Baby Checkups: What To Expect During Your Baby's Scheduled Doctor Visits
If you’re expecting to give birth soon or have given birth recently, congratulations! It’s truly an incredible time, so cherish it as much as you can.
At this point, you might be wondering when you’ll need to take your little bundle of joy to the doctor for checkups. Sometimes called well-baby visits, routine baby checkups are an important part of every infant’s life.
In fact, the American Association of Pediatrics recommends 10 trips to the doctor’s office in your little one’s first two years of life. That may seem like a lot, but each baby checkup is necessary.
In this post, the experts at Mustela will tell you everything you need to know about your baby’s checkups. We’ll start by going over when these appointments should happen and what the doctor will check during the visits. Then we’ll let you know exactly what to expect during each trip to the doctor’s office, including recommended vaccinations.
When Should Your Baby Have Checkups?
Newborn babies are in a constant state of change and growth, so it’s important that their development is closely monitored by healthcare professionals. The sooner any potential problems are identified, the quicker they can be treated. That’s why baby checkups are so crucial for your little loved one!
As we mentioned earlier, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 10 doctor visits in the first two years of your child’s life. Here is a list of the ages at which your baby should have a checkup.
- 3-5 days
- 3-4 weeks
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 1 year
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
So what goes on during all of these baby checkups? Let’s take a look.
What Happens During Baby Checkups?
While each checkup is unique and important, there are a number of ordinary procedures that your pediatrician will perform during every visit. At each of your baby’s checkups, the doctor will:
- Measure your baby’s height, weight, and head circumference.
- Check your baby’s temperature, pulse, and blood pressure.
- Make sure that your baby’s senses (vision, hearing, touch, etc.) are normal.
- Examine your baby’s skin. The doctor will check your little one for conditions like dry skin, eczema, and cradle cap. If your baby gets diagnosed with any of these skin conditions, don’t worry. Mustela has the perfect products to treat all three.
- Test your baby’s reflexes and responses to external stimuli.
- Check your baby’s physical development, including whether your baby has yet to do things like roll over, hold toys, crawl, and make noises.
- Ask how you keep your baby clean and what daily hygiene routines you use. Expert tip: always use gentle products like Mustela’s shampoo and body wash to make sure your baby’s skin is healthy and happy.
- Perform a full physical examination, checking everything from your baby’s joints and hips to their eyes, ears, and mouth.
- Listen to your baby’s heart and lungs with a stethoscope to ensure normal functioning.
- Ask questions about your baby’s sleeping, eating, and potty habits.
All of these items are standard parts of a baby checkup. They’re simply meant to confirm that your little one is in good health and developing normally. So don’t worry about all the poking and prodding! The doctor is just making sure that your baby is healthy.
While all of the procedures on the list above will be performed at every one of your baby’s checkups, each visit also has unique elements.
What To Expect During Each Baby Checkup
In this section, we’ll explain what makes each baby checkup different from the rest.
While your baby will receive a full examination immediately after birth, it’s necessary to have another checkup 3-5 days later. This is just to double-check that everything about your baby is 100 percent healthy!
At this visit, your baby will receive a Tuberculosis test. They will also have a little bit of blood drawn from their heel and be given their first Hepatitis B vaccination shot (if these two things weren’t taken care of at the hospital).
The second baby checkup comes three to four weeks after your baby is born. At this time, your baby will receive their second Hepatitis B shot.
The two-month visit can be a bit of a terror because it involves your baby’s first big round of immunizations.
If your baby didn’t get their second Hep B shot at the 3-4 weeks visit, then they will need to at this visit. They’ll also need several other vaccinations, including:
- Polio vaccine (IPV).
- Rotavirus vaccine (RV).
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP).
- Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (HIB).
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).
Yikes! Luckily, there is a silver lining here. The rotavirus vaccine is administered orally rather than with a shot. On top of that, the other vaccinations are often combined into two shots instead of four individual ones. So it’s not as bad as you might’ve first thought!
At the four-month visit, your baby will receive the second series of several of the vaccines they received at the two-month visit. This includes another round of RV, DTaP, HIB, and PCV.
The third round of RV, DTaP, HIB, and PCV comes when your baby is six months old. As before, some of these vaccines can be combined into one shot so that your baby won’t need to get four individual shots. Your baby’s first flu shot is also recommended at this time.
Fortunately, the nine-month baby checkup is just a standard examination and probably won’t require any shots or vaccinations. However, if your baby has missed vaccinations at previous checkups, you’ll need to go ahead and take care of them at this visit.
After the brief reprieve from shots at the nine-month visit, another big round of immunizations comes at the one-year mark. Your baby will receive:
- The first round of Hepatitis A vaccine.
- The third round of Hepatitis B vaccination.
- The fourth round of HIB vaccine.
- The fourth round of PCV vaccine.
- Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine (MMRV).
Once again, some of these vaccines can be combined, so your baby will only need two or three shots at this appointment.
The 15-month checkup is another lucky visit—no shots or vaccinations! That is, of course, assuming you’ve kept your baby up to date on all the recommended immunizations so far.
The second round of Hep A vaccine and the fourth round of DTaP vaccine are required at the 18-month baby checkup.
By the time you make it to your baby’s two-year checkup, you’ll be wondering where the time went and how your child could have possibly grown up so quickly. This checkup is a standard physical exam and won’t require any shots.
Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourself!
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing baby checkups and the health of your baby, but let’s not forget about your health! Carrying and giving birth to a child really takes a toll on your body, so don’t forget to schedule your postpartum checkup. This visit normally takes place six weeks after delivery or four weeks if you’ve had a Caesarean section.
It’s also important to take care of your skin after the radical changes your body goes through during pregnancy. Mustela Stretch Marks Serum is a soothing and effective way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. And our Soothing Moisturizing Balm is specially formulated for treating dry skin that often accompanies pregnancy.
Between the baby checkups and your own appointments, you’ll be spending a good amount of time at the doctor’s office. But it’s a small price to pay to ensure your health and the health of your baby! All the checkups will give you peace of mind and allow you to truly enjoy every wonderful moment with your little one.