It might seem like yesterday when Baby grasped your finger for the first time, but believe it or not, it’s already time for both of you to head back to the doctor’s office for an early childhood staple: the 2 month checkup! This special visit will allow your family doctor or pediatrician to assess Baby’s early development, take care of some crucial vaccinations, offer health recommendations for the near future, and answer any questions you may have about Baby. Here’s how a typical checkup breaks down:
A: The weigh-in
Not only will the doctor see where Baby ranks on the scale, they’ll also measure his length and head circumference. These numbers will be added to Baby’s growth chart. They’ll also be compared to other children in Baby‘s age group, but don’t worry about where he falls on that scale – as long as Baby is growing at a healthy rate, which your doctor will be able to tell you, his growth compared to the growth of other children doesn’t matter much.
B: The physical
The doctor will leave no stone unturned when it comes to making sure that Baby is in sound physical health. Common ways to evaluate his health include using a stethoscope to check in on his heart rhythm and lungs, testing his reflexes and muscle tone, inspecting his eyes for blocked tear ducts or discharge, and pressing gently on his abdomen to check for any hernias or enlarged organs. They’ll also probably check Baby‘s mouth for signs of thrush, check out his head for flat spots and the make sure everything is on track with his soft spots, and look at his hip joints to make sure everything is on track.
C: The Q&A
This is a chance for you and your doctor to touch base on Baby’s everyday behavior and address any lingering concerns. It’s very likely that your doctor will ask about Baby’s sleep cycles, digestion, and response to audible or visible stimuli, among other things. In the days leading up to the appointment, it’s a good idea to make a note of how often and for how long Baby is eating, how long he sleeps, how many wet and dirty diapers he has every day, and how much time he is spending on his tummy. If Baby has been suffering from any physical ailments such as diaper rash or reflux, now is the perfect time to bring it up. And if he is breastfed, if you haven’t discussed it yet, now is a good time to ask the doctor whether Baby should be taking vitamin D supplements.
D: The shots
Baby will be vaccinated for polio, rotavirus, pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), hepatitis B, as well as diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP). Thankfully, some of these vaccines are oral, and the others are often combined into just two shots. Most doctors tend to save this part for the very end of the exam. That way, you can have some private time to comfort Baby and let him know how bravely he endured those shots. It’s very common to notice a low-grade fever after these vaccinations, which is a very normal immune response and not a cause for concern.
While you’re there, remember that your doctor is a great resource for any questions you might have about Baby’s health and development, so make sure to ask about anything that’s on your mind at this visit.
- “AAP Schedule of Well-Child Care Visits.” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, December 18 2015. Web.
- “Immunization Schedule for Infants and Children.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017. Web.