A well-baby exam is an important way to ensure your baby is healthy and developing normally. Your first one should take place within a few days after birth. After that, you will need them frequently for the first year. These exams ensure that the doctor finds any development problems early when they are easily correctable. Here is more to know about well-baby exams and what to expect in the first year.
How To Prepare for Your First Visit
During your first visit, gather your hospital paperwork related to the birth. Bring the records from the hospital. Often, these records include base measurements, such as weight and length. It may also mention any issues during the birth or if your child was born with a health issue. These records help the doctor find a starting place for their measurements.
Also, make a note of anything you would like to ask or tell the doctor. You may want to mention how well your baby sleeps and how much they eat. The doctor may request you see a specialist if you have certain problems, such as problems with breastfeeding.
What To Expect for First Six Months
Within the first six months, the doctor checks to see if your baby has reached normal milestones. For example, the doctor may check the following items:
- A weight check to ensure your child's weight is progressing normally
- A length check to ensure your child is growing at the right rate
- A whole-body check that includes leg locomotion and genital checks to watch for early problems
- An age-appropriate vaccination check and administration of needed vaccines
What to Expect From Six Months to One Year
The doctor may take many of the same measurements for the next six months. Also, they may give a full physical exam at each stage. However, at this age, your doctor may also ask if your baby has reached some of these milestones:
- Have any teeth erupted?
- Can your child eat some solid food?
- Can your child sit up for brief periods?
- Can your child pull themselves up?
- Is your child looking around and pointing at things?
After the first year, your baby will likely need less-frequent exams. Most doctors may ask you to come in at least twice a year until your child is three or four, and then every year afterward. Your child may also need additional exams if you plan to enroll them in daycare or preschool. Requirements depend on the provider. If you are looking for a new doctor for your child, choose one specializing in child healthcare.Share