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Child Growth Chart (Interactive) Please Login (A modified interactive Growth & Development Chart from) U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CHILDREN'S HEALTH



Monthly Checkups

 

Why does my baby need checkups?

  • You should take your baby to the doctor for regular exams beginning in the first days and weeks after birth.
  • The appointments are important even if your child is not sick. Seeing the doctor can help prevent future problems.
  • The doctor will make sure that your child's growth and development are normal.
  • Your baby will receive routine tests and vaccinations.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's health, ask the doctor at your baby's checkups. You know your baby best. You spend the most time with him. Any questions or concerns you have are important.
  • Write down questions or concerns you have at home as they come up and bring the list to the appointment.
  • The doctor will give you safety tips at each appointment to help you prevent injuries as your baby gets older and learns new skills.
  • Your physical and mental health affects the baby's health. Your doctor will also want to know how you are feeling. Feel free to ask questions about your own health.

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What happens at the first checkup?

  • The first checkup is usually within two weeks after birth.
  • The appointment is usually relaxed so that the doctor can take the time to get to know you and your new child.
  • Some typical questions the doctor might ask you are:
    • How are you adjusting to this new baby?
    • What is the baby eating? How often?
    • How is the baby sleeping?
    • Does the baby's sight and hearing seem to be normal?
    • How active is the baby?
    • Does the baby cry often? What comforts him?
    • What have you noticed about your baby?
  • The doctor will measure your baby's head size, body length, and weight. The doctor will use a growth chart to see if your baby's size falls within the normal range.
  • The most important measure is how well your baby has grown since birth.
  • Other things the doctor will check:
    • the baby's responsiveness
    • the size and softness of soft spots on the baby's head
    • chest sounds, breathing, lungs
    • movement, muscle tone, strength
    • proper movement and placement of hips
    • the abdomen (looking for tenderness or masses)
    • the genitals
    • seeing if a circumcised boy is healing okay
    • seeing if the navel (belly button) is healing okay
    • checking for skin rashes
    • listening to the baby's heart
    • checking the eyes, ears, and mouth
    • Your baby may receive his first immunizations. The shots may give your baby a sore leg for a day or two. Ask your doctor about giving acetaminophen for pain.

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What happens at the two-month checkup?

  • The routine will follow previous appointments.
  • The doctor will measure your baby's head size, body length, and weight and compare them to measurements from the last visit.
  • You know the most about your baby. Discuss any concerns or questions you have.
  • Discuss changes you have noticed. How is the baby sleeping? Feeding? Moving?
  • The doctor will check:
    • the size and softness of soft spots on the baby's head
    • the baby's sucking reflex; Is the baby making more saliva?
    • the baby's eyes; Do they follow moving objects?
    • the baby's ears; Is wax a problem?
    • has the baby had sneezing or congestion?
    • the heart, lungs, abdomen, and hips
    • the healing of the navel (belly button)
    • the healing of a circumcised boy
    • boy's testes should be descended
    • the baby's reflexes
  • Your baby may receive more immunizations. Give acetaminophen for pain.

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What happens at the four-month checkup?

  • The routine will follow previous appointments.
  • The doctor will measure your baby's head size, body length, and weight and compare it to measurements from the last visit.
  • Discuss any concerns or questions you have.
  • Discuss changes you have noticed. How is the baby sleeping? Feeding? Moving?
  • Other things the doctor will check:
    • the size and softness of soft spots on the baby's head
    • skin irritations
    • the baby's eyes; Crossed-eyes should have naturally corrected by now.
    • the baby's nose
    • the baby's mouth, drooling, and chewing motions
    • the baby's gums (and teeth)
    • sounds in the baby's heart and lungs
    • the abdomen
    • movement in the baby's hands, feet, hips, and legs
    • movement, muscle tone, and strength
    • genitals
  • Your baby may receive more immunizations. Give acetaminophen for pain.

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What happens at the six-month checkup?

  • The doctor will measure your baby's head size, body length, and weight and compare them to measurements from the last visit.
  • Discuss any concerns or questions you have.
  • Discuss any changes you have noticed. How is the baby sleeping? Feeding? Moving?
  • The exam will focus on your baby's activities, movement, and abilities.
  • Other things the doctor will check:
    • the baby's heart and lungs
    • the size and softness of soft spots on the baby's head
    • skin irritations
    • incoming teeth and gums
    • head control
    • your baby's ability to sit and stand with help
    • movement of the baby's legs, feet, and hips
    • genitals
    • movement, muscle tone, strength
    • watching how your baby reaches for things, grabs things, and lets go
    • the baby's eyes, how he focuses
    • checking sight and hearing
  • Your baby may receive more immunizations. Give acetaminophen for pain.

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What happens at the nine-month checkup?

  • Your baby may not be as comfortable during this exam. At this age, babies usually do not like to be separated from their loved ones and are often afraid of strangers. The doctor may examine your baby while you hold him on your lap.
  • The doctor will measure your baby's head size, body length, and weight and compare them to measurements from the last visit.
  • Discuss any concerns you have or changes you have noticed.
  • The doctor will again check the soft spots on your baby's head, check the heart and lungs, feel for new teeth, and check his hips.
  • The doctor will want to know about your baby's motor skills:
    • Can your baby get to a sitting position and stay sitting without your help?
    • How does your baby pick things up?
    • Can he stand with your help?
    • Does he hang onto the edge of things and walk sideways?
    • Can he pull himself up to a standing position?
    • How does he talk to you?
    • How is he eating, drinking, and sleeping?
  • The doctor may give your baby a routine test to check for tuberculosis(TB).
  • Your baby may also be given a blood test.
  • He may receive more immunizations. Give acetaminophen for pain.
  • Your doctor will give you more safety tips. Since your baby is moving around more, it is important to know CPR and prevention for choking, poisoning, drowning, and burns.

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Quick Answers

  • You should take your baby to the doctor for regular exams. The appointments are important even if your child is not sick. Seeing the doctor can help prevent future problems.
  • The doctor will make sure that your child's growth and development are normal.
  • Your baby will receive routine tests and vaccinations.
  • The doctor will usually check your baby's heart, lungs, chest, head, abdomen, eyes, mouth, ears, sight, hearing, teeth, movement, strength, motor skills, and skin.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's health or your health, ask the doctor.

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