Follow these few tips to prepare for your baby’s very first doctors appointment
Your child’s first checkup is the perfect time for you to receive answers to all the questions and concerns you have. You may feel nervous or anxious over your baby’s very first appointment. During a newborn checkup, your pediatrician will examine your baby from head to toe. Your baby’s weight, length and head circumference will be measured. The pediatrician may also have questions for you regarding your baby’s sleep schedule and feeding habits.
Pack the Right Items
Dress your baby in clothing that is easy to remove. Consider a onsie during hotter months or a one-piece zippered outfit during the winter. Remember to pack a blanket to wrap your baby in, clothing, diapers, wipes, bottles if you are formula feeding and a pacifier.
Keep Track of Your Baby’s Feedings
During those first few days of your baby’s life, it is important to make sure you are monitoring how much and how frequently he or she is eating. Create a log to keep track of your infant’s feedings. For formula-feeding moms, write down how many ounces your baby consumes and the number of bottles your baby drinks per day. Breastfeeding moms should keep track of how many minutes their baby nurses at the breast, how often the feedings take place, and how many wet and dirty diapers the baby has per day. Bring the log with you to the very first appointment.
Keep a List of Questions To Ask
New moms find they have a lot of questions about their baby’s health and development. Even experienced moms may be caught off guard by a baby who seems to be to sleepy or one that seems to be constantly fussy. A list of questions to ask include:
- How often should my baby be eating?
- Is my baby gaining weight well?
- What situations warrant a call to the pediatrician’s office?
- How often should my infant come in for well-baby checkups?
- When should my baby receive vaccinations and what types are recommended?
- How can I calm a crying baby?
- How do I reduce the risk of SIDS?
Setup the Appointment in Advance
Newborn babies are usually examined by a pediatrician before being discharged from the hospital. The physician will tell you when to schedule your baby’s very first checkup. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends newborn infants be seen during their first week of life. Call your pediatrician’s office as soon as possible to let them know that your baby was born and to schedule the appointment. Leave early for the appointment so you have time to fill out paperwork. Ask the receptionist to seat you in a private room or in a room that is only for well-child checkups.