Checkup Checklist: 1 Month Old
Can you believe your baby is already one month old?
In addition to checking on your baby’s developmental milestones, your pediatrician will also address what may feel like a million issues and questions. The list below are just some of the topics you may talk about at this visit. Get the most out of your time with your pediatrician and make a list of your questions ahead of time.
✅ Immunizations Your baby may receive a second dose of the Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine at either the one-month or two-month checkup.
✅ Screenings This is a great time to talk with your pediatrician about how things are going at home with your new baby. They may ask about how well baby is eating, if you have enough food, and feel safe and comfortable. Your pediatrician might also ask how you are feeling. If you are feeling anxious or sad, or anything else, you are not alone and your pediatrician is ready to help.
✅Development & feeding Your doctor will measure and weigh your baby to make sure their growth is on track, observe their development and behavior, and perform a physical exam. Questions your pediatrician may ask How’s your feeding routine going? If you are having any issues with feeding (breast or bottle) now is the time to address them. Tell me how you know what your baby wants. What is his cry like? Are the cries different at different times? What do you think they mean? How many wet diapers and stools does your baby have each day? Questions you may have Is my baby developing normally? What are some of the developmental milestones my baby should reach around one month? What are some signs of feeding difficulties in a one month old? Safety Questions your pediatrician may ask Where is your baby sleeping at night? What kind of car seat do you have? If you are planning to return to work, have you chosen a child care provider? Questions you may have What do I do when the crying is too much? How do I know if my baby’s crib is safe? Where can I learn infant CPR?
✅ Urgent care & communication tips The management of acute care for children under age 2 requires special expertise. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend retail-based clinics, telehealth services outside of the medical home, and those acute care services without pediatric expertise for children younger than 2 years. Never hesitate to call your pediatrician’s office with any questions or concerns—even if you know the office is closed. Pediatricians are very accustomed to taking phone calls at all times and can often deal with problems over the phone. If your pediatrician is unable to see you but believes your baby should be examined, he or she will advise you on the most appropriate place for your baby to receive care and how quickly your baby should be seen.
Top 8 Questions Parents Ask at Baby’s One-Month Checkup
Baby is one month old! And while those first weeks may have flown by, you’re still getting to know your little one and learning what’s normal and what to expect in the coming months. As pediatricians, we hear tons of questions from parents during the standard one-month well visit. Here, we’re answering the top eight questions we get about one-month-old babies.
1. Is the One-Month Well Visit Necessary?
In the beginning, the pediatrician will have a bunch of scheduled visits with baby to make sure they’re gaining weight and growing appropriately, as well as meeting their developmental milestones. Most pediatricians will want to see baby two to three days after birth, and then again when they’re 2 to 3 weeks old to make sure they’ve gained back their birth weight, and again when they’re one month old. (There may be additional visits if your child has special concerns, like being jaundice or having trouble gaining weight). In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has detailed guidelines for when to schedule routine check-ups from infancy through adolescence, and each of these routine healthy check-ups includes age specific screenings and assessments.
2. What Will the Doctor Want to Know From Us During the Visit?
At the one-month visit, your doctor will want to know how much and how often baby is feeding, how their bowel movements are going, how they’re sleeping, what new tricks they can do (think: lifting up their head, focusing on or starting to track objects, startling at sounds they hear), and most importantly what concerns or questions you may have. Your pediatrician also will want to make sure that baby’s caretakers are adjusting well and may even administer a questionnaire to the mother to determine if she’s experiencing any postpartum depression. Your pediatrician will examine baby, will put their measurements on a growth chart to make sure they’re growing appropriately, may give the Hepatitis B vaccine if it’s due, and will then tell you what developmental milestones to look for in the coming month, such as baby’s first smiles, visually tracking objects and seeing more clearly, better neck control and perhaps sleeping longer at night!
3. How Long is Too Long for Baby to Go without Pooping?
Infants will usually poop with every feeding, largely due to the rapid movement of food through the colon and a strong gastrocolic reflux (which promotes stooling every time food enters the stomach). Some babies, however, can often go a week without a bowel movement. This is normal and not a reason for concern, as long as the stool is soft, they’re passing gas, not vomiting and their belly is soft and not distended. Sometimes infants at this age appear uncomfortable (making a face, bringing legs to the chest or turning red in the face) when they poop, even when passing a soft stool. When infants push to pass a stool when they’re lying down, the pelvic floor muscles don’t relax and the anal canal doesn’t straighten, making stools more difficult to pass. This is known as rectal confusion and is completely normal. In other words, it’s hard to poop lying down! Abdominal massage or bicycle leg exercises (moving baby’s knees to their chest in a bicycle-like motion) may be helpful, but we don’t recommend rectal stimulation (placing a thermometer or cotton swab in the anus) or suppositories unless you’ve discussed it first with your pediatrician.
4. How Much Weight Should Baby Have Gained?
We get tons of questions surrounding baby’s growth at the one-month visit. What is the expected weight gain? What percentile should baby be in? When are the next growth spurts? How should you track baby’s weight in between visits? A one-month-old should gain approximately 1 ounce per day, 1 inch per month and head circumference should increase by 3/4 inch per month. Growth spurts usually occur when your child is about 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months old. At each visit your child’s pediatrician will take your child’s weight and measure their height and head circumference. They will plot the measurements on a growth chart and tell you your child’s percentile. But the percentile number isn’t super-important; what is important is that your child continues to grow along their own percentile.
5. Spit Up, Baby Acne and Cradle Cap: Is It Normal?
We often tell parents when we see them at the 2-week visit to expect a rashy and gassy baby at the one-month visit, since spit-up, acne and cradle cap are so common in babies! Spit up, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), is usually normal at this age. Infants who have GER are usually known as “happy spitters.” It usually starts at around two to three weeks of life and peaks between four to five months. The majority of infants will see symptoms completely resolve by the time they’re 9 to 12 months old. Happy spitters are not in pain when they spit up, and they typically eat well and gain weight. If your child has spit up associated with poor weight gain, frequent regurgitation, feeding refusal, crying with feeding, arching of the back and vomiting, they may require further workup or treatment. Baby acne is very common and often can be seen on a one-month-old’s forehead and cheeks. It usually develops in the first few weeks after birth, but it goes away on its own and doesn’t need any special treatment or medications. Seborrheic dermatitis is a red, scaly rash that can be seen on baby’s scalp (known as cradle cap) or behind the ears, on the eyebrows and down the chest and diaper area. It’s a very common rash that can be seen on many one-month-olds. The rash doesn’t usually cause any discomfort (although it may bother you to look at it) and can last for a few weeks to months. If the rash is only on the scalp , you can loosen the scales by washing baby’s hair with a mild baby shampoo and combing it with a soft cradle cap or baby brush. Your pediatrician may also recommend other treatments, such as an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or a medicated shampoo.
6. How Many Ounces Should Baby Eat?
At one month of age, the typical formula-fed infant will eat approximately 3 to 4 ounces per bottle every three to four hours. Breastfed infants will feed on demand or approximately every two to four hours or seven to eight times per day. Every child is different, though, so follow your child’s feeding cues. If they’re gaining weight well, they’re likely eating enough.
7. When Can We Take Baby Out of the House?
There is no one right, “official” answer to when you can take your newborn out for the first time. We often tell parents to do it whenever they feel up to it, but since baby’s immune system is still developing, it’s always best to play it safe and exercise some precautions. A fever in a baby under 2 months, and especially under 1 month, is serious, and so you don’t want to take your newborn to places that might expose them to germs and potentially get them sick. For example, we wouldn’t feel comfortable taking our own newborns on a crowded subway during the height of flu season, but taking them on a stroll in the park when it’s not too cold out would help us feel less stir-crazy when spending so much time at home.
8. When Should Baby Start Taking Vitamin D?
According to the AAP, all infants should have at least 400 IU of vitamin D per day, starting soon after birth. If you’re breastfeeding your child, either exclusively or partially, baby should be getting 400 IU of vitamin D supplementation each day, until they’re over one year old and drinking at least 1 liter (about 32 ounces) of whole milk a day, or if they’re breastfeeding and also drinking 32 ounces of formula a day. If baby is exclusively formula-fed, because formula contains 400 IU per liter of vitamin D, if they’re drinking 32 ounces of formula, you don’t need to give them extra vitamin D. If your formula-fed baby is drinking less than 32 ounces of formula a day, then they should also be getting 400 IU of vitamin D a day. You can buy the vitamin D supplement over the counter in most pharmacies without a prescription.
Your Child’s Checkup: 1 Month
What to Expect During This Visit Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:
1. Check your baby’s weight, length, and head circumference and plot the measurements on a growth chart.
2. Ask questions, address any concerns, and offer advice about how your baby is:
Feeding. Infants should be fed when they seem hungry. At this age, breastfed babies will eat about 8–12 times in a 24-hour period. Formula-fed infants consume about 24 ounces a day.
Burp your baby midway through feedings and at the end. Peeing and pooping. Infants should have about 6 wet diapers a day. The daily number of poopy diapers varies, but most breastfed babies will have 3 or more. Around 6 weeks of age, breastfed babies may go several days without a bowel movement. Formula-fed babies have at least 1 bowel movement a day.
Tell your doctor if you have any concerns about your infant’s bowel movements. Sleeping. Infants this age sleep about 14 to 17 hours a day, including several daytime naps. Breastfed babies may still wake often to eat at night, while bottle-fed infants may sleep for longer stretches.
Developing. By 1 month of age, babies should: focus and follow objects (especially faces) respond to sound by quieting down, blinking, turning the head, startling, or crying still hold arms and legs in a flexed position, but start to extend legs more often move arms and legs equally lift the head briefly when on the stomach have strong newborn reflexes: rooting and sucking: turns toward, then sucks breast/bottle nipple grasp: tightly grabs hold of a finger placed within the palm fencer’s pose: straightens arm when head is turned to that side and bends opposite arm Moro reflex (startle response): throws out arms and legs and then curls them in when startled
3. Do an exam with your baby undressed while you are present. This will include an eye exam, listening to your baby’s heart and feeling pulses, examining the belly, and checking the hips.
4. Do screening tests. Your doctor will review the newborn screening tests from the hospital and repeat tests, if needed. If a hearing test wasn’t done then, your baby will have one now.
5. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect infants from serious childhood illnesses, so it’s important that your baby get them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.
6. Because postpartum depression is common, your baby’s doctor may ask you to fill out a depression screening questionnaire.
Looking Ahead Here are some things to keep in mind until your baby’s next routine checkup at 2 months:
Feeding Continue feeding whenever your baby is hungry.
Pay attention to signs that your baby is full, such as turning away from the breast or nipple and closing the mouth. Between 6 and 8 weeks, your baby may be hungrier due to a growth spurt.
Don’t give solid foods or juice. Don’t put cereal in your baby’s bottle unless directed to by your doctor. Continue to burp your baby midway through and at the end of feedings. If you breastfeed: If you haven’t yet, you can pump and store breast milk for future use. If breastfeeding is going well, it’s OK to give a bottle or pacifier. You might need to have someone else offer the bottle if your little one rejects it when you try.
Continue to take a prenatal vitamin or multivitamin daily.
Ask your doctor about vitamin D drops for your baby. If you formula-feed: Give your baby iron-fortified formula. Follow the formula package’s instructions when making and storing bottles. Do not add extra water to your baby’s formula.
Don’t prop bottles or put your baby to bed with a bottle. Talk to your doctor before switching formulas. Routine Care Wash your hands before handling the baby and ask others to do the same. Avoid people who may be sick.
Hold your baby and be attentive to their needs. You can’t spoil a baby. Sing, talk, and read to your baby. Babies learn best by interacting with people.
Give your baby supervised “tummy time” when awake. Always watch your baby and be ready to help if they get tired or frustrated in this position.
It’s normal for infants to have fussy periods. But for some, crying can be excessive, lasting several hours a day. If an otherwise well baby develops colic, it usually starts when they’re around 3 weeks old, peaks around 6 weeks, and improves by 3 months.
Call your doctor if your baby has a fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, taken in your baby’s bottom. Call the doctor if your baby is acting sick. Don’t give medicine to an infant younger than 2 months old without talking to your doctor first.
It’s common for new moms to feel tired and overwhelmed at times. But if these feelings are intense, or you feel sad, moody, or anxious, call your doctor.
Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your living situation.
Do you have the things that you need to take care of your baby? Do you have enough food, a safe place to live, and health insurance? Your doctor can tell you about community resources or refer you to a social worker.
Safety To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS):
- Let your baby sleep in your room in a bassinet or crib next to the bed until your baby’s first birthday or for at least 6 months, when the risk of SIDS is highest.
- Always place your baby to sleep on a firm mattress on their back in a crib or bassinet without any crib bumpers, blankets, quilts, pillows, or plush toys.
- Avoid overheating by keeping the room temperature comfortable.
- Don’t overbundle your baby.
- Consider putting your baby to sleep sucking on a pacifier.
- Don’t smoke or use e-cigarettes.
- Don’t let anyone smoke or vape around your baby.
- Always put your baby in a rear-facing car seat in the backseat.
- Never leave your baby alone in the car.
- Keep all cords, wires, and toys with loops or strings away from your baby.
- While your baby is awake, don’t leave your little one unattended, especially on high surfaces or in the bath.
- Never shake your baby — it can cause bleeding in the brain and even death.
- If you are ever worried that you will hurt your baby, put your baby in the crib or bassinet for a few minutes. Call a friend, relative, or your health care provider for help.
- Avoid sun exposure by keeping your baby covered and in the shade when possible. Sunscreens are not recommended for infants younger than 6 months. However, you may use a small amount of sunscreen on an infant younger than 6 months if shade and clothing don’t offer enough protection.
1-Month Well-Baby Checkup
The one-month appointment should happen around the one-month mark – so don’t worry about getting an appointment for the exact date your baby hits this milestone.
At this appointment, you’ll notice the routine starting to develop: Baby will be measured and checked out head-to-toe, their growth and development will be assessed to make sure it’s on track, you’ll be asked questions about how both you and baby are doing, and you’ll have time to ask questions, too.
Some of the big topics your doctor will talk with you about are how baby is sleeping and feeding, and how you can help baby’s brain development along by talking, reading, singing and engaging with them. These are all so important for making sure your little one continues to grow and develop. The doctor will also want to know how you’re doing and help make sure you have the support you need.
This appointment is also the perfect time to talk with the doctor about childhood vaccinations. The recommended vaccination schedule really kicks off at the two-month appointment, so this is a great time to get your questions answered.
The 1-Month Well-Baby Visit
Your little one is a whole month old!
You may still be fumbling over feedings and diaper changes (and you really can’t remember the last time you got a good night’s sleep), but you’re giving parenting everything you’ve got. All that hard work is paying off in ever-more-manageable daily routines, and of course, the best cuddles of your life.
But even as your parenting confidence grows, you’re likely wondering about, well, just about everything. The 1-month well-baby visit is your chance to share what’s been on your mind — and show off your growing newborn.
The physical checkup
All that breast milk or formula is adding up: Your 1-month-old baby is likely rounder and chubbier every day. She’s gaining weight steadily now, roughly 6 to 8 ounces a week, for a total of 1 ½ to 2 added pounds since birth. It will be time once again for your baby’s doctor to add the latest stats to your baby’s growth chart and perform a thorough examination of baby’s overall health. During this visit, the doctor will also:
Test baby’s newborn reflexes
Check the umbilical site (the stump has likely fallen off by now and the site should be healed and looking more like a belly button) and, if applicable, the circumcision site (this should also be healed)
Your baby has been hard at work developing important skills that the doctor will want to make note of. By now, your baby may:
- Briefly lift the head during tummy time
- Bring hands to her face
- Focus on your face (as much as possible!)
Remember, some babies may speed past typical developmental milestones, while others get a late start, eventually catching up or even zipping ahead.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccinations to help protect your baby. Depending on how your doctor likes to space vaccines, your baby might get her second dose (out of the series of three doses) of the HepB (hepatitis B) vaccine at the 1-month visit.
This is also a good time to ask about the vaccines your baby will receive at the 2-month visit.
Questions to ask your doctor
Make the most of your well-baby visits by keeping a list of questions on your phone to talk over with your doctor. In the first month, for example, you may want to ask:
- How can I tell if my baby’s still hungry after I’ve fed her?
- If my baby spits up, should I feed her again?
- What’s the best way to burp her?
- What’s up with that poop?
- How do I tell when it’s normal and when it’s not?
- How do I soothe my baby when she cries? S
- hould I start tummy time?
- What do I do if she doesn’t like it?
- Where should my baby sleep?
- Should I wake my baby to feed?
You should always be prepared to answer a few questions as well — and not only about your baby. The doctor will most likely ask about how you and your partner are handling this major transition into parenthood, as well as how any older children are handling becoming big siblings. A postpartum depression screening is also recommended.
Screening for postpartum depression
Sure, the pediatrician is your baby’s doctor. But you’ll be seeing plenty of him or her in the months to come — most likely, far more than you’ll see a doctor of your own. That makes the pediatrician an important first line of defense when it comes to diagnosing and fighting postpartum depression (PPD).
That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all pediatricians screen new moms for postpartum depression and other mood disorders at the 1-, 2-, 4- and 6-month well-baby visits using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (a 10-question survey) or a simpler two-question approach.
Maternal or paternal depression can devastate you, but it can also have short- and long-term developmental and emotional impacts on your baby if it’s not diagnosed and treated. If you’re not sure whether you’ve had the screening, or if you are concerned that you or your partner has symptoms of PPD or another mood disorder, ask the pediatrician, an OB/GYN or another practitioner for help as soon as possible.
Baby’s 1-Month Checkup: What to Expect
The past month has likely been filled with highs and lows. Your life has dramatically changed, and you probably feel unsure about what to do sometimes. That’s completely normal; know that it will get better. Your pediatrician can help address any concerns that you may have, so don’t be shy about asking questions! Here’s what to expect at your baby’s 1-month checkup.
You Can Expect Your Baby’s Doctor to:
- Check that baby’s umbilical cord stump has fallen off, and that baby’s belly button is healing properly
- Examine your baby boy’s penis if they were circumcised
- Give your baby a hepatitis B vaccine (The shot is usually given in the hospital at 2 days and then at 1 month and 6 months of age. Some pediatricians give it at birth, then at 2 and 6 months.)
- Check your baby’s weight and height and get details about the feeding schedule
Questions Your Baby’s Doctor May Ask
- Are you giving your baby tummy time when they are awake?
- Does your baby quiet down when they hear your voice?
- Is your baby moving their arms and legs equally?
- Is your baby getting vitamin supplementation?
Questions You May Have About Baby’s Appearance
- Why are my baby’s eyes tearing a lot?
- When will their acne go away?
- What can I do about my baby’s flaky scalp?
- Why are my baby’s eyes crossing?
Tips for Eye and Skin Issues
- Tear ducts in infants are sometimes blocked, but most babies grow out of this.
- Massaging the area where the inner corner of the eye meets the nose with a warm cloth can help.
- Don’t worry if your baby develops acne or a flaky scalp.
- Acne and flaky scalp issues usually go away on their own within a few months.
- Washing baby’s hair regularly with a mild infant shampoo and brushing out scales with a soft brush may help a flaky scalp.
- Babies less than 3 months of age will tend to cross their eyes, open one eye and not the other, or appear to look in 2 different directions. This is normal in the first 3 months of life.
- Talk to your pediatrician if you are worried about any of these conditions.
Questions You May Have About Weight Gain
- Is my baby gaining enough weight?
- How often should I feed my baby?
Weight Gain Tips
- Newborns usually gain about 5 to 7 ounces a week for the first 1 to 2 months.
- Your baby may grow ½ to 1 inch the first month.
- If your baby is healthy and gaining weight from visit to visit, they should be fine.
- Feed your baby when they are hungry, or at least every 3 to 4 hours.
- Are you and baby starting to get cabin fever? If the weather is nice, take your baby outside for a stroll. If you go visiting, just ask people to wash their hands before they hold your baby. Your baby will enjoy meeting your friends, and they will certainly enjoy meeting your baby!
Doctor visit: The 1-month checkup
What the doctor will do
Weigh and measure your baby
You’ll need to undress your baby completely for weighing. The doctor weighs your baby, measures length and head circumference, and plots the numbers on a growth chart. The chart enables you to see how your baby compares with other children the same age. But it doesn’t matter whether he’s in the 5th or the 95th percentile, as long as his rate of growth is steady from one visit to the next.
Do a complete physical
- Heart and lungs: Uses a stethoscope to listen for any abnormal heart rhythms or breathing problems.
- Eyes: Checks for signs of congenital eye conditions and other problems. May also check for blocked tear ducts and discharge.
- Ears: Looks for signs of infection and observes how your baby responds to sound.
- Mouth: Looks for signs of thrush (an oral yeast infection) among other things.
- Head: Checks the soft spots (fontanels) and the shape of your baby’s head.
- Body: Checks your baby’s reflexes and muscle tone, and examines his skin for jaundice, rashes, and birthmarks.
- Belly: Makes sure the umbilical cord stump has fallen off and the belly button is healing well. Presses gently on the abdomen to check for a hernia or any enlarged organs.
- Genitals: Opens your baby’s diaper and checks for signs of infection. If your baby is a boy, the doctor looks to see if his testes have descended into the scrotum. If your son was circumcised, the doctor examines his penis to make sure it’s healing well.
- Hips and legs: Moves your baby’s legs around to look for problems in the hip joints.
Give your baby his shots Your baby will probably get a hepatitis B shot. Most babies receive their first hep B shot a birth, the second at their 1 or 2 month checkup, and their third sometime between 6 and 18 months. An assistant may administer the shot. It’s usually done at the end of the appointment so you can have some privacy afterward to comfort your baby. Address any other concerns Your doctor will recommend giving vitamin D drops to breastfed babies. (Babies who drink 17 to 32 ounces of formula a day are getting enough vitamin D.) The doctor will also address any noticeable health concerns (diaper rash and cradle cap are common at this stage), ask you some questions (see below), and help you understand what’s normal at this age.
Questions the doctor may ask:
How is your baby sleeping? Normal sleeping patterns are still erratic this month, but most babies will sleep in two- to three-hour chunks during the day and night for a total of about 15 hours. By now one period of sleep may be a little longer than the others — that’s the first step toward a full night’s rest for the baby and you.
What position does your baby sleep in? To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), put your baby to sleep on her back.
When, how, and how often is your baby eating? Most 1-month-olds eat every two to three hours. The doctor asks these questions to determine whether your baby is getting enough breast milk or formula to thrive, and to see if you have any concerns about feeding. What are your baby’s bowel movements like? Soft feces are best, but color can vary. Dry or pellet-like stools are a sign of dehydration, or a sign of constipation in a formula-fed infant. Tell your doctor if you notice this.
Does your baby quiet down, at least briefly, at the sound of your voice? This behavior tells you and the doctor two things: Your baby is beginning to recognize you, and she sees you as a source of comfort and nurturing.
Is your baby awake for longer periods of time? There’s no right amount of alert time, but a general trend toward longer periods of alertness is a sign that your baby’s developing normally.
Does she make soft cooing noises when she’s content and alert? It’s still several months before she’ll utter her first real words, but these happy baby sounds are the first step.
Have you noticed anything unusual about your baby’s eyes or the way she looks at things? At every well-baby visit, the doctor should check the structure and alignment of the eyes and your baby’s ability to move them correctly.
Is she a little fussier at the end of the day? It’s normal for 1-month-olds to fuss in the evening, especially between 6 p.m. and midnight. As your baby starts staying awake for longer periods during the day, she’ll begin feeling more tired and irritable at night.
Are you giving your baby tummy time when she’s awake? Start tummy time from day one – when your child is awake and you’re watching her, of course. Time on the tummy helps babies learn to push up, roll over, and eventually crawl. It also helps them avoid getting a flat spot on the back of the head. If you start it right away, your baby is less likely to resist it.
Does your baby hold her head up when placed on her tummy? Head control is an important developmental milestone. If your baby can’t hold her head up at least briefly by now, tell the doctor.
How are you doing? Your child’s doctor will screen you for signs of postpartum depression and ask questions about stressors on your family and how much of a support network you have.
Your Baby’s 1-Month Health Check
Your baby’s first health checkup will be about one month after you bring him home from the hospital. Your provider will check his weight and height, and offer you advice on how to handle minor illnesses or concerns at home and when to call the doctor.
You’re still getting used to life with your baby, so give yourself as much time for this checkup as you can. Bring along whatever you need to keep your baby warm, fed, and contented, and make sure to bring a copy of your newborn’s hospital record, if you have it.
At This Visit, Your Provider Will Probably:
Weigh and measure your baby to make sure he’s growing at a healthy rate. Check that his umbilical cord stump has fallen off and the belly button is healing well. If your baby son was circumcised, your provider will check that this is healing as well. Give your baby a hepatitis shot if he didn’t get one at the hospital or at a previous doctor’s visit. Address any health concerns that he or she notices, such as cradle cap or diaper rash. Ask you about your baby’s sleeping, eating, and elimination patterns.
What Your Healthcare Provider Will Want To Know
Has your baby seen another healthcare provider since the last visit? If so, why? What was the outcome of that visit, and were any medications or treatments prescribed?
Does your baby hold her head up when you put her on her tummy?
Does she quiet down, at least briefly, when she hears you or when you pick her up?
Does she sleep a little longer during some part of the day or night?
Does she have longer periods when she’s alert?
Does she follow you with her eyes, and study your eyes and face when you’re close?
Does she respond to your voice or other sounds?
Is she put to sleep on her back? Are her bedding and room appropriate?
Does she watch a mobile above her?
Is she a little fussier at the end of the day? All of these behaviors are expected at this time.
If you are breastfeeding, are you taking any medication or supplements?
Are there any special stresses or changes at home?
Talk It Over
You no doubt have many other concerns. Now’s the time to discuss them with your provider. Here are a few common issues:
- How is your baby eating and sleeping? Let your provider know how often your baby eats.
- Talk about how siblings and other family members are adjusting.
- Ask about crying management and comforting techniques. Your baby should respond to being held. Discuss pacifier use as well.
New parents always have questions. Your healthcare provider is there to help, so don’t be shy. For example, you should speak up if the following situations apply to you:
- People are giving you advice that confuses you or is contradictory.
- Your baby doesn’t respond to sounds, especially your voice.
- Your baby isn’t moving both hands and feet equally.
- Your baby has a puffy or runny eye.
- Your baby doesn’t focus on your face when she is alert.
- You’re having a hard time comforting your baby.
- You’re feeling blue, or having a hard time sleeping or eating.
- You’re going back to work soon, and you’re not sure how you’re going to manage it.
- Your baby doesn’t stay awake for more than 30 minutes at a time.
- Although every baby is different and reaches developmental milestones at unique times, it’s always reassuring to discuss any issues or concerns about your baby’s development with your provider.
10 Questions to Ask during Your Baby’s 1-month Check-Up
It’s time for your baby’s 1-month checkup and you have quite a few questions running through your mind. You wish everything is fine, that your baby is growing normally, and you are looking for some kind of an assurance from the pediatrician. During your baby’s 1-month checkup, the pediatrician is likely to conduct a complete physical examination of your baby, including heart & lungs, eyes, ears, head, body, belly, genitals, hips & legs, etc. They may ask you some questions regarding the baby such as pattern of sleep, eating frequency, bowel movements, general activities when awake, etc. They may also enquire about your own physical and emotional health to check if you are experiencing any postpartum symptoms such as depression, anxiety, stress or nutritional deficiency. Once these conversations are over, you can freely ask questions and discuss your concerns about the baby. Since the consultation time may be limited, here are some of the most important questions you can ask during your baby’s 1-month checkup.
Have the tests come out right? Your hospital is likely to have conducted a wide variety of tests to check for any signs of disease or disorder in your baby. Ask the doctor about the reports and if there is anything you need to be concerned about. Screening tests can identify potential problems such as hemoglobin disorders, sickle cell disease, etc. a lot earlier, which helps prevent further damage and increases the chances of recovery through treatment. The doctor will inform you if anything unusual is noticed in the tests and how it can be tackled.
Is it okay to use formula? Breast milk is considered the best choice for a baby, but sometimes, due to medical or other reasons, it may not be working that well for you and your baby. You can ask the doctor if you can supplement with formula. However, it is not advisable to completely give up nursing the baby. The doctor can evaluate the nutritional needs of your baby and let you know how much and how frequently you can supplement with formula. They can also suggest a specific type of formula, which would be most suitable for your baby.
Is the baby feeding too much or too little? You need to keep track of your baby’s feeding routine and ask the doctor if it’s normal at this age. Most breastfed babies will require feeding every 2-3 hours whereas the eating frequency of bottle-fed babies may be every 3-4 hours. Most babies are likely to display a voracious appetite since they are growing at a fast rate. However, it may vary from child to child, so it’s better to consult the doctor. One of your top concerns may be to ensure that the baby isn’t starving, so you can discuss this as well.
Is the baby’s poop normal? This may seem like an awkward question to ask, but keep in mind that your baby’s poop can reveal a great deal about their digestive health. The colour, consistency, smell, texture, quantity and frequency of your baby’s poop can be very useful in determining whether your baby’s digestive system is working normally or not. If you notice something unusual about the baby’s poop or pee, for example, a strange odour or colour, you can discuss these as well with the doctor.
Is the baby’s vision normal? At one month, most babies learn to focus on and follow objects. You may have noticed that too, but you may not be completely sure if that’s a valid test for certifying normal vision in a 1-month old baby. You can share your experiences with the doctor and ask if your baby’s vision is normal for this age. During your baby’s 1-month checkup, the doctor is likely to examine your baby’s eyes and inform you if anything unusual is noticed or if more tests are needed.
What vaccinations to give to the baby? You may be aware of the second shot of Hepatitis B vaccine that is given to one-month babies. Next month, your baby will be getting a lot more vaccinations such as Polio, Diphtheria, Rotavirus, Tetanus, etc., so discuss these with the doctor. If you have any concerns about vaccinations such as any adverse reactions or short-term or long-term side effects, you can share these as well with the doctor.
Is the baby sleeping normally? Newborn babies tend to sleep 16-17 hours in a 24-hour cycle. However, this is not at a stretch; it’s more like sleeping for 2-4 hours, then waking up, and then going to sleep again. You may have already noted down your baby’s sleep patterns and you may want to ask the doctor if the baby is sleeping less, more or normally. Also, if your baby has trouble sleeping, the doctor can provide the right advice to help your little one sleep better.
What development milestones to look for? At one month, it may be too early to look for development milestones for your baby. However, just for your peace of mind and to relax your anxieties, you can ask the doctor what to expect in the near future. Development milestones would include things like the ability to crawl, walk, speak, etc. These would come later, but there’s no harm in being proactive in your approach.
Is the baby meeting growth chart requirements? You may want to know whether your baby is growing normally or not. During your baby’s 1-month checkup, the doctor is likely to measure your baby’s height, weight, head circumference, etc. These measurements will then be plotted on a standardized growth chart, which will give insights about your baby’s growth. If anything unusual is noticed, the doctor will inform you about the next steps.
Will the baby grow a flat head? Often, parents are concerned that their baby might grow a flat head, especially when they notice that their head is too soft. However, this is normal, since the baby’s skull bones are yet to fuse together and become strong. A baby can develop a flat head only if she is consistently sleeping in the same position. If your baby has already started developing a flat head syndrome, the doctor can prescribe a special helmet to reshape your child’s head.
10 questions for your baby’s 1-month check-up
Heading into the pediatrician for your baby’s 1-month check-up? Don’t be surprised if it feels like there are a million issues and questions to get answered in a short time with your doctor, covering everything from vaccines to your own emotional health.
Here are 10 things to think about before you and your baby head into the doctor’s so you can make the most of your time:
Weight—if you have any concerns regarding growth be sure and ask your doctor how he or she feels about the amount of weight gain over this first month.
Feeding—if you are having any issues with feeding (breast or bottle) now is the time to address them. If you are breastfeeding and in pain, nursing each time for “too long,” having latching issues or have a baby who seems uncomfortable, you should bring this up. Many feeding issues are addressed with simple corrections, and your pediatrician can guide you in the right direction.
Skin changes—note any rashes, birthmarks, dryness, or any other changes in your baby’s skin that you specifically want the doctor to notice and comment about.
Vaccine questions—prepare your vaccine questions so you can be comfortable as the 1-month immunization is given.
Acetaminophen dose—at each well visit, confirm the dose for acetaminophen in the event your infant is in pain or has a fever
Vision and hearing—if you have any concerns that your infant does not see or hear you, it is very important you bring those to your doctor’s attention. Follow up on any abnormal prenatal or abnormal newborn testing—ask about the results of your child’s newborn screen if you have not already received them.
Emotional adjustment—if you or your family are having difficulty adjusting to a new member in the family, let your doctor know.
Safety questions or concerns—if you are traveling, being bombarded with people who want to see the baby, or just worried about germ exposure, ask your doctor what you need to know to keep your infant safe.
Sleep—while a consistent sleep pattern may be several weeks away, feel free to discuss what you’ve noticed so far and ask your pediatrician for tips to gently get your baby into a healthy sleep pattern.
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