Congratulations on the newest addition to your family. As a parent, you want to know about your baby’s first days at home. Your newborn wellness check with your pediatrician will help you navigate that all-important time.
Here’s what to expect and how your baby’s doctor will help you and your little one.
The First Check-up with Your Pediatrician
At this first office visit, your pediatrician will become acquainted with you and your baby. Ensure to bring any documents the hospital or midwife gave you upon discharge, and also be ready to ask your baby’s doctor questions about your little one’s birth, health going forward, sleeping, and day-to-day care.
Your pediatrician will assess your baby’s health and start tracking development with a physical assessment involving:
- Length, weight (which drops a bit right after birth but recovers in a week or so) and head circumference
- Monitoring of heart rate, breathing and temperature
- Examination of eyes, ears, mouth, skin, upper and lower extremities, and reflexes (finger grasp and startle, or Moro reflex)
- Check of circumcision (boys) and remaining umbilical cord for both boys and girls
The doctor may conduct hearing and vision tests and routine heel-stick blood screening if these were not done in the hospital or after a home birth.
Also, your child will receive a hepatitis B vaccine, the first in many preventive immunizations given at regular intervals throughout childhood. Northwoods Pediatric Center follows the vaccine schedule published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, believing that routine vaccines protect children, families, and the community from many communicable diseases and their possible serious complications.
Questions You May Discuss with Your Pediatrician About Your Baby’s First Days to Weeks
The well-baby visit is the parent’s opportunity to ask questions about the health and care of the precious newborn. For instance, you and your baby’s doctor may discuss:
- Breast versus bottle feeding
- Vitamin D supplementation for breastfed babies
- Pumping and storing breastmilk
- Current or potential problems with lactation
- When and how to bathe the baby
- What your baby’s stools should look like and how many diapers should be wet per day (about 5 stools a day as many wet diapers)
- What to do if your child has a fever and how to take a temperature
- When to call the doctor
- Safe sleep positions and normal sleep patterns (newborns sleep about 16 hours a day)
- Car seat safety
- Giving siblings attention
- Returning to work
- Postpartum depression
- Child care outside the home
- How much crying is normal and what may mean colic or other problems
- Care of mom’s episiotomy, C-section incision line, breasts, and emotional well-being
It is worth mentioning that these first weeks of life are a time of bonding, discovery, and exhaustion. Your pediatrician is ready to care for your baby and help you with the long, winding, and joyful road of parenting a newborn.
Wellness Check-ups for Babies in The Woodlands and Spring, TX
At Northwoods Pediatric Center, P.A., our pediatrician can provide your child with wellness exams in a hygienic, positive, and relaxing kid-friendly environment. Our team of compassionate and child-friendly pediatricians is dedicated to your child’s health and wellness, providing you with guidance and support at every step.