1. Introduction

Preparing for your baby’s first checkup can be stressful, parents especially tend to stress about the first doctor visit. What questions should I ask our pediatrician? What should I be looking for in a newborn doctor? Today we’ll give you a cheat sheet, so to speak, of roughly what to expect with your newborn’s first doctor visits, based on what is standard practice and guidelines set by the AAP and the AAFP. There is variability from pediatrician to pediatrician, and this is a good time to set the stage for practicing good communication and building a strong partnership with your child’s doctor. So don’t hesitate to ask questions about if and why something is done, or how you can do it.

Bringing home a new baby is one of the most exciting times in a parent’s life. But it can also be overwhelming. Don’t worry, taking your baby to the doctor is a routine that will become easier as the years go by. Parents and babies start to quiz the pediatrician from the moment the initial pediatrician pass down and you’re left alone in the hospital with your little critter. Let’s talk about what the newborn exam entails and how to prepare.

1.1. Significance of the First Doctor Visit

If you have never had a baby before, it is essential to learn when and why the first doctor visit is crucial. Even if it is not your first time to have a baby, you need to be prepared as well. If you do not understand the importance of this meeting, you may accidentally let some of the necessary checks slip. In the worst-case scenarios, you may even skip it altogether. At this visit, the doctor will conduct your baby’s first critical health checks to ensure they meet all the necessary requirements. Not only is it crucial for monitoring their growth and development, partly as a check-up, but also it is very crucial for understanding the strengths of their abilities and obtain advice that suits the truth. Under no circumstances should you even think of skipping this critical family experience.

Having a baby is one of the most remarkable events in any person’s life. To ensure their physical well-being, it is essential to schedule the first visit to the doctor soon after the baby’s birth. Do not worry, though. This guide has all the necessary information to help you prepare for the visit without any hassles.

2. Choosing the Right Pediatrician

It is best to start deciding which pediatrician to choose at the beginning of the third trimester of your pregnancy. This should give you enough time to find potential candidates, arrange for meet and greet consultations and hopefully, make up your mind. Remember that although this is to some extent a satisfying process, the choice should end on a professional who can offer your baby the best care. Ideally, with the pediatrician, you should be looking for someone with whom you can have a friendly and professional relationship. Someone who is a good communicator and makes time for discussion. Attentiveness is also very important, as are modest attitudes and beliefs. And while it’s definitely a plus factor if the pediatrician is seriously humorous and warm, it’s important that he or she is serious and dedicated to the welfare of your newborn as well.

As first-time expecting parents, there are a lot of things to consider and prepare for your newborn’s arrival. And one important decision to make is the choice of a pediatrician. While some parents may tackle this by waiting until after the baby’s birth, it is very beneficial to have a pediatrician ready by the time you arrive home with your newborn. This is not only convenient but allows the pediatrician to provide essential guidance during your delivery. This guide should help you decide on the right pediatrician and prepare yourself and your baby for your baby’s first pediatrician visit.

2.1. Factors to Consider

If you have a preference, decide on the type of newborn healthcare provider before the baby is due. The providers that may be available at different locations include pediatricians, which are generally associated with medical clinics and medical facilities; family practitioners, which generally work in medical clinics and may have privileges at hospitals; obstetricians and certified nurse midwives, who may provide care for newborns because of the newborn’s relationship with the mother during pregnancy; and some naturopathic physicians (ND). Young people tend to benefit from having a main healthcare provider who can take care of them until they are 18 to 21 years of age. The best and healthiest relationships are based on open communication. Family choices for healthcare should be respected, although there may be instances when the choices might be questioned. Consider the physical location of the healthcare provider and the preferred healthcare surrounding. Do you want the healthcare provider to care for you as well?

There are many factors to consider when deciding on the best healthcare provider for your baby, including the birth experience, insurance coverage, availability of healthcare providers, and what type of healthcare providers you prefer. Depending on where the baby is born and who provides delivery of the baby—at the hospital with an obstetrician, midwife, or doula, or during your home birth with a midwife and perhaps a doula—family decisions may differ. However, the important thing to remember is that the baby will need healthcare at some point regardless of the type of provider delivering the baby. The decision to seek care immediately or within a few days is generally discussed by the healthcare provider delivering the baby. Most maternity facilities provide the opportunity to be seen by a pediatrician or healthcare provider before the baby is discharged from the hospital.

3. Gathering Necessary Documents

Take the vaccination paper from the birth hospital as well. A nursery doctor will check whether new babies have received their first vaccinations. If not, he will ask the baby to wear it as soon as possible. Newborn babies are prone to infection. Doctors are also advised to take the drinking symbol from the baby. This drinking card is necessary as it may contain some useful information for the baby’s treatment.

Since almost all parents will bring their baby to a nursery doctor to check their baby’s health, it’s necessary to prepare all documents that are related to the pregnancy process. If there is one channel that is used for every process, it’s easier for the regulator to track the background of resort parents and to take action when inevitable things happen to the baby. Bring all the documents related to a mother with her during childbirth. The first document needed is the pregnancy history. This pregnancy document should be obtained from the hospital where the baby was born. Doctors usually ask for the mother’s antenatal card. Associations provide the drinking card by the expectant mother’s hospital during pregnancy. Besides the pregnancy history report, parents should show the information card for kids. A birth card is also important to tell doctors when the baby was born and his weight. With this information, a nursery doctor can assess whether the baby is growing at a good rate or an irregular rate.

3.1. Insurance Information and Health Records

Another necessity for the first pediatric appointment is proof of insurance and proper identification. Most practices will require a copy of the insurance card as well as proper identification for the parent or guardian. Besides the insurance information, it is also essential to make your baby’s health records accessible right away. Therefore, you should bring a copy of the baby’s hospital records and any newborn serology results with you to the appointment. Furthermore, you may need to bring identification to show the receptionist when you arrive for your first appointment.

In terms of completing the initial paperwork at the pediatrician’s office, a majority of practices have their forms on their website. However, if you prefer to have them in-hand and also file them away in your new baby’s folder or book, you may want to contact the office and briefly pop by to grab them. Also, if you are really eager, try to get the pediatrician’s phone and fax numbers prior to the visit. This way, if anything happens at the last minute, you can get in contact with the right people more quickly.

Before you go to the hospital, call your insurance provider to add your baby to your policy. Be sure to ask how long you have to do this and if there are additional fees or paperwork to fill out. Also, ask them if there are any special instructions you need to follow, such as pre-authorization of certain newborn procedures.

4. Preparing for the Appointment

Use Your Time Wisely: With a new baby, it’s all about timing. You’ll most likely have to be out the door within a twelve-hour window of your last feeding and that’s not accounting for how long it will take you to get to the pediatrician’s office baby in car seat. To ease your mind and make your appointment even more productive, send an email with your inquiries ahead of your visit. This extra step allows the pediatrician time to respond thoroughly instead of answering super cautiously just so you don’t feel rushed. Inquiring ahead also gives the pediatrician some time to think about any topics to discuss and they might notice something in the baby’s medical record from the hospital visit that you both can discuss in person.

The First Visit: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborns have their first doctor’s visit two to three days after they are discharged from the hospital, and checkups are usually scheduled at two weeks, two months, four months, six months, nine months, and twelve months. If all is going well, the next appointment will be at eighteen months—no shots at baby’s fifteen-month appointment. The two best tips we heard are to not schedule your first appointment during their first feeding of the day and to act like you have all the time in the world so you don’t stress if you’re running late.

We surveyed pediatricians to find out how new parents can get the most out of their baby’s first doctor appointment. From having a longer list of questions to what to expect when it comes to baby’s poop (so much about poop—it’s their favorite topic), here are some things to know to help prepare for and get the most out of your first visit to the pediatrician.

4.1. What to Bring

Absolutely bring a diaper bag or a bag with a few diapers, baby wipes, a blanket to swaddle your baby with, pacifier if you use one, an extra outfit or two, a toy to entertain the baby, food for the baby and water bottle for yourself unless you are breastfeeding. It doesn’t hurt to bring yourself a snack either. Be sure to bring a copy of your insurance card for the doctor’s office, too.

There are a few essentials that you’ll want to gather up when you go to your baby’s doctor appointment. Have your baby’s health records or card from the hospital to share with the doctor. If you haven’t received them, perhaps bring a notepad and written list of questions or concerns. Bringing them can help you get the most out of your time with the doctor. You are certain to think of questions during your visit, but if you forget to ask one, jot it down to ask next time.

5. During the Visit

As you prepare for his check-up, it’s important that you have your child’s health records on hand since the beginning dates a very important information the doctor will take into account as they assess your baby. Before you leave, make sure you understand the results of the visit completely. Those websites can be incredibly helpful resources if you have any questions after your visit. After your check-up, you should make a note of your next check-up and leave the pediatrician’s office with different sources. The establishment you choose to raise your child will be one that you will frequently visit. Therefore, you need to ensure that you take every step to make your experience as comfortable as possible. The various trials and tribulations of your baby’s first visit will become a distant memory, but your child will continue to be a patient at this doctor’s office for a very long time.

The visit is an opportunity to meet your baby’s doctor and receive advice about caring for your infant. It’s also a great time to have any questions you may have about raising an infant answered. For first-time parents, there are so many things you need to learn and know. I assure you, there’s no such thing as a silly question. The nurse will weigh your baby, measure his length, head size, and take his temperature. The doctor will ask you several questions about how you’ve been caring for your baby and how she has been eating, sleeping, or any patterns you may have noticed at home. They will also ensure that your baby is growing and developing properly. One of the best parts about going to a pediatrician is a sense of continuity in care. Each time you have your baby’s check-up, the same doctor, the same nurse, and the same staff that, however, that really is invested in your family’s well-being are there to welcome you.

5.1. Key Questions to Ask

Find out the doctor’s policies: these could include how and when to contact the office with questions. The office may have longer hours for advice by phone. Many pediatricians encourage patients to call with questions or problems before going to an urgent care center (it might save you money by avoiding a visit to the expensive urgent care center). Ask what symptoms after hours might be considered a true emergency and could require a visit to the emergency room. Also, see if examples of common problems like fever, vomiting, ear infection, cough, or wheezing are taken care of. Remember one thing: don’t call to just ask questions that can wait until the office is open again (when it will be more convenient and less expensive).

If your baby seems to be developing perfectly and has no medical issues, your pediatrician’s first visit with your newborn may be your only visit in the first month. This means you will receive a lot of information all at once, so come prepared. Be sure to bring any important personal information about your newborn (including important things about their health and medical history), questions to ask, and take good notes for future help.

Ready to dive deeper? Visit us for more information!


Long, Christina M., et al. Factors influencing pediatric emergency department visits for low-acuity conditions.” Pediatric Emergency Care 37.5 (2021): 265-268. [HTML]

Foster, Carolyn C., et al. “Emergency care connect: extending pediatric emergency care expertise to general emergency departments through telemedicine.” Academic pediatrics 20.5 (2020): 577-584. [HTML]

Kim, Ji Won, et al. “Implementation of a pediatric emergency telemedicine program.” Pediatric Emergency Care 36.2 (2020): e104-e107. [HTML]

Nicholson, Emma, et al. “Factors that influence family and parental preferences and decision making for unscheduled paediatric healthcare–systematic review.” BMC health services research 20 (2020): 1-23. springer.com

Philipsborn, Rebecca Pass, et al. “A pediatrician’s guide to climate change-informed primary care.” Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care 51.6 (2021): 101027. sciencedirect.com

Schweiberger, Kelsey, et al. “Practice-level variation in telemedicine use in a pediatric primary care network during the COVID-19 pandemic: retrospective analysis and survey study.” Journal of medical internet research 22.12 (2020): e24345. jmir.org

Annis, Tucker, et al. “Rapid implementation of a COVID-19 remote patient monitoring program.” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 27.8 (2020): 1326-1330. nih.gov

Simon, Brett A., et al. “Association between electronic patient symptom reporting with alerts and potentially avoidable urgent care visits after ambulatory cancer surgery.” JAMA surgery 156.8 (2021): 740-746. jamanetwork.com

Coolen, Ester, et al. “The use of SBAR as a structured communication tool in the pediatric non-acute care setting: bridge or barrier for interprofessional collaboration?.” Journal of interprofessional care (2020): 1-10. tandfonline.com

Ray, K. N., Gitz, K. M., Hu, A., Davis, A. A., and Miller, E. “Nonresponse to health-related social needs screening questions.” Pediatrics, 2020. [HTML]