After you bring your newborn home, you want to make sure that he or she is safe and secure at all times. One part of keeping your baby safe and secure is to attend regular pediatric checkups. The very first checkup is one of the most important, and this appointment will be scheduled within the first week after birth.
As a new parent, you are likely feeling extremely overwhelmed, which may have you worried that you may forget to ask the pediatrician important questions. First things first, remain calm, and don't worry. Secondly, here are three things you need to know about this first checkup, which will also help ensure that you get the most out of the appointment.
Know What You Need to Bring
Since your baby will need to be undressed to be measured and weighed, you will want to dress your newborn in something easy to remove and comfortable. Pack a diaper bag with all the essentials, including a bottle and formula or milk in case you're there long enough for him or her to get hungry. You will also need your insurance card, your medical records, your baby's medical records, and discharge paperwork.
Know What You Should Expect
Apart from measuring and weighing your newborn, the pediatrician is also going to check your baby over thoroughly. He or she will use a stethoscope to listen to the newborn's lungs and heart. The pediatrician will also feel the newborn's abdomen, check his or her eyes and ears, inspect the umbilicus to ensure it is healing properly, and if your newborn is a boy and was circumcised, examine the circumcision to make sure it is healing properly.
Know What You Should Do
During the appointment, you will need to soothe your newborn, but you also need to ensure that you are prepared to answer questions that the pediatrician may have regarding your newborn's progress. Make sure that you have an estimate of how many times your newborn requires a diaper change, how long he or she sleeps at a time, and how frequently and how much he or she eats.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask them. In fact, it may be wise to make a running list of questions ahead of the appointment so that you don't forget them in the moment.
For more information on your newborn's first pediatric appointment or newborn care in general, contact local pediatric services.