Pediatrician Visit Schedule for Newborns
Contributing Expert: Nina Alfieri, MD, MS
This post is part of our newborn health and wellness series. For more information from our pediatric experts, visit our Newborn Resources page.
New parents are often surprised to learn how frequently their newborn sees the pediatrician. These well visits ensure that your baby is growing and hitting their milestones. It’s also a chance for you to ask questions and get any support you need.
Schedule of Newborn Well Visits for the First Year
Lurie Children’s follows the recommended schedule for visits and screenings from the American Academy of Pediatrics. After leaving the hospital (where babies get checked by a hospital pediatrician), you’ll bring your baby to the pediatrician at around:
- 3 – 5 days, often with a follow-up weight check around two weeks of life
- 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 1 year
Your pediatrician may ask you to come more often, especially if they’re keeping an eye on jaundice or other conditions that sometimes affect newborns. If you’re having feeding issues, your pediatrician may also want to see you more often.
Why Do Newborns See the Pediatrician So Often?
Babies change and grow so fast in the first months of life. Seeing the pediatrician regularly helps ensure they are developing as they should. It’s also a chance for doctors to talk with parents about important topics such as safety and answer questions you have.
While your baby is the star of the show in the pediatrician’s office, the pediatrician is there for you, too. New parents need support. So much of what doctors do in those early visits is listen and offer advice about sleeping, feeding and other important topics.
You are also the expert on your baby. The pediatrician is learning from you about what’s normal for your child. That relationship takes time — and multiple visits — to build.
What to Expect at Your Newborn Pediatrician Visits
Every practice runs their visits a bit differently, but there are standard things all pediatricians do. At every visit, they’ll weigh your baby and measure their length and head circumference. They’ll plot those numbers into a chart that lets you see how your baby is growing.
They’ll also ask a series of development questions at each visit, ranging from what sounds your baby makes to how they move.
The pediatrician will examine your baby each time, making sure they are developing as they should in each part of their body. They’ll also listen to your baby’s heart and lungs, look at their skin and examine how the umbilical cord is healing. Early on, they will also check for jaundice.
Your pediatrician will follow a vaccine schedule, and give your baby any shots they need. Most pediatricians do this at the end of the visit. Vaccines are important to protect your baby against sickness.
The pediatrician will also ask how you are doing. If you are struggling with postpartum depression or other issues, the pediatrician can help connect you to the right resources.
How to Prepare for Each Visit
The most important thing you can do is make a list of questions that you want to ask the doctor. These questions will likely vary with each visit, as your baby finds their way through various stages.
Many parents find it helpful to keep a journal, where they can record information about sleep, feedings and dirty diapers. This is all terrific information to share with the doctor, and naturally offers fodder for questions you may have.
By the time you reach the 1-year mark, you’ll be a pro at prepping for visits with the doctor. Your pediatrician will be excited to celebrate with you, as you look back on a year packed with your baby’s firsts.
In addition to expert specialty care, Lurie Children’s offers several primary care locations around the Chicago area for your child's healthcare needs — from infancy through childhood and adolescence. Learn more about our primary care services.
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