What you need to prepare to make your baby's first check-up easier!

Be sure to have these information and items on hand to make sure your newborn's first visit to the pediatrician goes smoothly.

Before you pay your first visit to your child's pediatrician, you need to prepare. Preparation ensures that the process will go smoothly, and it can also help ease anxiety, especially for first-time parents.

Most pediatricians will schedule your first visit two weeks after giving birth. But you can opt to have the first check-up even earlier. It would he helpful to choose a schedule during the least busy part of the doctor's day. You can seek the advice of the doctor's assistant to determine what time would be best. On average, a check-up can take about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remember to allot time to fill out forms, as needed, or to wait for your turn a bit, as some check-ups tend to go overtime. It would be helpful to bring another primary caregiver with you on your visit. Don't worry too much and rest assured that this visit can be a chance to learn more and to become more confident when it comes to parenting.

Here's what else you need to prepare.

1. Dress your baby comfortably and pack their diaper bag efficiently

During a check-up, the pediatrician will want to examine your baby from head to toe. So it's best to dress your baby in comfortable garments that are easy to take off and put back on. Remember to pack your diaper bag well; bring a blanket, baby bottle, pacifier, diapers, wipes, tissues, powder, etc.

2. Bring a notebook and pen with all necessary information

Having a notebook and pen will come in handy when taking down notes during the visit, but it can also help when you're filling out forms. Be sure to jot down important information, like insurance details, baby's birth weight, height, or any important conditions or complications experienced during labor and delivery. Make sure to have with you details of your medical history, medications taken as well as issues you've experienced postpartum, including breastfeeding concerns, if any.

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3. Prepare to have a nurse check your baby before you meet the pedia

Often, a nurse will do a preliminary check-up on your little one. This includes weighing and measuring your baby, using a scale and tape measure. Not that it's perfectly normal for newborns to lose some weight after birth, but regain the weight back during the first two to four weeks of life.

4. Prepare questions as well as answers

Each pediatrician has their own method when performing a check-up, but generally, they will make sure to examine a newborn, educate the parents, ask questions as well as be open to answering parents' concerns. First, they will ask you to remove your baby's clothing to inspect the entire body. They usually check the skin, eyes, ears, nose, and limbs. They may also look for signs of hernia (protruding skin) or jaundice (yellowish skin). Your baby's reflexes may also be tested as well as their umbilical cord stump.

Your baby's pedia will want to know about your baby's feeding patterns, digestive processes (like frequency of diaper changes), sleeping patterns, vaccine schedule (it's best to have an immunization card with you), as well as other health issues your baby has had so far.

Don't hesitate to clarify and ask the doctor to repeat any information that might be unclear. You can also write down questions beforehand.

Here are some examples:

Is (insert medical concern) normal?

What should I expect from my baby's development in the next few months?

Should I be feeding/changing her diaper more than I currently am?

How do I make sure I burp her properly after feeding?

How often should I be bathing my little one?

Is having ____-colored poop normal?

What medications are safe to give her at this age?

Don't be shy. There is no such thing as silly questions when it comes to the health and welfare of your baby.

After the check-up, be sure to schedule the next one. Get the pediatrician's cellphone or office telephone number in order to contact them easily, if needed. Be sure to take initiative, too, read parenting books and websites to increase your knowledge as well as your confidence to be the best mommy or daddy you can be!

sources: Parents.com, KidsHealth.com, The Bump

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