Your first well-baby visit will be about one month after you bring
your baby home from the hospital. Your provider will check his weight
and height, and offer you advice on how to handle minor illnesses or
concerns at home and when to call the doctor.
You're still getting used to life with your baby, so give yourself as
much time for this checkup as you can. Bring along whatever you need
to keep your baby warm, fed, and contented, and make sure to bring a
copy of your newborn's hospital record, if you have it, as well as
your insurance card. Remember to register your baby for health
At this visit, your provider will probably:
- Weigh and measure your baby to make sure he's growing at a
healthy rate. Click
here to see our growth chart.
- Check that his umbilical cord stump has fallen off and the
belly button is healing well. If your baby son was circumcised, your
provider will check that this is healing as well.
- Give your baby a hepatitis shot if he didn't get one at the
hospital or at a previous doctor's visit.
- Address any health concerns that he or she notices, such as
cradle cap or diaper rash.
- Give you some insight into your baby's individual
personality and temperament, as well as his development.
- Ask you about your baby's sleeping, eating, and elimination
patterns ("the "pee-pee" and "poopy"
will want to know:
- Has your baby seen another health care provider since the
last visit? If so, why? What was the outcome of that visit, and were
any medications or treatments prescribed?
- Does your baby hold his head up when you put him on his
- Does he quiet down, at least briefly, when he hears you or
when you pick him up?
- Does he sleep a little longer during some part of the day or
- Does he have longer periods when he's alert?
- Does he follow you with his eyes, and study your eyes and
face when you're close?
- Does he respond to your voice or other sounds?
- Is he put to sleep on his back? Are his bedding and room
Click here for more information on SIDS.
- Does he watch a mobile above him?
- Is he a little fussier at the end of the day? All of these
behaviors are expected at this time.
- If you are breastfeeding, are you taking any medication or
- Are there any special stresses or changes at home?
Talk It Over
You no doubt have many other concerns. Now's the time to
discuss them with your provider. Here are a few common issues:
- How is your baby eating and sleeping? Let your provider know
how often your baby eats.
- Your baby may have a common newborn skin condition, such as
cradle cap; your provider can help you understand what it is and how
to treat it.
- Talk about how siblings and other family members are
- Ask your provider to show you how to take your baby's
temperature. You can also ask the nurse to watch while you take it,
and to offer suggestions.
- Ask about crying management and comforting techniques. Your
baby should respond to being held. Discuss pacifier use as well.
New parents always have questions. Don't be shy around your
health care provider — he or she wants to help. For example, you
should mention to your health care provider any of the following
situations that apply to you:
- People are giving you advice that confuses you or is
- Your baby doesn't respond to sounds, especially your voice.
- Your baby isn't moving both hands and feet equally.
- Your baby has a puffy or runny eye.
- Your baby doesn't focus on your face when he is alert.
- You're having a hard time comforting your baby.
- You're feeling blue, or having a hard time sleeping or
- You're going back to work soon, and you're not sure how
you're going to manage it.
- Your baby doesn't stay awake for more than 30 minutes at a
- You don't have health insurance for your baby. There are
programs available to get that coverage.
here to return to Well Baby Introduction.