Your baby doesn’t have to be sick to visit your pediatrician’s office in the first months of life. Newborn care visits are an opportunity for your pediatrician to examine your baby’s overall wellness rather than focusing on the cause of a specific problem.
The goals of a newborn care visit are to monitor growth and development, promote health, identify and treat problems at their earliest stages, and support new parents in taking care of their child’s physical and intellectual development. By following the recommended schedule of newborn care visits, you can ensure that your baby has the best possible start to a healthy life.
What to expect during a newborn care visit
The structure of a newborn care visit is relatively consistent with the well-child visits that your child will receive through their teens. We begin with a discussion about your child’s eating and sleeping habits, behavior, and changes that you’ve observed.
A thorough physical examination is performed with age-appropriate screenings for common medical issues and developmental milestones. This may include observation of your baby’s ability to make eye contact, smile, and hold their head without support.
Other aspects of the physical examination typically include:
- Measurement of weight, length, and head circumference
- Observation of hearing, vision, and reflexes
- Examination of fontanels (soft spots on your baby’s head)
- Assessment of heart and lung function
- Skin check for rashes and jaundice
- Examination of your newborn’s abdomen, genital area, limbs, and hips
Beginning with your first newborn visit, your baby will start the recommended schedule of vaccinations to ensure that they’re protected from diseases as soon as possible.
Recommended schedule of newborn care visits
By the time you visit us for your newborn’s first office appointment, your baby has already been examined numerous times since birth. Your first office visit is a continuation of these initial evaluations and care.
Our office follows the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) schedule of recommended well-child exams. However, if your newborn has a medication condition or a high risk of developing one, their schedule of visits may differ to include more frequent monitoring.
The AAP guidelines begin with the first newborn care visit scheduled in the first week of life. After that, most healthy newborns have well-child visits at the following ages:
- 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 2 years (24 months)
- 2½ years (30 months)
- Annually from ages 3-21
The number of newborn care visits aligns with the tremendous amount of growth and development that occurs during the earliest years. Frequent physical examinations at this stage can help us identify and evaluate problems so treatment can begin as early as possible for the best outcomes.
Why it’s important to schedule newborn care visits
In addition to promoting disease prevention and early intervention, a newborn care visit provides a valuable opportunity for Dr. Satran to address your questions about your newborn’s health and development. This conversation can help reassure and educate you about areas of concern.
Dr. Satran also reviews ways to avoid unintentional injuries, which rank as the leading cause of death for children in the United States. For newborns, this includes helping new parents understand proper car seat use and the importance of back sleeping to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Your baby’s newborn visit is the start of a continuity of care that can extend into early adulthood. Continuity of care with us can promote improved clinical outcomes and fewer emergency department visits as opposed to fragmented care delivered by multiple providers treating acute conditions.
Scheduling your baby’s newborn care visit as advised is the best way to help your child live the healthiest life possible. To schedule, request an appointment online or call our office in Pomona, New York.