Having a new little member of the family is exciting for everyone, especially for parents. However, it also entails a lot of responsibilities. One of which is seeing the pediatrician for your baby’s regular well-visits. Even if you are confident that your little tot is healthy, going to the doctor is vital.
But how do you know when is the right time to visit your baby’s physician? You must not miss a consultation schedule of your child within the first two years. The reason is that the first two years are a crucial time in your baby’s growth and development. The doctor will diligently monitor and record the child’s progress physically, mentally, and medically. Here is the baby well check-up schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and what you expect to be done by each visit.
First Week of Birth
Doctors examine a child within 24 hours of birth. They do a full exam, check the normal body functions, and newborn reflexes. Pediatricians also assess skin tone, alertness, the stability of hips and legs, and responsiveness. The tests will also include the eyes, mouth, ears, heart, lungs, and genitalia to ensure that the baby is healthy. Physicians will also take and record physical measurements like length or height, weight, and head circumference. Other things that will be monitored and observed on your baby are the following:
- Developmental Milestones
- Social Behavioral
- Physical Progress
Additional exams will comprise hearing screening and newborn metabolic and hemoglobin screening. Also, expect that your baby will get the Hepatitis B immunization at birth. You will have to bring back the baby to the doctor within the first week of delivery. It will make sure that everything is going well and that the child’s growth is right on track.
First, Second, Fourth, and Sixth Month
During your baby’s first six-month visits, the pediatrician will perform all the examinations done the first time. The doctor will once again observe and record measurements, developmental surveillance, psychosocial and behavioral assessment, and physical progress. All of these will be conducted each time that your baby will have a regular check-up while growing up.
Tuberculosis (TB) test might also be done during the first month, and the second dose of the hepatitis B vaccine can either be administered within the first or second month. Your baby will receive a lot of shots in the second month, which your doctor can combine for less baby crying, as follows:
- Rotavirus (RV) vaccine, given in two to three doses between the second to the sixth month
- Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis (DTaP) vaccine
- Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine
- Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV) and
- Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV)
Also, expect that your baby will have the hematocrit or hemoglobin screening in the fourth month. It helps detect anemia at an early stage. Your child will also get the second dose of RV, DTaP, Hib, PCV, and IPV. And in the sixth month, the third dose of DTaP, PCV, and Hib will be given. You can also ask for a flu shot if it is already the season. Doctors recommend giving kids aged six months to 19 years the flu vaccine every year. During this time, doctors will conduct lead screening and oral check-up. Finally, your child may get the final dosage of the hepatitis B vaccine. It is commonly administered between the sixth and 18th month.
Ninth, 12th and 15th Month
The developmental screening to be performed in the ninth month is more thorough. Pediatricians will look for any signs of developmental delays. Your baby might also get a lead screening test. Additionally, the doctor will provide the hepatitis A vaccine, which can be given between 12 to 23 months. And between your baby’s 12th and 15th month, the following immunizations will be given:
- The Fourth dose of Hib and PCV
- First doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and varicella vaccines
18th and 24th month
During this period, your doctor will check for any sign of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). It will check your baby’s reaction to certain stimuli. Early detection of ASD will enable the pediatrician to recommend programs that will help with the child’s development. Your child will also get more doses of vaccines for DTap, hepatitis B, IPV, and hepatitis A if they haven’t been given yet. Other tests that may be required are hematocrit or hemoglobin test, lead screening, TB test, and oral health examination.
Lastly, on your kid’s second birthday, doctors recommend the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), especially to high-risk children aged two to ten. Another important test that may be required is the dyslipidemia screening to find early signs of a lipid disorder.
Going to the pediatrician may be taxing. But, the well-being and health of your child are of utmost importance. It is important to keep abreast of changes as you never know if you might need the services of Children Surgery Perth. Thus, always ensure that you stick to the schedule given by doctors and always follow their medical instructions.