Your Baby’s First Checkup at the Pediatrician

During the first year of your baby’s life, you will be getting to know your pediatrician very well as you will be visiting him about six times for routine checkups and possibly a few times more should the infant get sick. So make sure you have chosen a pediatrician you feel comfortable with. After 2 to 4 weeks after the birth, you will have your first checkup appointment.

The pediatrician will measure the baby: its height and weight and head and chest circumferences. The doctor also checks the baby’s ears, eyes, nose and mouth to make sure they are clear and that there are no irregularities. The pediatrician will make sure that your baby has a regular heartbeat and greets normally with a stethoscope and will palpate the organs to see if there are no immediately noticeable irregularities.

Your pediatrician will also take a look at the baby’s spine to make sure that its straight and intact. He will also take a look at the thyroid and will check the neck, groin and armpits for any swollen lymph nodes. Also the umbilical area looks over for infections or hernias. He will also take a closer look at any birthmarks or other spots that might have appeared. The baby’s genitals are also checked for irregularities.

The baby has several newborn reflexes which are a sign of neurological well being. The pediatrician will test them to make sure there are no neurological problems you should worry about.

The doctor will also ask about feeding and sleeping patterns. Be honest here: the pediatrician is there to help you in case you have any questions or doubts. Also note down any questions you have an advance so that you don’t forget asking them.

You will also receive a health booklet where your pediatrician will note down the evolution of the babies measurements and also which immunizations the child received. If all went well, you’ll see the doctor again in a few months for the next checkup.

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