1. Introduction

You’re pregnant! You’re likely already taking good care of yourself and your developing baby. It’s never too early to start thinking about your baby’s health! When should your baby first be examined by a doctor? Even if your baby was previously seen by a pediatric nurse practitioner or a midwife, your baby should be examined by a pediatrician within the first few days of life. Most newborns are seen in-hospital by a pediatrician within 48-72 hours after birth, when they are ready to go home. The baby is brought to a doctor’s office for the first office visit within 2-3 days after going home. All babies have a follow-up visit with a doctor within 48-72 hours after breast milk comes in. The timing of these visits can vary depending on the baby’s health and medical history.

Taking care of a newborn is a big job, one that starts well before the baby is born. Visits to a pediatrician start in the first few days of life. In this article, we talk to Lyla Correoso, MD and Sheila Mulrooney, DO, two pediatricians with CHA’s Primary Care practice in Somerville. Dr. Correoso is the South Zone Medical Director for the practice, and Dr. Mulrooney has a special interest in weight management and obesity prevention. Together, they answer some common questions about hospital visits for newborns.

1.1. Purpose of Newborn Doctor Visits

The process of getting your baby comfortable with the doctor begins on day one. At home, you’ll want to make sure your child has a newborn screening within 24 hours after your baby is born and your baby’s first visit with the doctor within 24-72 hours after birth. Between visits, watch your baby for signs of illness or other problems. If you notice anything unusual, always call your baby’s doctor right away.

The doctor will suggest you bring your newborn in for a weight check every day when they are first born. The purpose of the frequent appointments is to make sure your baby is gaining weight and that your infant’s weight loss is low. Once your baby has regained his or her birth weight, your doctor may suggest coming in for regular well-child visits at around 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 9 months or 1 day. Making periodic visits with your child’s doctor is important during these first nine months of life,” said Rachel Drake, CNM, Irvington Community Health Center. “We’re not there just to keep your baby up to date on necessary vaccines, but we will be monitoring to make sure your baby is growing, developing, and thriving.”

2. What to Expect During Newborn Doctor Visits

Below is a list of the most important times your baby should be seen by your doctor before he or she is 1-month-old, and also what to expect at each visit. It is very important that you bring your baby for these visits. These are times when they will receive vaccines to help prevent a lot of dangerous infections. If they are not vaccinated on time, they can become very sick and end up in the hospital. If your baby has special health care needs and is in the NICU or cared for by a specialist, be sure to talk to your baby’s pediatrician about when to schedule their newborn visits. Some babies with certain health problems need to be seen more often shortly after they go home.

After your baby is born, a doctor will check your baby to make sure he is healthy and growing well at a few different times before he is 1-month old. These visits are designed to give you the support you need to care for your newborn and to help catch any possible health problems early on. A doctor will check the baby’s weight, length, head size, and overall health. On these visits, you will also be asked about your baby’s feeding schedule, wet and dirty diapers, and sleep habits. After the first month, visits start to be spread out over a longer time.

2.1. Frequency of Visits

First-time parents have a lot of questions about what they should expect as their baby grows. One of the first things they need to know is about their newborn’s doctor visits. There are always questions galore – and no shortage of anxiety in making sure everything is “right.” Read on for the answers to the frequently asked questions about newborn doctor visits. Before you leave the hospital after giving birth, your pediatrician will let you know when to make your first appointment. You may be asked to “check in” within a few days and then return again within a week – as in the case of some premature babies who are specially monitored to ensure they are feeding and gaining weight. Be sure to check with your pediatrician when you do not receive information about your baby’s first visit from another care provider such as a discharge nurse. After that, babies will have frequent visits in the early years, but the first year of life is when your baby is seen most often.

3. Common Concerns and Questions

New parents also need to be familiar with a baby’s normal behavior cycles. This knowledge can save sleepless parents a lot of unnecessary stress. It is at these visits where a trusted pediatrician can be a valuable resource. Expect to receive a brand new parent manual and confidence that the baby is doing well. Your doctor should always be willing to answer any and all questions about the appearance and behavior of your new baby. And parents should not be shy; expecting questions about some seemingly odd baby behaviors can be expected and answered with no judgment. The first few months of your baby’s life can be filled with anxiety and a bit more confusion than expected. Your pediatrician will be a good educator and easy to reach, if a bit hard to reach the first time around.

Main concern 1: What if I have questions based on my child’s behavior or physical appearance? Every parent knows that newborns arrive with physical characteristics that can be alarming if not expected. Splotchy skin, swollen genitals or eyelids from the birthing process, and different skin tones are all common causes for concern. It is comforting to know that these physical appearances are perfectly normal. If you are concerned, though, it is always best to bring the worry to your pediatrician. With regular baby doctor visits, no question or worry is too small, and all concerns will be thoroughly checked out and addressed.

3.1. Vaccinations

Depending on the virus or bacteria that the vaccine is protecting your baby from, some vaccines require a series of doses over time. Other vaccines require a series of doses to be given a few months apart, followed by a “booster” dose given later to provide long-term immunity. After the vaccine series is complete, some vaccines provide long-term protection without the need for a booster. To make sure your baby is protected, it’s very important to get their vaccines on time. Make sure to keep a record of the vaccines your baby receives at each newborn doctor visit, including the date, the name of the vaccine, and the healthcare provider who gave it to them.

Your baby needs vaccines at several newborn doctor visits during their first year to protect them against 14 serious diseases. These diseases are harmful and sometimes deadly. For example, vaccines protect your baby from diseases like whooping cough, measles, and hepatitis.

You’ve probably heard that vaccines are important for protecting your baby from harmful diseases. That’s because vaccines help your baby’s immune system recognize and fight off viruses and bacteria that cause those diseases. Babies need vaccines to protect them when they’re the most vulnerable. When they’re very young, their immune systems aren’t ready for exposure to the germs, so vaccines “teach” their immune systems to recognize the germs later on.

4. Tips for Making the Most of Newborn Doctor Visits

If your baby’s weighing is less than the usual number of times in the first month after birth, your pediatrician may give you a schedule for weight checks in pediatrics that is more tailored to your baby’s needs. It is our hope common questions that help you to feel prepared for your time with Dr. Oliver and the medical team at our office. Attend each appointment with a prepared parent and use your newborn doctor’s visits as a way to gain knowledge and a better understanding of your new baby, and the experience of becoming a parent. In the beginning when babies see us regularly you will have the opportunity to pick your pediatrician’s brains and ask us any questions that arise about parenting, infant feeding, family nutrition, and newborn sleep after you return home.

When preparing for your child’s first and early newborn doctor visits, it’s important to come with questions and concerns. If you’re thinking about your child’s and family’s long-term well-being, attending your new pediatric office frequently to make sure your child is growing as expected, remaining healthy, and giving your family the help and guidance needed for a positive parenting experience. Over the course of your baby’s first few months of life, you’ll find that there are often common themes and questions that new parents have, and we want to help you prepare for your visits and get the most out of each appointment at our pediatric office.

4.1. Preparing for the Appointment

– What is the ideal schedule for immunizations, and are the vaccines stored correctly? – What feeding plan is recommended for the baby? – When should the next visit be scheduled? – What is the expected average weight gain per week? – What are the developmental stages the baby will experience during the next visit? – What are some signs to look for as indicators that the baby is sick? – Does the doctor have an advice hotline? – What kind of baby products does the doctor recommend? – What is the expected range of normal bowel movement frequency?

Infants will visit their pediatricians many times during their first year of life. The first visit usually occurs during the first week after the infant is discharged from the hospital. Families may want to develop a set of questions they ask at each visit. Examples include:

5. Conclusion

The basic schedule will require the first two days to be spent in the current hospital. The parent should then visit a local pediatrician within the next two days, followed by a visit at 3-5 days. Further visits will occur at 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and several at 12 months, and then about once each year after the 12-month visit. The checkup is more for the mother or parent because it is important that all members in the same family are healthy too. Keep in mind that if there are further complications, the hospital or pediatrician will want to see the newborn before the next scheduled visit. Cleanliness in handling your newborn is also a vital part of attending these doctor’s visits. After the newborn is released to go home and prior to the visits, the parents or guardian should keep the newborn covered and safe from any sudden illnesses. Hand washing, stocking up on cleaning supplies, asking any questions that they might have for their pediatricians are several steps that the parent or guardian can do to help calm any fears that they might have.

Any parent would have a ton of questions and may even be filled with a bit of anxiety about taking their newborn to the doctor’s office for the first time after leaving the hospital. It is a pretty big shock to be thrust into a world where your infant is no longer in a sterile hospital environment with the supervision and care of private nurses. However, between the time you can take your newborn home from the hospital to the time you finally take them to their first doctor’s visit, they are still susceptible to various different complications, germs, and illnesses. It is important to get your newborn in for a checkup, outside of any hospital, within a certain amount of time after you leave the hospital with your child. Checking with your hospital or doctor about this crucial appointment time will be the first step. They are usually very good about reminding new parents and have several resources to guide the parent or guardian along.

Curious for more? Visit us for additional information!


Health Organization, W. “WHO recommendations on maternal and newborn care for a positive postnatal experience.” 2022. google.com

, T. and , 2020 “… Mother Care initiated immediately after birth (iKMC) on survival of newborns with birth weight between 1.0 to< 1.8 kg: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.” Springer, . springer.com

Radu, M. C., Boeru, C., Marin, M., and Manolescu, L. S. “SARS-CoV-2 infection in seven childbearing women at the moment of delivery, a Romanian experience.” Cureus, 2021. cureus.com

Spatz, Diane Lynn, and Elizabeth B. Froh. “Birth and breastfeeding in the hospital setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.” MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing 46.1 (2021): 30-35. [HTML]

Mulkey, Sarah B., et al. “Neurodevelopment in infants with antenatal or early neonatal exposure to SARS-CoV-2.” Early human development 175 (2022): 105694. [HTML]

Saiman, Lisa, et al. Infection prevention and control for labor and delivery, well baby nurseries, and neonatal intensive care units.” Seminars in Perinatology. Vol. 44. No. 7. WB Saunders, 2020. nih.gov

Mekonnen, D., , M. T., and Worku, W. Congenital anomalies among newborn babies in Felege-Hiwot comprehensive specialized referral hospital, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.” Scientific Reports, 2021. nature.com

Woday Tadesse, A., Mekuria Negussie, Y., and Aychiluhm, S. B. “Neonatal mortality and its associated factors among neonates admitted at public hospitals, pastoral region, Ethiopia: a health facility based study.” PloS one, 2021. plos.org

Young, Leslie W., et al. “Eat, sleep, console approach or usual care for neonatal opioid withdrawal.” New England Journal of Medicine 388.25 (2023): 2326-2337. nejm.org

Stuebe, Alison M., et al. “Consensus bundle on postpartum care basics: from birth to the comprehensive postpartum visit.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 137.1 (2021): 33-40. [HTML]