Well-child visits exist to keep your child healthy, track his growth and development, help prevent potential problems, and teach you (and Baby, when he is a little older) about health and wellness.
Baby‘s first well-child visit will probably be two to five days after he is born, though it might be as late as two weeks after birth. Your healthcare provider will be able to recommend an appropriate schedule for you and Baby, and you’ll likely make your first appointment a day or so after you give birth.
At the appointment
Now that Baby has arrived, you can stop counting kicks and start tracking height, weight, and milestones. Your healthcare provider will begin logging his growth and development so you can see how he makes progress from appointment to appointment.
Baby will also be getting his immunizations at these visits. he should have been given a hepatitis B vaccination at birth, so there shouldn’t be any vaccinations needed this time around. If a newborn hearing test wasn’t performed when Baby was born, it will likely be done at this appointment.
At this visit, your healthcare provider will be looking for a few different milestones: eating well, turning to your voice, following your face, and sucking, swallowing, and breathing easily.
Questions to ask
If this is your first child, you probably have a lot of questions, and your healthcare provider will have some for you as well. You’ll talk about life with the new baby, how things are at home, and how you’re adjusting. Don’t be shy about answering honestly about your feelings or asking questions you might think are weird. Everything is weird with a new baby. Some questions you might want to ask are:
- How do I know when to call the doctor?
- How do I know when he&;s full?
- How do I take his temperature?
- What should I know about car and car seat safety?
- How do I know that his crib is safe?
If you can bring your partner or another caregiver along to this appointment, you’ll have twice the brainpower to ask and answer questions and soak up all the baby knowledge your healthcare provider can give you.
- What happens at a well-child visit
- Signs to call the doctor
- What you should know about crib safety
- 7 car seat rules for a smooth ride
- Infant fevers 101
“AAP Schedule of Well-Child Care Visits.” HealthyChildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics. December 18, 2015. Web.
“Well-child visits.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. February 5, 2015. Web.