You just had your newborn and your baby’s first doctor visit is coming up – what should you expect?
For first-time parents, this is a common question to come across. Newborns usually have their first doctor visit 48-72 hours after birth. Everything is new to you and learning how to care for your newborn is a work in progress. Not to mention that you’ve just went through labor, worrying about doctor visits is the last thing you want on your mind.
Fortunately, reading this post is the first step to a worry-free doctor visit and you’ll be glad you read it!
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At your baby’s first doctor visit, expect the doctor (or nurses) to take baby’s measurements. This includes height, length, weight, and head circumference. You’ll be instructed to undress your baby to the diaper so that measurements are more accurate.
Head – Your baby’s circumference will be taken using a tape measure (similar to those of fabric tape measures).
Length – By placing your baby on a flat table, the doctor (or nurse) will mark the table papers where your newborn’s head and toe is (with legs stretched out) and measure the length from point A to point B.
Weight – Your baby’s weight is taken by placing him or her on an infant scale. This is where your baby is undressed (to the diaper) and he or she is placed on top of the scale for his or her weight.
I recommend bringing a baby blanket or receiving blanket so that you can wrap your baby warmly, when undressed. Some rooms may be cold and you want to make sure your baby stays warm.
The doctor (or nurse) may also question you about your newborn’s feeding and sleep activities.
- How often is he or she feeding?
- How many soiled and wet diapers are there?
- Or, how often does he or she sleep (or nap)?
I personally recorded my newborn’s feeding and sleep activities so that I was prepared for every doctor visit. It helps the nurses and doctors understand if your baby is feeding normally and whether your baby is having the appropriate amount of sleep per day.
Feeding – It is recommended that your baby feeds 8-12 times a day or every 2-3 hours.
Sleep – Babies usually sleep 12-16 hours a day but may vary if he or she goes through a growth spurt.
Although these numbers are recommended, keep in mind that every baby differs and you as a mom, knows what’s best when it comes to your newborn.
Interested in a baby care planner? Check out this 7-page baby care tracker booklet!
Head-to-Toe Physical Exam
A head-to-toe exam is typically done while your baby remains undressed. The doctor will examine the head, ears, eyes, mouth, skin, heart and lungs, abdomen, hips and lips, and genitalia.
In the meantime, this is the perfect opportunity to address any health concerns or questions you have so the doctor can answer them.
Nineteen months ago, my daughter was diagnosed with jaundice and my daughter had to go through several lab tests and treatments. During her first doctor visit, the doctor assessed her skin to determine whether the jaundice was going away or not by looking at the color of her skin. If it was too yellow, her bilirubin levels may be too high and she will need to undergo photo therapy once again.
Thankfully, after her first doctor visit, the doctor determined that my daughter was okay and didn’t need to undergo further treatment.
You may need to bring documentation to your baby’s first doctor visit. The most important one is to bring a copy of your insurance card (or your baby’s). The front desk receptionists will want to scan a copy for their records and may ask you to fill out additional forms as well. You may be asked to arrive 15-30 minutes earlier to complete the paperwork.
Depending on whether your insurance covers for office visits or not, you may also need to prepare for a co-payment! Some insurances require a co-pay up front; whereas, some insurances do not require you to pay anything. If you’re unsure of the co-pay, refer to the amount on your insurance card for Office Visit (Primary Care Provider – PCP). As long as you understand your health insurance coverage, you’re all good to go!
Oh, and one more thing.
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