Are you a new mom thinking, "I just gave birth; how could it possibly be time for baby's one month check-up?"
As you will soon discover, if you haven’t already, time takes on a whole other pace now that you have a child. While the nine months you were carrying that precious bundle seemed to last forever, you are probably wondering where the last four weeks of life went. Your sleep-deprived mind may be having a hard time accepting the fact that your newborn is already one month old.
Truth be told, that feeling will stay with you throughout your child's life as they continue to grow before your eyes.
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Baby's One Month Check-up Specifics
You have likely been to your pediatrician twice already for the first visit 3-5 days after being discharged as well as the two-week visit. So you may be becoming familiar with what happens at a check-up, or "well visit", but I’ll remind you of the specific things to expect for the one month check-up appointment and highlight some common questions to ask.
What are Baby Well Visits
Registered Nurse and Baby Earth writer, Linda Scruggs, lays out generally what to expect at monthly check-ups in her Babywise.life article What are Well Baby Visits and Why They’re Important.
She says there are a few things to expect at each visit:
- Your pediatrician will monitor Baby’s physical growth by measuring weight, height and head circumference, as well as perform a full body physical exam. This exam will include a close look at the head, ears, eyes, mouth, heart/lungs, abdomen, hips/legs, genitalia and skin.
Read Linda’s article How to Prepare for Baby’s Well Checks for more information about the physical exam.
- They will also evaluate your baby’s developmental progress by looking at eye contact, fine and gross motor movements, as well as social interaction.
- The doctor will ask you questions about how your baby is eating and sleeping.
- They will ask about the number of wet and dirty diapers per day.
- Some visits may include vaccinations.
Baby's One Month Check-up
What to Expect at the One Month Check-up
- At the one month well visit, the doctor will check to see if the belly button (and if applicable, the circumcision site) is healing well.
- If your child is breastfed, your doctor may recommend a vitamin D supplement.
- Your child may receive the second round of the Hepatitis B vaccination at the one month appointment or at the two month appointment.
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One Month Developmental Milestones
Your pediatrician will likely ask you about each of the following milestones to make sure Baby is on track. Remember that all milestones are generalizations and you don’t necessarily need to worry if your baby has not reached some of them yet.
By one month of age, babies typically:
- Focus on and follow objects, particularly faces
- Respond to and move head toward familiar sounds and voices
- Briefly lift and turn head during tummy time
- Hold hands flexed in fists, but begin to bring hands near face and extend legs
- Have strong newborn reflexes: rooting, sucking, grasping a finger placed in palm and startle response
Questions to Ask at Baby's One Month Visit
Keep a list of any questions you may have and don’t be afraid to ask anything even if it feels silly. Pediatricians understand first-time moms and are happy to answer anything.
You may have questions about:
- Baby acne
- Flaky scalp
- Soothing advice
- Sleep advice
- Feeding advice
- Advice about frequent spit up
- Which vaccines to expect at the next well visit
Baby well visits offer you an opportunity to ensure Baby is growing and developing on track, get your questions answered, and keep up to date on immunizations.
Enjoy seeing how your baby is progressing, but don’t be too quick to compare to your friends’ kids. Compare progress from one visit to the next and trust your pediatrician’s evaluation of Baby’s growth.
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