Before you pay your first visit to your child’s paediatrician, you need to prepare. Preparation for the newborn checkup schedule ensures that the process will go smoothly, and it can also help ease anxiety, especially for first-time parents.
How to prepare for your newborn checkup schedule
Most paediatricians will schedule your first visit two weeks after giving birth. But you can opt to have the first check-up even earlier.
It would be 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 allow 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 are the things you need to prepare before the day of your newborn’s checkup schedule:
1. Dress your baby comfortably and pack their diaper bag efficiently.
During a check-up, the paediatrician 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 the 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 are 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 labour 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.
Baby’s first check-up. | Image from dreamstime
3. Bring only your personal items.
Remember to keep your IDs, cell phone, keys, wallet, and other valuables that are needed close to you. This is to avoid unnecessary issues when it comes to information and billings inside the clinic or the hospital.
Also, keep your baby bag lightweight and avoid bringing unnecessary items as you only need to focus on your baby’s first visit to the doctor.
4. Prepare to have a nurse check your baby before you meet the paediatrician.
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.
5. Prepare questions as well as answers.
Each paediatrician 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 doctor 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 immunisation 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.
Questions for baby’s first paediatrician visit
Don’t forget to ask your child’s doctor the following on your newborn’s checkup schedule:
- 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 ____-coloured poop normal?
- What medications are safe to give her at this age?
- When is the next schedule for vaccination?
- In what cases should I call or bring my baby for a consultation?
- Any breastfeeding concerns you may have
Don’t be ashamed to ask these questions. Paediatricians are used to this routine with first-time parents. 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 paediatrician’s mobile or office telephone number in order to contact them easily, if needed.
Safety Protocols during Pandemic
With the threatening COVID 19 just outside our premises, would we bother to go out and see our paediatricians?
The answer is, yes. Even in the pandemic, children, especially babies still need to have their routine medical checkups to make sure that their health and development are on track.
You can still go to the hospital for your newborn’s checkup schedule but with extra safety measures. Learn how you can stay safe from COVID 19 while getting the care you need for your baby.
How to safely go to your paediatrician’s clinic for your baby’s first check-up?
Make sure to know whether your doctor is by appointment or accepting walk in’s. Call the clinic and know their schedule so you won’t have to come empty-handed.
Baby’s first check-up: Do some research. | Image from iStock
Check information like:
- Requirements for wearing face masks and face shield
- The limit of people allowed in the clinic or hospital
- Instructions on how to set an appointment with the doctor
- How do they ensure the safety of their patients, such as taking measures like wearing proper personal protective equipment or PPE?
Once you confirm those things, inform them about the time and date that you’d like to go.
Before you head to the clinic:
Call and check the clinic if they would push through with the schedule.
Some clinics cancel their schedule because of some circumstances so make sure to check their availability before going. If you are not feeling well then cancel your appointment and inform them of your new schedule.
Remember to only go with the limit of the persons allowed in the clinic.
This is to avoid a crowded place and to ensure safe social distancing. Too many people can increase the risk of getting infected. The virus of covid 19 is spread easily through physical contact from person to person.
Wash your hands before heading out.
It is important to sanitise your hands because washing is considered one of the effective ways to prevent the infection of COVID 19. Wash your hands with soap and water for about 20 seconds. If using a hand sanitiser, make sure to use a 60% level of alcohol before touching any surfaces.
Masks help protect you and those around you. It is a safety measure to suppress the transmission of the virus. Wear a cloth mask recommended by the health experts. Most clinics will require wearing face masks inside.
Maintain social distancing.
Aim to keep your social distance at least 2 meters away from others. This will include lining up or sitting in the waiting area. Some clinics also have markings, so make sure to follow them. If an area looks crowded, immediately move to a spacious place.
Avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces.
It will be hard to avoid frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, stair railing, and touchpads. To ensure your safety, always bring alcohol or sanitiser and use them afterwards.
Sometimes, they will be needing you to sign certain papers like documents or receipts, it would be best to bring your own ball pens as well.
After the check-up:
Shower immediately after arriving home
It is important to shower because it will cleanse your body after staying for a long time outside your house. This will ensure that everything in the house will not be infected. Although the virus is proven airborne, nothing is wrong with taking extra measures especially when you have a baby at home.
Make sure to disinfect your things, such as bags, shoes, and everything exposed outside. Immediately put your clothes in the bin and take a shower. Disinfecting kills germs exposed on surfaces and reduces the risk of spreading infection.
Avoid going out when it is not necessary.
Always keep in mind that your baby’s safety is important. You don’t have to go out if it is not needed. It’s best to be in and out at the doctor’s office and straight home after your newborn’s checkup schedule to minimise your infant’s exposure to bacteria.
For important errands, always follow the safety protocols before and after going out. The more you interact with others, the higher the risk of spreading the COVID 19 infection so be aware.
This article was written by Bianchi Mendoza and republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines.
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