you have about caring for your newborn.
What Happens During the First Wellness Checkup
A wellness checkup includes a routine physical examination and a review and updating of the baby’s vaccinations. During the appointment, the doctor will check your baby’s weight, height, and head circumference. They’ll also take a look at their heart rate and breathing. The doctor may also perform a few simple tests, such as listening to their heartbeat with a stethoscope or checking their reflexes by lightly tapping on their knees or ankles.
The doctor will make sure your baby receives the vaccinations they need according to age and recommendation, and ask you questions such as how you’re feeding your baby and if they’re sleeping well.
Benefits of Baby Wellness Checkups
A baby’s wellness checkup is a critical part of ensuring that your child is healthy and developing properly. Here’s why these appointments are so important:
1. Early detection of health problems
Wellness visits provide an opportunity for doctors to detect any potential health concerns early on. This allows for prompt treatment and can help prevent serious complications down the road.
2. Developmental assessment
The doctor will track your baby’s development during these visits, looking for any red flags that could indicate a delay or problem. This information is important in planning appropriate interventions and support, as needed.
Baby well-visits offer an opportunity to keep up with immunizations, which protect against dangerous diseases like measles, whooping cough, and polio. Immunizations have been shown to be safe and effective, but they need to be given at specific times during infancy in order to be most protective and safe.
4. Vaccine safety monitoring
In addition to protecting babies from illness, vaccines also play an important role in public health by preventing the spread of infections. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends certain vaccines based on their ability to protect not just individuals, but also entire communities. ACIP reviews the latest data on vaccine efficacy and safety before making recommendations about which vaccinations should be routinely given.
5. Promoting healthy habits
During wellness checkups, parents can ask questions about their baby’s sleep, diet, or other behaviors. These appointments provide an opportunity to learn more about how you can support your child’s health through good habits starting from infancy.
Baby’s Wellness Checkups in The Woodlands and Spring, TX
The pediatricians at Northwoods Pediatric Center, P.A. can provide your child’s wellness exams and ensure your child’s healthy growth and development. As a parent, this is also a great opportunity to receive proper support and guidance from an expert.
For any questions or to schedule your baby’s wellness check-up, call our pediatric clinic today at (281) 296-7770, or use our online appointment request form.