In addition to those inevitable sick visits, well-child visits to your child's provider are an important part of keeping your growing baby healthy and ensuring he or she are on track physically, nutritionally and developmentally.
It's also a great opportunity to get tips from a trusted source about any concerns about breast- or bottle-feeding, tummy troubles, sleep progression, etc.
All well visits typically include:
- Head-to-toe physical examination
- Growth check and charting
- Development examination and discussion
- Nutrition discussion
- Vaccinations if applicable (more on those below)
When should you call the doctor with concerns?
Call your baby's doctor in the event of the following symptoms or circumstances:
- Rectal temperature higher than 100.4 degrees F or 100 under the arm
- Trouble breathing, rapid breathing (more than 60 breaths per minute), blue lips or finger nails, and/or wheezing, grunting or whistling while breathing
- Diarrhea, including stools that are looser, foul smelling, contain blood or mucous and/or occur more frequently and are more watery than your baby's usual bowel movements
- No bowel movements in the first 48 hours at home
- Lack of bowel movements
- Vomiting (more than spit up) 2 to 3 times a day
- Refuses feedings or nurses poorly
- No wet diapers in the first 24 hours at home
- Fewer than four wet diapers in 24 hours
- Yellow colored skin or whites of the eyes, especially if worsens three days after birth
- Red skin or pus at umbilical cord stump base
- Bleeding at circumcision site, especially with stains larger than a grape
- Persistent cough
- Unusually sleepy or difficult to wake up
- Floppiness, lethargy or jitters
- Crying more than usual and more difficult to console
- A problem, illness, unusual behavior or anything that concerns you
Here's a handy timeline of baby's checkups and vaccinations for the first 18 months.
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