What happens during the first medical check-up of your infant

July 13, 2016
  • A week after the arrival of the little bundle of joy is the time for his first check-up. Also known as the well-baby check-up, it has great importance in the life of both baby and parents. Though the very first check-up starts right after the birth, regular visits to paediatrician start after a week.  Most of the doctors and paediatrician schedule first visit within five to seven days of the infant’s birth. For most infants and mums, this can be rightly called the first outing together after birth.  

     

    Make sure you note down every doubt and query you have before proceeding for the hospital. Do not hesitate. There are so many concerns and worries related to the newborn. These concerns and issues might appear trivial, worry not as doctors are there to help you. Moreover, be prepared to answer several questions that paediatrician will ask about the infant. 

    A glance into what all happened during infant’s first check-up

    The paediatrician will measure the height and weight the baby, plotting every detail on the growth chart for verifying the growth pattern. Next, thorough head to toe examination of your baby will be conducted.

    Head
    the circumference of the baby’s head is measured and compared with previous readings to ensure normal growth of the baby. Doctor will also feel the soft spot on infant’s head, called fontanels. He will also feel the shape of infant’s head. In case, he feels flat spots then you might be asked to change the position of the head when the little one is sleeping, however, at the same, he will ask you to keep the baby on a soft but firm mattress.

     

    Eyes
    Using an ophthalmoscope, the paediatrician will examine the eyes for any indication of jaundice, blocked tear ducts, discharge and yellow eyes. Your infant is too small to even focus on any one thing, thus doctor might ask you if you notice your little one exhibiting a cross-eyed. It is a sign which clears as baby grows to make his vision more pronounced.

    Ears
    with an otoscope, the doctor will check the ears of the baby for any infection, their shape and fluid discharge. 

    Mouth

    The doctor checks the sucking reflex by placing either pacifier or finger in the mouth of the baby.  In addition, he will also check rooting reflex of the baby along with the ability to turn his head toward the hand by stroking his cheek.  He might also look for symptoms of oral thrush which are the common infection found in infants.

     

    Chest

    With a stethoscope, the paediatrician will examine the lungs and heart of the baby. He will listen to his heartbeats carefully.   In addition, he will also look for respiratory problems such as unusual heart rhythms and difficulty in breathing.

     

    Skin

    While examining infant’s skin, the paediatrician will look for skin eruptions such as birthmarks and rashes. Many infants develop jaundice right after birth. It goes away within a week or two. Doctor might check if the skin of an infant is turning yellow to diagnose jaundice. If you have noticed the symptoms of diaper rash and cradle cap then talk to your doctor accordingly. 

    Abdomen

    In case the umbilical cord has dried and fallen off completely, the paediatrician will inspect if the navel and surrounding area are free of infection and healing properly. Gently squeezing infant’s abdomen or belly will alert the paediatrician for symptoms of an umbilical hernia and enlarged organs.

     

    Legs
    the paediatrician will move legs of an infant around for checking dislocation of hip joints.

     

    Genitals

    In girls, the doctor will ask you if you have noticed any kind of vaginal discharge. For boys, he will check whether or not the testicles have inclined into the scrotum, and examines baby for a disorder known as hydrocele. In the case of circumcision at the time of birth, he will check if the skin is healing aptly. He will also examine baby for a inguinal hernia, a condition common in boys than girls.

     

    First check-up of your baby will include all the above stated. Make sure you take the baby to the doctor right at the time to ensure a hassle-free visit.

     

    Summary

    First check-up of your baby is held after her or his week. Although the very first check-up is done immediately after baby’s arrival, regular visits to pediatrician start within first five or seven days.

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