Baby Maintenance Guide
New cars come with maintenance guides and manuals so you know exactly when to change the oil and sparkplugs and how to inflate the tires. Babies, many new parents complain, don't even come with instructions! Here is a simple guide to new baby maintenance, including what to expect and any questions you may want to ask your pediatrician at each checkup.
Bring information and questions about:
Has your baby been exhibiting any of the following (check all that apply)?
- How the baby has been doing up to this point
- How much and how often the baby has been eating
- Any breastfeeding issues or difficulties
- How much and where the baby has been sleeping
- Frequency and nature of wet and soiled diapers
- Anything that seems out of the ordinary
- Unusual irritability/crying
- Change in coloring
- Runny nose
- Change in behavior
During the Checkup
Ask the following:
- Is your baby progressing well in relation to basic measurements (height, weight, head circumference)?
- What developmental milestones should you be looking for before the next checkup (crying, smiling, cooing, rolling over, reaching, sitting, crawling, pulling up, walking, etc.)?
- Are there any additional screening tests you should do at this time?
- Which immunizations will be part of this visit? (See the chart below for a suggested immunization schedule that most babies are able to follow.)
- Are there any safety issues you should pay particular attention to right now?
- How are the baby's heart, lungs, ears, and eyes?
- What should you expect or prepare for during the next checkup?
- What signs and symptoms warrant a call to the pediatrician's office?