Your Baby's First Pediatric Appointment
You're so excited to have your baby home from the hospital and safe in your arms. But within a week, you will have to head back to the pediatrician's office for their first checkup. This first doctor's appointment can be more rattling for mom and dad than for the little one. Knowing what to expect, though, can help a lot.
Growth Chart Analysis
When you and your little one arrive at the pediatrician's office, one of the first things the nurses will do is measure your baby's height and weight. They may also use a tape measure to measure the head circumference. Once the pediatrician comes in, they'll discuss how your baby has grown since birth and show you, on a growth chart, how that growth compares to what is seen in other babies. If they are on the low end of the growth chart, this could indicate a problem with nursing or with the digestive tract.
Your pediatrician will also take the baby's temperature, listen to their heart, and measure their blood pressure. If your baby's vital signs are outside of the normal range, the pediatrician will have to do further assessments to figure out why that is. During this process, they may also show you how to take your own baby's temperature so that you can easily do so when your baby appears sick or cranky.
Discussion of Eating, Sleeping, and Elimination Habits
A good portion of this first appointment will just be the pediatrician talking to you about how your baby has adjusted during their first week out in the world. They'll primarily ask about your baby's sleep habits, eating habits, and elimination habits. Be prepared to report how much and how often they eat, and also how many diapers they soil each day. If you have any struggles or questions regarding your baby's habits, you can bring them up to your pediatrician at this time.
Screening Test Review
Your baby was probably screened for an array of ailments, including metabolic disorders, hormone problems, and blood clotting disorders, at birth. The results of these tests typically come back before your baby's first pediatric visit, so your doctor will review them with you at this first appointment. If there is anything to be concerned about, your pediatrician may order further testing.
Now you have a better idea of what to expect at your baby's first appointment. Reach out a pediatrician to learn more.