Your baby needs regular check-ups to make sure he is healthy and growing right. Be sure to visit the doctor at regularly scheduled times. These are called “well-baby” check-ups. Do not wait until your baby sick to go to the doctor. At the first “well-baby” check-up, the doctor will ask you a lot of questions, your baby will be examined from head to toes and weighed and measured. This is to make sure he is off to a good start. Your baby’s hearing and sight will be checked. It is good to catch problems early if they exist. “Well-baby” examinations follow a set routine during the baby’s first year.
Follow your doctor’s or clinic’s advice for scheduling well-baby check-ups usually at these ages:
- Two to four days after birth or two weeks
- One month
- Two months
- Four months
- Six months
- Nine months
- One year
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 24 months
Immunizations (Shots) are Important
At some of these “well-baby” check-ups, your baby will be immunized to protect him against dangerous diseases. These shots are very important to your baby because children’s immune systems are not strong enough to fight off diseases. By immunizing your child starting at birth, you are protecting your baby from diseases that can be deadly. Every time your baby is given these shots, the doctor will sign or stamp your child’s immunization record. Bring this card to every appointment.
First-year immunizations include several vaccines to protect against:
- Haemophilus influenza type B (HIB)
- Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DPT)
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
- Diarrheal disease (Rotavirus)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
It takes more than one dose of most vaccines to protect your baby. Be sure to return to the doctor or clinic when it is time for additional doses.
Reaction to Shots
Vaccines sometimes have unpleasant side effects, such as making the baby cranky or causing some discomfort. Your baby may develop a fever or swelling in the area where the shot was given. This is common and not serious. Use your time at your baby’s appointment to ask the doctor about what to expect after your baby has his shots.
Call the doctor if your baby develops…
- Constant crying for more than three hours
- Unusual high pitched crying
- Excessive sleepiness or difficulty walking up
- Limpness, paleness
- High temperature
- Convulsions or seizures
—- from First5 Advice for New Parents