Newborn Checkups: What to Expect

After nine months of pregnancy, a painful delivery, and seemingly endless medical appointments, it’s time to go back to the doctor.

The first three months of your baby’s life are critical to his or her health. It’s a window that allows doctors to identify symptoms of any serious illness and assess a child’s development.

newborn checkups

Motor skills, hearing, vision, and earliest communication skills develop in the first three months. For example, you may witness your baby’s first smile in the second or third month.

Baby’s first exam

One of the initial exams, in the first few days or within a couple weeks of birth, involves taking a baby’s measurements. Length, weight and head circumference are commonly taken. Doctors typically give families growth charts to monitor their babies’ progress compared with others of the same age.

As part of the baby’s first complete physical examination, doctors also examine everything from ears and eyes to genitalia. The skin will reveal any potential for common newborn illness, like jaundice. The doctor will also do routine checks on the baby’s joints and internal organs for any sign of heart murmur or physical birth defect.

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