1. Introduction

You may have just taken your baby home from the hospital, or you may be getting close to your due date. Either way, take a few minutes to read up on why your newborn doctor visits are so important. Even if you are a parent of many, you might learn something new. We’ve got a lot to cover, including when your baby should go to their first appointment, how to prepare for the visit, what to expect from both the doctor and your baby, and what will happen during each check-up. No second guessing: start on the right foot by ensuring your baby is as healthy as can be.

You know what matters for your baby – and you do whatever it takes to make sure they are taken care of. But parents who are eager to keep their new arrivals safe and healthy might not be aware of just how important those first few appointments with the doctor are, particularly in the first month of a baby’s life. Going to every appointment with your baby sets them up for a lifetime of good health. Newborn doctor visits are a great way for parents to have peace of mind about their baby’s health and development, and it is also a time when you can ask all sorts of questions about caring for your baby.

1.1. Purpose and Scope of the Blog

The importance of newborn visits is defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for well-child care of newborns as early, frequent, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, and compassionate. The first visit should occur within 3 to 5 days of hospital discharge. At this visit, the healthcare professional should assess the baby for signs of jaundice, feeding and weight gain, and other common problems. Breastfeeding mothers need frequent follow-up in the newborn period to evaluate the newborn’s weight gain and feeding, assess for maternal complications, and provide reassurance and support. To meet these goals, breastfed newborns should have contact with a healthcare professional on Day of Life (DOL) 3 and with a lactation consultant on or before DOL 5. These visits allow assessment of the infant for feeding jaundice and provide reassurance and support to the mother as she begins her breastfeeding experience.

The first weeks of a baby’s life are the most important time for the baby’s health. Despite the importance of doctor visits during these first weeks, one in eight newborns in the United States do not have a recommended appointment with a healthcare professional between hospital discharge and the age of 3 weeks. The purpose of this blog is to explain to both parents and healthcare providers the short- and long-term importance of prompt newborn visits, as well as to provide a framework for implementing prompt newborn visits in the primary care setting.

2. The Significance of Newborn Doctor Visits

It is important that babies’ first office visits are scheduled soon after birth and at regular intervals thereafter. First visits for well newborns should take place during the first week of life, preferably 3 to 5 days after birth. This first visit is an opportunity to provide the family with critical wellness and anticipatory guidance, especially relative to local medical homes. It may be the first professional contact parents have with a medical home and their last pre-labor opportunity for family education. It may also be either the maternal or newborn provider’s last opportunity to evaluate and treat neonatal health problems which the prior provider missed, or could safely manage post-hospital discharge. Upon discharge from the hospital, mothers with a history of preterm birth have a 28% higher incidence of pneumonia, sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, and sepsis risk factors that preclude admission to the well newborn nursery. These risks add merit to the importance of office visits, screenings, and well visits and justify the increased frequency of engagement for this high-need population.

Your baby’s first doctor visit is within the first 28 days after birth. Less than 40% of low-risk, well newborns receive the recommended number of office visits, and 18% do not receive any visits, despite the fact that most Medicaid-enrolled infants receive comprehensive care services, including office visits. These newborn doctor visits play a critical part in assuring that babies receive comprehensive medical and social evaluations.

2.1. Key Role in Early Detection of Health Issues

Yet the added value of the visit in this respect is minimal when pediatricians answer questions by phone or when teaching newborn care principles in the hospital setting is sufficiently comprehensive. The value of newborn visits is potentially much greater if pediatricians do more to guide future parental development. Promptly diagnosing problems, using diagnostic tests judiciously, and providing education and reassurance are early opportunities for pediatricians to establish a working partnership with the baby’s guardians. Although new mothers often and understandably have their minds on their own well-being, new fathers sometimes dismiss or downplay their own physical complaints and, in the process, may deprive pediatrician and new family of a unique and important opportunity. As a more general rule, the importance for pediatricians to screen for depression in men as well as women is underscored by growing recognition of its substantial prevalence and negative effects on children.

Despite the importance of the content of the visits, research has shown that the main contribution of newborn doctor visits may be their role in the early detection of health issues. In a generally healthy population, primary well-child care is designed to provide immunizations and address parental and child concerns, but evidence from the area of pediatric office visits suggests that the most common reason for a visit long before age twelve is an illness. Newborn visits are no exception. Immersion experiences mentioned earlier show that a key benefit of newborn visits is the education for parents or parent surrogates provided by pediatricians when they have opportunities to address specific learning needs or questions related to the health of their infant, which is not unlike the description of why parents rate education as the most important content when their infants need care in general pediatric settings.

2.2. Establishing a Relationship with Healthcare Providers

It’s common for new parents to have many questions about newborn health and caring for their babies. After all, you want to make sure you can do everything you can to give your baby a great start in life. Before, during, and after visits, parents can ask questions about their baby, changes they see, and tips on things like feeding, sleep, and growth and development. Over time, parents will see how a strong relationship with their pediatric healthcare providers provides support and peace of mind. A doctor who sees your baby at each visit can answer questions you have, help you recognize important health changes, show respect for your baby, and explain what to expect, so you can feel confident in caring for your baby between visits.

Establishing a relationship with your baby’s healthcare providers is important for a few reasons. Doctors, nurses, and other staff get to know you and your baby over time. They work with you on baby health issues as they come up. And as you return for regular health visits for your growing baby, you get to know and trust them. Knowing the people taking care of your baby can help calm your worries and create trust. You can feel more comfortable asking important questions and getting helpful advice.

3. Understanding the Schedule of Newborn Doctor Visits

The schedule of newborn doctor visits. Just because newborn’s doctors are eager to see them right away doesn’t mean you’ll be visiting the office every day or every week. Most of the first newborn doctor visits are done within a few days or weeks of birth. Newborns are typically seen within three to five days after they are born. Depending on where you give birth and originally planned schedule, your pediatrician may visit your newborn in the hospital within the first 24 to 48 hours of their birth. Then there’s another visit at one to two weeks old. After that, your newborn will continue to have regular doctor visits at one, two, four, six, and nine months old. At one year old, your baby will have a 12-month-old doctor visit. Since every baby’s needs are different, your baby’s doctor may ask you to come into the office for additional newborn doctor’s visits if they feel it’s necessary. For example, if your newborn had a health concern when they were born, the pediatrician may want to see them again to make sure it’s been resolved.

Here’s what you can expect when it comes to newborn doctor visits. Newborn doctor visits are your baby’s main source of health care for the first few weeks of their life (and beyond). Here’s what you can expect when it comes to newborn doctor visits.

3.1. Recommended Timeline for Check-ups

Contact your pediatrician for more detailed guidelines on check-up visits for your newborn. With each visit, keep your provider informed of any changes in your baby’s eating patterns, bowel movements, or urination. Other things to look for include feeding problems, sleep issues, fever, signs of illness, and other issues concerning your newborn that you may have questions about. The more informed you are, the better!

Finally, an endocrinologist blog sums up the general check-up visits for newborns in this handy guide with their recommendations for the timeline: “Newborn check-up visits are regularly scheduled to occur at these times: within three to five days after discharge from the hospital, thus allowing the pediatrician to check your baby’s weight, feeding patterns, and evaluate the risk of jaundice. This is very important for newborn visits as we normally discharge the babies when they are just 24-48 hours old. At 1 month of age, and then 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months of age.”

3.2. Vaccinations and Developmental Milestones

The healthcare provider will also weigh and measure your child as well. In this way, the baby’s growth can be tracked. When the baby is sleeping soundly, the doctor may recommend listening to their breathing, which is also a critical check. Concerns should be addressed immediately. Of course, if you suspect there is a problem before an appointment, it is crucial your baby receive medical care before then. The first year marks before birth by massive growth and developmental milestones that need to be closely and constantly monitored. Your baby’s doctor knows how to look for signs of concern and is best equipped to guide you if a problem is detected. With the new developmental milestones to track every time, the hours you spend at the doctor’s office become more tightly packed and daunting. Plus, milestones are not the same for every child because every child is different.

Vaccinations and development milestones are a large part of the new baby doctor visits. While the first visit wasn’t so invasive, be prepared for a lot of immunizations for your little one at both the two- and four-month visits. For the remainder of the first year, your baby will have another set of vaccinations at six months and a final one at twelve months. Some of the vaccinations will be combined together, but your baby is likely to walk into each appointment with at least two shots and often more. As a mom, you also need to learn your child’s developmental milestones to be certain they are ahead or at least not significantly behind. The more important milestones are missing at the appointments.

4. Benefits of Regular Newborn Doctor Visits

Supporting your baby’s good health outcomes can begin before even being born, as OHCA members to be can call the Maternity Support Program to help navigate the prenatal and benefits health process, providing customized support to meet the individual needs, answering questions, and providing resources or services as requested. This personalized help continues long after the baby’s birth by providing resources, tools, support, in-hospital visits, and education on top of the cost-saving Step of Life Series. Make the most of these covered resources and support your baby’s earliest health by going to all of the regular checkup appointments provided at no cost. Send Go to all regular checkup appointments Keep your baby healthy. New parents have a lot to manage, and one key to keeping baby healthy can sometimes get overlooked. With all the new things to learn and schedules to keep track of with a new baby, regular checkups can sometimes be hard to remember or accidentally missed. However, attending these Steps of Life Series Appointments is important to maintaining your new little one’s best health because, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, evidence suggests that infants who receive recommended preventive services (fully guided by your baby’s pediatrician) have better health outcomes during the first two years of life.

Your baby’s pediatrician provides a vital role in guidance and has extensive expertise to diagnose and treat various illnesses and conditions. To help catch health issues in the time window that they are the easiest to manage or cure, it is essential to keep each of the regular checkup appointments examined by your baby’s doctor. Help maintain your baby’s health and well-being by taking your baby to each and every Step of Life Series Appointment, provided at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

4.1. Promoting Overall Health and Well-being

The first weeks and months of life are critical for every aspect of your baby’s growth and development. A healthy baby has certain traits. They grow. They develop and reach milestones on time. They are active and alert most of the day. They interact joyfully with you and others. They eat well and keep the food down. They sleep peacefully most of the night. They have soft skin and don’t have a disk in the whites of their eyes. They often wet diapers and have regular soft bowel movements. They don’t cry for long periods of time without being soothed. They have simple and easily managed minor illnesses when they do get sick. You play an important role in keeping your baby healthy. During the first year, your baby will learn to sit, crawl, stand, walk, talk, feed itself, and use the potty! These changes show that your baby is growing and developing in physical, emotional, and social ways. Be sure to talk to the doctor if you are concerned that some aspects of development are not happening on time. Progressive steps in lots of areas show your baby is off to a good start.

Newborn care is more than just providing you with a guide on the best ways to promote your baby’s health and growth. You can use this time with us to voice questions and concerns. It is also a chance for you and your baby to connect with your doctor. The first days after your baby is born are a time of transition from the womb to life outside. With this time of growing accustomed to each other, both you and your baby can benefit from a little extra help. When parents understand this, it is easier to see the importance of baby visits during the first year. Your baby also needs a guide to easier growing and good health during this important year. This is the time your baby will develop from a helpless newborn into walking, talking, smiling, playing, and eating ‘real’ foods.

4.2. Parental Education and Support

Parent education and supportive care can be successful in terms of improving parents’ satisfaction with support and parents’ psychological adjustment after hospital discharge. Hospitals can encourage couples who have recently become parents to spend time by themselves. For some couples, this will be their first opportunity to have unstructured time alone since the baby arrived. Their emotional support and satisfaction with the support they receive from staff may improve considerably. As they bond with their newborns, they want information and support from professionals and each other. Encouraging relationships within families or between couples may increase the stability and subjective quality of the family as well as provide support for stronger parenting roles.

During your baby’s first visits, the doctor’s office should function as a learning laboratory where new parents ask questions and get advice from medical professionals who are experienced in helping with newborn care. One of the most important benefits of professional support is the way it can help parents handle overwhelming responsibility. Sudden transitions, even joyous ones, carry a risk of postpartum depression. In the first stressful weeks as parents with a new baby at home, women need leverage to cope with their other parental responsibilities such as bill-paying, elder care, and meal preparation.

5. Conclusion

Making physical appointments for your newborn are your responsibility, not the hospital’s. The key is in your hands. Meeting with a physician is part of the important initial health care needs of your baby. Your baby’s first doctor visit will provide you and your pediatrician with an excellent opportunity to discuss any concerns that you have and develop a sound health care partnership. Discussing the health of your baby at length may help you feel comfortable bringing your baby in for care at times other than when your child is ill. A perfect time to do so is during the baby’s first neonatal appointment. Good health is valuable and important to all at any age and therefore worth scheduling well child physical exams. In the office, you will receive information on your baby’s current life stages, including motor and social skills, and sleeping and eating issues. If you have questions, it’s the perfect time to get answers. The doctor’s office will be the scene of several physical exams for your baby, including lengths, weights, growth charts, and maintenance checks. In fact, 10 or more examinations are recommended in the first two years ensuring comprehensive health for your baby – don’t overlook them!

Speaking with a pediatrician can give you peace of mind and much-needed advice, and will assist you in seeking care for your baby, should the need arise. Bring a list of questions and concerns to your first visit – no question is too small. Next, be prepared to listen. Keep an open mind and explore a variety of subjects and options. For example, your pediatrician will have nutritional information and can provide valuable advice on breastfeeding and formula options. If you choose not to breastfeed or are unable to do so, your pediatrician will provide options for commercial-grade formula. In fact, being open to listening and learning can help you in choosing a provider with which you feel comfortable and supported. Throughout your child’s growth and development, trust your baby’s primary care pediatrician to advise and guide you. As soon as your baby is born, begin the search for a pediatrician that you feel comfortable with. Special consideration should be given to finding a provider who has a passion for building confidence in new parents.

5.1. Recap of Key Points

It’s the day of the visit—it’s still important! Before you were born, you prepared for your baby. You learned what a healthy newborn doctor visit looks like and how to provide your baby with the best nutritional start through breastfeeding. And sure, you may not feel like you learned that much, but the fact that you were planning to go meant that one day you will know! Attending a second appointment may not have lived up to the excitement of the newborn doctor visit. You probably had less sleep and pumping, not to mention other things that may deceptively resemble paid employment, associated with the 3-week visit. But the goal was to take care of your baby and you did that. And it’s not like you didn’t get something to eat. Going to the 3-week visit shows how much you love your little one. And how much you will do for your baby.

• Taking your baby to both the newborn and 1-month doctor appointments is the first important responsibility you have in making sure your baby is off to a healthy start. • Despite feeling exhausted and less than a week removed from your baby’s birth, going to the newborn doctor visit shows you’ll do whatever it takes to take care of your baby. • Newborn visits are important for making sure your baby’s doing well and to answer your questions about taking care of your baby. • You don’t have to write down every question you have for the baby’s doctor. They’re happy to hear all about your questions while in the room with you. However, if you’d like to write things down, having a list can help you remember your questions, which can help you know what to ask and what you need to remember. • Speaking to your baby’s doctor about having a stress-free visit is a great place to start. Another solution is to feed your baby before your baby becomes ravenous. Comforting your baby while waiting may help as well. So can giving your baby some skin-to-skin time.

5.2. Encouragement for Parents to Prioritize Newborn Doctor Visits

To learn more about the reasons why these early medical appointments are so important and what they may involve, please consider watching our educational content, guided by board-certified lactation consultant Binta, MD. Whether you choose to breastfeed from the start, exclusively bottle-feed or fed both ways may be explored in each Newborn Doctor Visit chapter. Breastfeeding, in particular, is a uniquely interactive and invaluable resource for the infant’s overall health, the introduction of doctors’ and vice versa. All Mom and other Caregiver questions and concerns should also be seen as vital components of the newborn and the overall long-term care provided by a pediatrician, family physician, or other healthcare professional.

Every individual is assured of at least one regularly scheduled checkup during childhood. But when it comes to infants, especially babies born outside of a clinical setting or under less-than-ideal circumstances, regular healthcare is not guaranteed. As healthcare advocates for the world’s smallest, most resource-dependent people, we rely on our platform to encourage parents to prioritize newborn doctor visits. While the first encounter commonly coincides with a hospital-based newborn checkup, the subsequent or subsequent-to-that visit is simply too important to miss or delay. We strongly recommend that all parents ensure their newborn baby is seen by a pediatrician, family care physician, or other healthcare provider within the first two weeks of life.

Interested in learning more? Visit us for additional information!

As we embark on the enchanting journey of childhood together, Matney Pediatrics invites you to discover a realm of care as unique and magical as your child. In a world crowded with impersonal clinics and hurried hospital visits, we offer a rare gem: personalized, every-visit care with Dr. Matney, a board-certified pediatrician devoted exclusively to children’s health and happiness.

Imagine stepping into a wonderland where advanced medical expertise meets the comforting embrace of a close-knit family. At Matney Pediatrics, our loyal team—many of whom have been by Dr. Matney’s side for years—creates a delightful, kid-friendly environment where you and your child feel like cherished members of our extended family. Dr. Matney’s deep knowledge in baby, toddler, and child development, combined with his specialized skills in managing ADHD, autism, and other developmental disorders, ensures your child receives care that is not only exceptional but also uniquely tailored to their needs.

Dr. Matney’s commitment extends far beyond the clinic walls. He personally attends to sick patients in the hospital and provides newborn care at Victor Valley Global Medical Center. Upholding the ideals of a privately-owned, full-service solo practice, he navigates parents through crucial decisions on vaccinations, newborn care, and more, always with the latest insights and a compassionate heart.

So, are you ready to journey into a world where your child’s health and happiness are the stars of the show? Connect with us at Matney Pediatrics and embark on an adventure where unparalleled care, genuine warmth, and joyful smiles create a truly magical experience. Together, let’s lay the foundation for a bright, healthy future.


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