Having a new baby can be as frightening as it is incredible. You want to do everything right and make sure your baby is safe, happy, and healthy. While it is up to you to provide that safe environment and keep your baby happy; a doctor’s advice is needed to make sure they are healthy. New baby checkups are often scheduled within a couple of weeks after birth. The following information will help you know what to expect at your baby’s first doctor appointment.
Who should go with you to the first appointment?
It’s normal to be nervous on the first appointment, but remember this appointment is for the baby and that is where the focus should be. Only you, your baby, and perhaps one other caregiver should go. Too many people can make the room crowded and take some of the doctor’s attention away.
Getting your baby ready for the appointment
Dress your child in simple clothing. The doctor is not interested in those adorable outfits you have received or purchased, they are only interested in checking your child’s health. You do not want to waste time undressing your baby. Plan your diaper bag to include all the normal travel items; extra clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles, and pacifiers.
The waiting time
There is often a waiting time at the doctor’s office where you have to sit among other patients with issues you know nothing about. The other children or parents may have an illness you do not want your child exposed to. If you have arrived with another caregiver, send them in first to start the paperwork. You and your baby can wait in the car or other areas to keep away from the possibility of being exposed to unhealthy germs. Many doctor offices have specific areas for newborns because of this possible exposure. However, if you cannot send someone in ahead of you or there is no separated waiting, keep your baby faced towards the corner with your body as a shield.
The nurse normally performs the first part of the exam. She or he will weigh your child to check their weight as well as to measure their limbs to check for height and width. It is also normal for the nurse to measure your child’s head circumference.
The main parts of the baby’s first doctor appointment are examining the baby, educating the parents, and answering questions as well as asking a few of their own. Some doctors will ask and answer questions while they perform the exam, others prefer to finish the exam first and then do the question portion. The doctor is going to look into your baby’s eyes, ears, and nose. This pediatrician will also examine your baby’s skin, limbs, and test for responsive and proper reflective actions. The umbilical cord area will be examined and well as a check for hernias or jaundice. A lot is covered during this initial exam. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to make yourself feel comfortable about your child’s health.
What will the doctor need to know?
Keep track of what you are feeding your child as well as how much they are eating. Also keep track of feeding patterns like; how often, how much, and how long it takes to complete a feeding. You don’t have to keep an actual chart, just have a general idea and if you are buying formula, know the brand and type.
You should also be aware of the diaper changes. Have a general idea to tell the doctor about how many times you change your baby every day and what type of stool consistencies your baby has. By knowing the color and consistency, the doctor will have a better understanding of your child’s digestive system.
Sleeping patterns are important and your doctor may ask you questions regarding how long and how often your baby is sleeping.
Contact John M. Young M.D., Pediatrics today to schedule your baby’s first doctor appointment. Give us a call at (806) 354-0404 ext. 3330 or Contact Us via email. You can also visit us in person at 1500 S. Coulter St., Suite #3 in Amarillo, Texas. Dr. John Young is a pediatrician in the Amarillo area that will provide the best experience possible for parents as well as their children.