1. Introduction

Your newborn will see the pediatrician frequently in the weeks and months following birth, making a relationship much more beneficial. Whether you value having a doctor that will take time to personally answer all your questions or you’d like to ensure that your pediatric clinic can accommodate flexible scheduling, choosing a pediatrician who specializes in newborn care offers benefits that will positively impact your newborn’s health and your first few months as parents. To ensure you’ve chosen the right pediatric clinic, you’ll also want to make sure it has features such as accessible scheduling, extended hours, and emergency care available in medical clinics or hospitals. Be sure to research the pediatric clinic options in your area prior to your due date so that you’re prepared upon your newborn’s arrival.

The days and weeks following the birth of a newborn are often filled with doctor’s appointments to ensure the baby is healthy and thriving. As first-time parents of a newborn, you may wonder what to expect from these appointments and have many questions. What questions should you prepare for these visits if you’re a first-time parent? Keep reading for answers to the most common questions.

1.1. Purpose and Importance of Newborn Doctor Appointments

Newborns are so tiny it is hard to imagine them coming down with those typical newborn illnesses – or any illness – which causes anxious parents to almost hover over their new little one to ensure everything is okay. Well, doctors know these little miracles well and have tailored their advice, dos, don’ts, and appointment guidelines for newborns to ensure that everything does turn out as okay. As first-time parents contemplate taking their little one out into the world for the first time to visit a doctor, it is natural for them to have many questions about the baby’s physical well-being, requirements, and expectations of not only the baby, but what might be expected of them as well.

Hearing the world’s littlest member cry is a sound everyone surrounding that tiny bundle eagerly waits to hear. By the time that baby is born, many first-time parents are experts in the baby basics and eager to learn at home with their new family member. But doctors do not wait long to check in with newborns. First-time parents are often surprised and somewhat overwhelmed at the frequency of doctor appointments they and their newborn are required to attend. Missing these appointments can result in a host of problems, up to and including replacement of the baby in the hospital for unwanted symptoms.

2. Preparing for the First Appointment

What should I expect? How can I prepare? Parents have every reason to be concerned about their newborn’s first doctor appointment, but a large part of the visit will consist of paperwork and asking questions. A lot of these questions are about asking what to expect as your baby grows and any problem areas to watch for. Before you leave the doctor’s office, be sure to ask about the necessary shots or if there are any concerns. Make sure your baby will be maintaining his or her own growth graph. You should get an appointment folder to begin housing your baby’s health information.

As new parents, taking your baby out for the first time can be intimidating. It’s all so new to you and, honestly, taking care of a newborn is scary. Multiplying those feelings of concern is your first pediatrician appointment. Do I have everything together? Are there questions I should be asking? Is everything under control? With your newborn’s first doctor appointment, it’s best to be prepared. Consider these tips and common questions first-time parents may have about their baby’s first trip to the doctor.

2.1. What to Bring

First of all, relaxation should top the list. If the baby is comfortable, if he or she has something to drink, and most importantly, if either parent is relaxed and confident, the doctor’s visits will be a piece of cake. The reason is simple. Only if the parents are calm and confident can a newborn relax and stay relaxed.

It’s usually the things that run through parents’ minds. Do I have to bring my child’s medical records to each visit? And what about changing supplies for the baby? Is carrying the baby in my arms enough? What else do I have to remember and how should I prepare?

Parents and newborns have a long road of appointments ahead of them within the first year after the baby has been born. Being prepared for all of the visits helps ensure that the baby, and parents, are on the right track of growth and well-being. But if it’s your first time, it’s easy to forget exactly what you should be taking with you to these appointments, especially those all-important first doctor’s visits.

2.2. Questions to Ask

1. How long should our labor last? How will our OB doctor know if we or our baby may be in distress? 2. After we go home from the hospital, what newborn appointments should we make for our baby? How soon should our baby be seen after our baby comes home from the hospital? 3. What is an NICU? 4. What is bilirubin for a baby? 5. How do we care for our baby’s umbilical cord – and how do we care for our baby’s belly button – after our baby is born? 6. We’re new to newborn doctor appointments and taking care of a baby. What specific questions should we ask our baby’s doctor at our baby’s first doctor appointment when our baby is a newborn? What information about how to care for our baby after we go home from the hospital should a newborn doctor provide us? 7. We’re new to appointments for a baby. Will our baby’s doctor see our baby’s siblings too? Will our baby’s doctor provide wellness services for our baby’s siblings, to help them stay healthy? 8. We’ve chosen our baby’s doctor. We’re just a bit nervous. What should we bring with us to our baby’s first doctor appointment? Do we need to fill out any forms before we get to our baby’s first appointment? 9. We live in a pollution hotspot. What can we do to help protect our baby from pollution during our pregnancy and after our baby is born? Our baby’s sleep area is less than 10 feet away from an often-busy road. Should we be concerned? 10. We’re new to newborn appointments. Our baby’s skin appeared perfect when our baby was born. But now at one-day-old, our baby has a rash. Our baby’s skin is really red and inflamed. What should we do? What is the rash? Can we do anything to prevent our baby getting a rash? 11. What are hospital vacations? Can we take a vacation from the hospital after our baby is born? What is another term for the practice of taking a vacation from the hospital after our baby is born? 12. When we go to the hospital to deliver our baby, our newborn’s doctor said that the pediatrician does their own hospital rounds at that hospital. Does our baby need to have their first doctor appointment after birth at the pediatrician’s office anyway? How many days after the birth of our baby should we make the first appointment for our baby at the pediatrician’s office? When we leave the hospital after our baby is born, what information from the doctors and nurses do we need to take with us to give to our baby’s doctor? We’re especially worried about information about our baby’s bilirubin levels. What should we ask for?

2.3. How to Find a Pediatrician

The American Academy of Pediatrics website features a tool to help narrow down the search for a pediatrician. Parents can search for pediatricians within a mile radius of where they live, as well as by the languages that the pediatricians and their staff speak. Most pediatric offices also have websites with biographies of their doctors, typically containing information about where they went to college, medical school, who they did their residency with and where, as well as whether or not they are board certified. With this information in hand, parents are doing research and setting up appointments to meet with the pediatricians they are interested in.

New parents coming home from the hospital with a newborn are typically sent home with a sheet of paper with instructions to see a pediatrician within a certain number of days after discharge from the hospital. The lucky ones meet their pediatrician during their hospital stay and are reminded of their appointment day and time, but this doesn’t always happen and many new parents are left scratching their heads! The blanket delivery may be for a number of days after hospital discharge but most babies will have had their first newborn visit in 2-3 days unless there was a medical concern, in which case the baby would be seen in the hospital and then sent home with a specific date for follow-up. During a newborn’s first weeks of life, they will be seen by their doctor more frequently. This schedule of visits is important as it allows your pediatrician to monitor the newborn’s weight and growth, check hearing and vision, and address any questions or concerns the baby’s family may have.

3. Common Concerns and Questions

How often should newborns see the pediatrician? Most newborns have doctor’s appointments at least twice in the first month. Usually, your baby’s pediatrician will want to schedule a follow-up appointment within 48 to 72 hours after being discharged from the hospital, and then a second appointment at around the two-week mark. In addition, the pediatrician will need to see your baby at the one-, two-, four-, six-, nine-, 12-, 15-, 18-, and 24-month marks. For further information about the need for doctor’s appointments and the importance of a newborn’s check-ups, talk to a pediatric clinic, such as Adobe Pediatric Clinic.

What should newborns wear to their first doctor’s appointment? For newborn doctor appointments, parents should dress their baby in comfortable clothes, usually pajamas with feet, that are easy to remove for the physical exam. The baby should also be kept warm. If it is during the colder months, consider using a blanket to keep the baby warm.

When should newborns have their first doctor’s appointment? New parents are often concerned about when they should bring their newborn for the first doctor’s appointment. This will depend on the baby’s health. Some babies have medical conditions or are premature, which means that they will need to see a doctor in the hospital and then again after being discharged. However, most term newborns are healthy and should see the pediatrician within 48 to 72 hours after being discharged from the hospital.

If you’re a new parent with a newborn, you may have some concerns about what types of doctor appointments to get for your baby and when. Here we answer six common questions new parents have about newborn doctor appointments:

3.1. Feeding and Nutrition

If you’re nursing, supplementing with formula should be the last step taken at the end of the nursing session. At first, your baby’s stomach is about the size of a marble. Your milk, being high in calories and nutrients, is perfect for this size tummy. Give your baby time to digest the milk before supplementing. Supplementing can undermine your long-term milk supply because your body interprets this as a low milk supply and makes less milk. Similarly, ending a feeding session early to decrease the length of feedings can cause less milk to be made. In some cases, the feeding can be supplemented without nursing. After you nurse, you can give a small amount of the bottle so that your baby can get this milk while you pump your breasts. This is another way of ensuring that you produce the amount of milk that you need. You can do this for several feedings, such as the feeding when you are nursing.

Newborn babies need to eat about every two to three hours. A newborn should be woken up for feeding if three to four hours have passed since the last feeding. Your baby will likely take between two and three ounces every three hours. Always hold your baby when feeding. If you are nursing, eight to 12 feedings in a 24-hour period is normal. If you’re formula feeding, six to eight feedings a day is normal. A feeding is considered adequate when your baby eats but is satisfied after feeding. This is usually in 20 to 30 minutes. He or she should appear content and have satisfied signs such as a relaxed body, ending the feeding on their own terms, and having the hands open. Feeding as frequently as your baby desires will help to establish the best milk supply.

3.2. Sleeping Patterns and Routines

Coming home from the hospital can be overwhelming for many parents of newborns. In addition to caring for an infant, parents must also deal with many new responsibilities and rely on a variety of medical professionals. It’s essential for guardians of newborns to know what to expect and what may differ about those all-important check-ups before starting doctor visits for their newborn.

There are several practices parents may follow to assist promote good sleep. A solid feeding and play sequence revolving around naps can make naps simpler to initiate and sustain. During the day, making a distinction between night and day can assist to promote the right sleep patterns. Open curtains, go about regular, easy activities, and maintain them alert for short period of time during the day. While stillness and less conversation at night is a sign that it’s time to sleep. A baby is known by this. She will understand, in due time, that night is perfect for sleeping. This will occur naturally in time, it is essential to have patience as babies need to adapt to this rhythm.

Sleeping patterns and routines are essential for parents when it comes to keeping them relaxed and ensuring they get the sleep they need. Newborns nap by nature, with the majority slumbering 16 to 17 hours each day. Around 8 to 9 during the day and 7 to 8 overnight is usual. They can sleep a lengthier stretch at night, around four hours, by the time a baby is around two months. And start going through the night, in stretches of then five or six hours, by the time a baby is four months. Of course, each phase is different and may be in each.

3.3. Developmental Milestones

Developmental milestones are behaviors or physical traits seen in babies when they reach a certain age. After babies are born, they make changes in a lot of things every day. With their bones, skin, speaking, sleeping, etc., it may give many questions for us and occur some anxieties. Since every baby is a little different, it’s possible that your baby will reach developmental landmarks before or after other babies her same age. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s development, write them down and be sure the doctor knows so he or she can check them out. The doctor’s job is to monitor your baby’s growth and development to find signs of possible problems. When your baby reaches developmental things, such as smiling or picking up objects, at the right age, it’s one sign of good health. So be sure to include it in the list of things you discuss with the doctor at those appointments during the first year. If your baby is developing well, you and the doctor with your baby have the important progress.

Between the ages of one and twelve months, your baby is developing at a whirlwind pace and will need the regular guidance of his or her doctor. Your baby’s regular pediatric doctor visits will probably start two to three days after you go home from the hospital. The general schedule begins with well-baby checkups around two weeks later, at two to four weeks, two, four, six, nine, and twelve months. It is important for first-time parents to bring their baby to these visits so the doctor can do a full physical examination, chart his or her developmental milestones, and provide you with new instructions. This is also a good time to ask questions about your baby’s development. Some of these visits are where we tackle the issues concerning vaccinations. Also, observe your baby and keep track of any changes in general health, and discuss them with the doctor at these appointments as they come up.

4. Vaccinations and Immunizations

Vaccines work by helping the body fight disease faster. Children come in contact with germs (bacteria and viruses) every day, such as from the environment, from food, or from touching other people or things. Some germs are more likely to cause diseases than others. The first times that most children meet and fight a germ, it is for real. Antibodies take time to develop. If the child is exposed to that germ for the second time, the immune system fights the germ hard enough and fast enough that the child does not get sick. It is natural and healthy to get sick and to come in contact with germs. Vaccines contain pieces of the germ, so they cannot cause the disease. Some vaccines only have pieces of the outer jacket of the germ or the protein that makes up the jacket. Some vaccines contain pieces of the germ itself. When the body meets these pieces or pieces, the body’s immune system thinks it is the real thing. So the body fights hard the first time the child meets the germ after a vaccine, as if it were the second time. So if the child comes in contact with the real germ, it is not likely to catch the disease. In either case, some memory of the germ remains like an army reserve. In your child’s body remains immune cells that call in a full attack if they ever recognize the real piece of germ again. This explains why vaccinated kids do not come down with the diseases we vaccinate against – they are able to eliminate the germs in a day or two, instead of our traditional 7-10 days. This makes the actual disease far less severe. On the other hand, not all germs cause diseases, and not all germs that cause diseases will react to antibiotics, but germ-fighting antibodies and vaccines remain effective.

Q: What are the common reactions to the shots? A: Each child is unique. While some children may have no reaction to the shots, others may become irritable and have a mild fever the night of the shots or the day after. Redness, warmth, and swelling at the injection sites are not uncommon. Gently massaging the injection sites and giving the first dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol® or Tempra®) may alleviate some of these symptoms. The common side effects of the newer (acellular) pertussis vaccine include brief irritability and fever with or without lethargy in about 1% and swelling and redness at the injection site in about 25% of children. The Hib vaccine may cause tenderness and redness at the site, and the Pneumococcal vaccine can cause redness and swelling.

Q: Are there vaccines, shots, or liquid given at check-ups? A: In the past, most vaccines for infants came in liquid form and were given orally. Now, most of these vaccines have been replaced by injections. Generally, your baby will receive the new liquid Rota-Teq at 2, 4, and 6 months and the new oral polio vaccine at all visits. With older children, these have also been replaced by acts. When liquid oral vaccines are necessary, we will let you know.

Q: When does my baby get his first vaccinations? A: Generally, we start at 2 months of life with the first DTaP, IPV (the injected form of the smallpox vaccination is no longer given), and Hib (haemophilus influenzae) vaccines. See tc. 2-4 for a complete schedule.

4.1. Schedule and Importance

Pediatric care should start not after the baby is brought home in his new outfits with the family in to celebrate, but actually months before the baby arrives. The responsibility of the pediatrician encompasses a lot more than just checking the baby’s general health. The baby’s health isn’t just about the function of every tiny part of the human body. These check-ups include counseling the mother about feeding and instructing her in ways to create a safe, clean, and stimulating environment for her child. Your pediatrician is the best person to consult with on picking the type of delivery that is best for you and on events that should be avoided or handled during delivery in order to ensure a safe and healthy arrival for your precious baby.

Prenatal care is more important than ever. As the medical world learns more about how to protect both mother and baby, regular checkups are more important now than ever before. Scheduling a regular medical visit early in a possible pregnancy assures a safer delivery and protects you and your baby. While it only seems natural for the family to call an obstetrician when planning a baby birth, a special kind of doctor may also be needed – a doctor for the baby himself.

5. Conclusion

Breathe a sigh of relief as you have finished the process of finding a doctor for your baby, your insurance is sorted, and the referrals are ready. The hard work is over, right? Yes, it is a major accomplishment, but from personal experience, I can tell you that new patients usually have to wait weeks, turn in paperwork before the visit, anticipate filling out more paperwork at the visit, and arrive a bit early to learn the next batch of information. Topics that are addressed frequently include the importance of well-baby doctor appointments, what you can do to prepare for the first infant checkup, what to expect from a well-baby checkup, who the “pediatrician” is and what you can expect from future doctor appointments, how long you should continue to visit the doctor regularly, and if it’s necessary to find a baby doctor who is “near me” in an emergency.

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