No matter how healthy babies look, they need regular checkups. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies get their first checkup about five days after birth. Other pediatricians would have it the same way or some time during the first week and then each month hence.
With regards to the baby’s first checkup, newbie parents often find it an exciting yet a nerve-wracking event. They don’t want to hear anything negative from their pediatrician, but partnering with the doctor in raising their baby is the best medical strategy for their baby’s health. So, what should parents do during the first medical appointment with the doctor and what can they expect?
Confirm the Appointment
Pediatricians often drop by the hospital to check on the baby while the baby is there and sets an appointment for the first checkup when the baby is released. But parents need to confirm it before going because doctors can have sudden emergencies to attend to, and it won’t be wise to expose the baby outdoors just to discover that the doctor is not available.
Bring Extras of Everything
Once the appointment is confirmed, bring the following:
- 3 to 4 formula milk powder portions, each good for one feeding
- Baby’s water and 3 to 4 extra feeding bottles
- 3 to 4 extra disposable diapers
- Two extra clothes for the baby
- Baby’s booklet for recording (though sometimes pediatricians give this for free)
- Extra money for buying new prescriptions
Come 30 Minutes Before the Appointment
Be there some 30 minutes before the appointment. Make this a habit with all of your baby’s checkups. Pediatric clinics are often crowded with parents with their babies and sometimes, getting an appointment with the doctor still means a first-come-first-serve policy at the clinic. So be there early to avoid having to wait in a long line, which may make your baby uncomfortable.
Ask the Right Questions
When you finally meet the pediatrician, make sure you have a list of important things to ask about so you won’t miss any important detail. Here are some of them:
- Doctor’s contact numbers, especially their mobile phone number, which you may need during emergencies
- What to do when the baby has hiccups
- How many times a day does milk feeding should be done
- How to burp the baby right after feeding and other important details related to feeding
- How to remedy baby’s gas problems in the tummy
- How many times to give the baby a bath and important tips on how to do it
Inquire About the Vaccination Schedule
Finally, do ask about the vaccination schedule to have ample time to prepare for it. Some vaccines are costly and needs saving money for. Once you get the schedule, mark it on your calendar and make sure to remind yourself about it regularly.
Knowing ahead of time what happens during the baby’s first checkup and what you should prepare will make it a more enjoyable experience for you, as the parents, and for the baby.