Having a baby is exciting. You have a new little life to take care of. This also means finding a great pediatrician for you and your little one and going to all the scheduled appointments. Infants and small children will need a series of vaccinations and check-ups before their second birthday. A pediatrician will help them gain immunity to diseases, find any issues to work on and make sure that their development is going perfectly. Still, being a new parent can be overwhelming. Knowing what to expect during that first pediatric visit may put your mind at ease.
What to expect
It is natural to feel somewhat nervous about the first appointment. This is a new experience for all first-time parents. The office may ask for some paperwork from the hospital or insurance company during this first visit. The first visit should empower the parents and inform them, as well. This is a great opportunity for parents to ask questions and have an open conversation with their child's pediatrician.
How to prepare the child
While too small to understand what is happening, it is important that the baby is dressed in simple clothing. Loose fitting, easy to remove clothing helps the process go smoother. The pediatrician will want the clothing removed so that they can do a full exam. Cuddling, soothing voices, warmth, a change of clothes, diapers and milk are all that is needed during this exam.
The nurse will be the first person seen. They will weigh and measure the baby and then chart the measurements. This is the growth chart that will show at what percentile the baby is measuring. It is normal for babies to lose some of their body weight after delivery but by the second week, they should have gained it all, if not more, back.
The pediatrician is next to come into the room. They will do an exam on the baby and look them over from head to toe. Additionally, they will educate the parents and answer any questions that they may have. This is a good time for new parents to ask as many questions as they can think of. The doctor will want to know how many dirty diapers the baby is having, as well as their feeding schedule. This will give them more information on how well the baby is doing.
Vaccinations may be given depending on the vaccination schedule and the parent's personal preference about vaccinations and their baby.
Why is this all important?
It is important to have an idea of what to expect at baby's first pediatrician appointment. You should not feel afraid or uncomfortable to ask questions during the process. Being able to gain knowledge on how to care for the baby helps parents, both new and experienced, get specific information on their child.
Seeking out help from a pediatrician is highly recommended. Babies have to see a doctor within a couple of days after they are born and again at two weeks to track their growth. These appointments help keep your baby as healthy as they can possibly be.