Giving birth is every woman's most anticipated event in life. From the moment of conception to hearing your baby's first cry in the delivery room, it is considered a tremendous journey you embarked on. As your little bundle of joy adds color to your world, more responsibilities are also added.
Amidst the struggle of feeding sessions, sleepless nights, postpartum health breakdown, here comes the responsibility of taking your child to her first doctor’s visit. In the first year of your baby's life, you will be visiting your pediatrician about every other month, for health check-ups and immunizations.
Majority of the doctors like to have the very first check-up when a baby is anywhere from two weeks to four weeks old. All babies have their first check-up within this time frame. This visit would accomplish a couple of things. You would be able to ask the doctor any questions that you have and more importantly see how well your child is doing.
Grandma’s Tip: It's not uncommon to have a lot of questions! I had a cauldron full of questions when I took my baby to the doctor for the first time. So, take it from me and keep a notepad handy. Each time you have a question, simply jot it down.
When it is time for the first visit you would have your list to take with you. Well, the main aspects of this first doctor visit are the weigh-in, the vaccination schedule; there are other things too that you need to know at your child’s first doctor visit.
During the first visit, your doctor will most probably see your baby naked to examine his entire body. He will look at his eyes, ears, nose, skin, limbs, neck and collarbone, weight etc. He will also look for signs of jaundice or hernias. The doctor will examine the umbilical cord and a circumcised penis for signs of infection and proper healing.
Your doctor will cover a lot, but don't be afraid to ask him to slow down, repeat, or clarify information.
Your doctor will check for your baby’s head circumference, shape and still-soft fontanel.
With every visit, until your baby can walk, your doctor will examine your child for any signs of developmental hip dysplasia, a congenital malformation of the hip joint.
In the first four visits, your doctor will check for your child’s reflexes; whether your little one can grasp a finger or not.
Immunization and vaccines:
During your visit to the doctor, you will be given a vaccination chart for baby which needs to be followed seriously to protects your baby from serious illness and complications. In the absence of vaccination, conditions such as paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, amputation of an arm or leg, brain damage, or even death can occur.
Try to adhere to your child’s immunization schedule. In case your child has a fever on the date of any immunization schedule, do inform your doctor beforehand. Always ask for the after-effects of vaccination on your baby and the treatment to soothe your baby’s pain. Talk to your doctor on each visit and clear your doubts.