In my previous article How to Make Well-Baby Visits Less Stressful I explained the purpose of well-baby visits, and gave some tips on making the well-baby visits less stressful and easier on both mom and baby, in this article I will go into greater detail on what to expect when you visit the doctor for your baby’s one-month well-baby visit.
At one-month of age parents are still trying to adjust to life with a new baby in the house, and can be quite overwhelmed. Although the one-month well-baby visits is one of the simplest doctor’s visits you will make getting there can be almost too much for some new moms, who are sleep-deprived and exhausted from the constant attention their new baby requires.
As in any doctor’s office you may have a long wait ahead of you, so make sure to take diapers, wipes, and whatever you will need to feed your baby. As I said in my previous article, many doctors will have you strip your little one down to just their diapers before the exam so be sure to take a warm blanket with you to cover your baby up during the wait. You will also want to bring a copy of your baby’s hospital records if you have one, and your insurance card. Most insurance companies allow only thirty days to contact them to add your newborn to your insurance policy, so make sure you have done this before your visit, this way there will be no issues the day of the appointment as far as payment. If your baby has visited any other healthcare providers you will want to bring the records from there, and make sure your doctor knows the reason for the visit, the outcome, and if any medication or follow-up treatment has been prescribed.
At this well-baby visit the doctor will be weighing and measuring your baby to make sure that they are gaining weight properly, and not losing weight. It is normal for a newborn to lose a small amount of weight after birth but the amount should not be significant and their weight should have evened out by now.
They will also be checking your baby’s umbilical cord to assure it has fallen off, and is healing properly, if a circumcision was performed they will check to make sure that it is healing properly as well. The doctor will also be looking to see if your baby has cradle cap or diaper rash, and will address those concerns with you.
If your baby did not receive a hepatitis shot at the hospital or at a previous doctor’s visit they will administer one at this appointment as long as there is no fever or other issues to keep your baby from getting it.
Preparing yourself for questions that your doctor will ask will help you feel more in control during the visit, and will help you to get more out of it. Some of the questions that you can expect your doctor to ask at this visit are:
Does your baby hold up its head when placed on its stomach?
When, how often, and what is your baby eating? If you are breastfeeding your doctor will want to know about your diet, if you are taking any special medications or supplements, and if you have any issues with breastfeeding. If you have any questions about supplementing, or using expressed breast milk this would be a good time to ask.
What are your baby’s bowel movements like, and if you have noticed any recent changes? For example are they soft, or hard and dry, what color.
How is your baby sleeping? They will want to know for how long, and how often, as well as if your baby is experiencing longer periods of being alert.
Is your baby fussier at the end of the day? This is normal because as your baby starts staying up for longer periods of the day, they will be tired and irritable at the end of the day.
Does your baby quiet down when he hears your voice or when you pick him up?
Is your baby starting to make soft cooing noises?
Does your baby follow you with his eyes, or study your face when you are close? The doctor will also want to know if you have noticed anything unusual about your baby’s eyes or the way they look at things.
Well-baby visits are very important to the health of your child, and being prepared for your visit will make it go smoother.