How Often Should A One-Month Baby Go for Check Up?

What happen during the first month of your newborn, does your baby need check up? In the first weeks after birth, your newborn begins a series of routine check ups. These are called well child visits. All healthcare professions have individual approaches to the timing and frequencies of these visits. In general, you should take your baby for a checkup within a week after delivery and thereafter, one or two visits during the first month as recommended by your doctor.

During the well child visits, the doctor will perform the following:

? Measure weight, length, and head circumference of the baby. The doctor will plot these measurements on a growth chart for comparison of previous and later markings to ensure normal, expected growth of your baby.
? Check your baby's eyesight and hearing.
? Examine if the cord has fallen off and the belly button is healing well.
? Evaluate the baby's reflexes and general development. He will give some insight into your baby's feeding, and sleeping and will ask you if you have noticed any changes in behavior. Changes in caring and feeding of your baby will be suggested if necessary.
? If your infant is a boy and was circumcised, the doctor will examine his penis as well.
? He/she might also take a sample from baby's heel to test for phenylketonuria (PKU). Although your baby might have been tested for PKU at the time of birth, it is advisable to repeat the test during first well baby visit as the test bears risks of inaccuracy when done within 48 hours of delivery.
? He/she will also give your baby a hepatitis shot during one of these visits and will provide you with a schedule of immunizations your newborn is to be given during the subsequent visits.

These routine well child visits will assure you about your baby's progress and give you the opportunity to ask questions concerning your child's care.

How do I choose the best doctor for my newborn? Some parents are familiar with their pediatric practitioner even before they become pregnant, while most, especially the first time parents are not. If you were unaware of the doctor and service, you would like to avail for your coming baby, do not get overwhelmed and relax! With a little hard work, you will be able to reach a pediatrician you can rely on and respect. However, commence your search well in advance of your delivery. An optimal way to do it is to seek the names of pediatricians from your reliable sources, which may be your obstetrician, gynecologist, midwife or even relatives, friends, colleagues or neighbors with kids who share your parenting and perspectives. You may consider asking them the questions like, "Do their kids respond well to the doctor?", "Is the doctor an experienced pediatrician?", "Does he have knowledge of recent medical advances?", "Does she welcome your queries and take time to discuss them?"

Once you are ready with your list of potential pediatricians, start interviewing them, preferably in person, as it gives you a feel of their style, how they run their office, what the staff and nurses are like and if you feel comfortable with them. Ideally, you should accomplish this task about three months before you are due and take your birth plan along. You may address the following queries to the doctor in the interview:

? Is she is licensed by the state, in which she practices?
? What are her viewpoints on child-rearing issues such as breast-feeding, weaning and nutrition?
? What she thinks about the use of antibiotics? (Due to adverse effects and questionable benefits of antibiotics, some pediatricians have restricted their use on kids).
? What will happen if baby needs to transfer to the intensive care nursery?
? Is she available in evening hours and on weekends?
? Does she have a group or solo practice so that your child can see one of partners in the absence of her doctor?
? Is she covered by insurance?
? Various other issues like vaccination, nearness to your home, hospital affiliation, etc. may be important to you and must be addressed.

While you interview the doctor, pay attention to how well she considers your needs. And also if you feel comfortable with her or not. Your choice of the doctor should be the one who best meets all these criteria!

Amy Fadden, author of "Newborn Guide, Nursing A Baby in Its First Month." Visit her Website at http://www.newbornbaby101.info and http://www.newborndevelopment101.info

In The News:

Child Health and Development Unit  World Health Organization
Do Babies Need to Eat Meat?  The Wall Street Journal
The Benefits of Reading to Babies  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

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