Baby’s Routine Check-ups

Medical check-ups are a necessity for us; babies are no different. In fact, in baby’s first year of life, he will need to attend a few check-ups. Make the most of these visits by finding out what to expect and what you can do.

Why bring baby for check-ups?

  • Baby’s growth, health and development will be monitored regularly
  • The doctor can give you advice about caring for baby that’s particularly relevant for this period in his life
  • The doctor will be able to spot medical problems that are too subtle for you to notice
  • Baby will receive the vaccinations he needs in order to stay healthy and safe from dangerous illnesses
  • The doctor can reassure you about your worries and concerns regarding baby’s health
  • You can discuss your worries about baby, no matter how small or trivial

How often should baby go for a check-up?

The shaded areas in the chart above show when in baby’s first year you should bring him to the clinic for a check-up. Of course, if baby is ill, you need to bring him anyway – don’t wait for his next check-up if he needs medical attention now!

The first check-up

Baby’s first check-up will probably be the first time you and he meet the paediatrician. Relax and treat the paediatrician as a friend who will be helping you to take care of baby’s health throughout his

The doctor will measure baby’s weight and length (see below) and ask you some questions about baby’s behaviour and health. Answer them honestly and voice your concerns and doubts if you have any. Asking questions doesn’t mean you’re stupid or a bad parent!

These are some of the questions the doctor may ask you about baby:

  • What is baby’s feeding routine?
  • Does he pass urine and motion regularly?
  • Can he lift his head briefly?
  • Is he able to focus on items 8-12 inches away?
  • Does he respond to loud or sudden sounds?
  • Does he respond to bright lights or sudden flashes of light?

What happens at baby’s check-ups?

  • The doctor will take baby’s weight, body length and head circumference measurements – These three measurements combined provide a full picture of whether baby is growing within the normal range. Because the range is quite wide, you shouldn’t worry if baby seems too light or small for his age. If your doctor says he’s healthy and growing well, he probably is.
  • The doctor will ask you about baby’s health and behaviour.
  • As baby gets older, the simple tests the doctor conducts to check his development will change. Don’t be alarmed if he isn’t able to do some of the things the doctor tries to get him to do. Children grow at their own pace, and your child may achieve some developmental milestones more quickly or slowly than other children his age.

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