Checking up on your baby’s health.
Starting just days after your baby’s birth, she should begin a schedule of well-baby checkups with her doctor. She’ll likely have two visits as a newborn, then one per month until she’s 12 months old. After her first birthday, they’ll take place every three months until she’s 18 months old. At age two, she’ll start coming in once a year. Of course, you’ll bring her in at other times as needed for any illnesses or injuries.
Why have well-baby checkups?
Well-baby checkups give you and your baby’s doctor a snapshot of her overall health and can catch and address any potential problems in her health or development. It’s also the ideal time to ask questions and get advice.
What happens during well-baby visits?
Your baby’s doctor will weigh her without a diaper, measure her length, and measure her head to check her overall growth rate. He’ll also take her temperature, listen to her heart and lungs, feel her abdomen and check her genitals, and look in her eyes, ears and mouth. He’ll give her immunizations as needed, too. Your baby’s doctor will tell you which developmental milestones you should watch for, answer any questions about her health or day-to-day care, and discuss any concerns you have.
Babies are often fussy during their doctor visits. After all, they’re stripped down and (gently) prodded, and sometimes feel the momentary sting of an immunization. Try not to worry — these doctor visits really are best for her.