It feels like just yesterday that you arrived home with your newborn baby. But in the blink of an eye, six weeks have flown by. And now it’s time to head out for baby’s first checkup with the paediatrician. What should you expect from the visit? Here’s a quick guide to what’s about to go down:
What to expect at baby’s first checkup
Your pediatrician will weigh and measure your baby and then compare the stats to a standard height and weight chart. After he’s assessed your baby’s measurements, your doctor will let you know in what percentile your baby falls into for height and weight. He’ll also compare your baby’s current weight and height to the measurements that were taking in the hospital when your baby was born. Which he’ll use to determine whether or not your baby’s weight and height are within normal range and that he’s developing at a normal pace.
2. Head Space
Your pediatrician will measure your baby’s head circumference and then compare it to a standard chart. Like with the height and the weight, your pediatrician will tell you what percentile your baby falls into for head circumference. He’ll also compare the measurements with the percentile from the last readings he took. Which was when your baby was born, to establish if your baby is developing normally.
3. Physical Exam
Your pediatrician will do a quick physical exam of your baby just to ensure that everything’s working the way it’s supposed to. Don’t be alarmed to see your doctor ‘rough and tumbling’ your baby. Babies are very flexible. And these doctors are professional; they know the limits of a baby’s body. And to establish that your baby is developing normally, he’ll need to move your baby around somewhat.
4. Discussion Time
After your paediatrician has weighed and measured your baby and the physical exam is out of the way, you’ll have some time to sit down with him and discuss any issues you might have. This is your time to inquire about vaccination schedules and feedings. If you need any referrals for midwives or lactation consultants, this is also an excellent time to bring up the question. Remember that your paediatrician has your kid’s health and well-being at heart. So ask him anything you’ll need to help you fill in the gaps. You can also enquire about the next routine checkup and make an appointment with him if possible.