Updated November 19, 2020
The first few days after childbirth can feel pretty overwhelming. You find yourself with this tiny human that came without an owner’s manual and is completely dependent on you. The last thing on your mind will probably be your baby’s first doctor’s visit.
In one week, your baby’s doctor will want to see your newborn for an exam and this will be a time for the pediatrician to answer any questions you may have.
You will be asked questions about your baby’s feeding routine, how often and how long (if you are breastfeeding), or how much formula (if you are bottle feeding).
This is a good time to ask for breastfeeding tips or tricks.
The doctor will ask you questions about the frequency of diaper changes and your baby’s stool consistency.
You’ll be asked about sleeping, how long, and if your baby wakes up at night.
If you are breastfeeding your pediatrician will ask questions similar to these:
- Are you changing at least 6 wet diapers each day after the first few days of colostrum?
- Is your baby latching on properly and feeding every 2 to 3 hours?
- Does your baby seem content after breastfeeding?
- Is your baby sleeping between feedings
- Can you visibly see your baby swallowing milk?
- Is your baby having two or more bowel movements during the first few weeks?
The vaccination schedule will also be discussed and you should ask any questions you have about vaccines and potential side effects.
First-time Mom’s Info:
Your pediatrician may ask you questions about your postpartum recovery and if you have any symptoms of postpartum depression and/or anxiety. Be honest.
Remember….you will likely be running on very little sleep and a lot of information will be covered. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor to slow down and explain things to you again.
This is your baby’s first doctor’s visit so don’t feel rushed. Take your time. If you want something to be explained to you further, just ask.
Pediatricians usually schedule more time for a baby and mom’s first wellness visit.
5 Tips For Baby’s First Doctor’s Visit:
1. Schedule the appointment for late morning and leave plenty of time to get ready.
This is so important. It can be crazy trying to get everything ready to go with a newborn.
It will take you longer to get out the door than you think. Give yourself plenty of time so you don’t feel rushed.
Dress the baby in something simple and easy to get on and off. You’ll be grateful you did.
Getting there a little early will give you time to fill out all of the paperwork. Don’t hesitate to ask your friends and family for help.
A good tip to consider if you don’t have help or you have other young children to take care of is to start dinner in a slow cooker before you go.
2. Pack a full diaper bag.
You’ll want to bring a change of clothes, extra diapers, wipes, feeding supplies, and a snack for yourself.
If have been keeping a pregnancy journal or a newborn journal, bring it with you. You can just slip it into your diaper bag.
3. Prepare a list of questions and concerns before you go.
You will likely have lots of questions and maybe some concerns you’ll want to discuss with your provider.
Prepare the questions the day before if you can. That way you won’t forget to ask them during the hustle and bustle of the appointment.
Bring paper and a pen to write down the answers or put them on your phone.
4. Minimize stress.
Get directions to the office well ahead of time so you won’t be late. Gather any documents the day before.
For example, your health insurance card, health records for the baby, and your medical history (including any medications you took while pregnant).
5. Book the next appointment before you leave.
While it is fresh in your mind! You don’t want to forget, and then get frustrated trying to get an appointment that fits into your already hectic schedule.
It is normal to have lots of questions in the first few weeks, so don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician’s office.
Be gentle with yourself! It takes a few weeks to develop confidence and become comfortable with your baby’s needs and wants.
Questions To Ask At Your Baby’s First Doctor’s Visit
It is normal to have many questions at your baby’s first doctor’s visit.
It is also completely normal to forget to ask them!
As a new mom, you are running on very little sleep, and having a new baby in the house can be overwhelming.
The first visit will usually happen within the first week after you are discharged from the hospital or birth center.
It is a good idea to write down the questions you have in advance.
Jot them down as soon as you think of them, as you will very likely forget them with all the distractions a new parent is faced with in the first few weeks after delivery.
Some of the questions you may want to ask:
How often should my baby be feeding?
How do I know if my baby is getting enough breastmilk?
What is the vaccine schedule and what side effects should I look out for?
How many hours at a time should I expect my baby to sleep?
Should I wake my baby up for a feeding?
How do I know my baby is gaining enough weight?
As you are home with your newborn the list will undoubtedly get longer.
You can ask your family and friends, but you might feel more comfortable asking your pediatrician. They answer these questions daily.
As you might have experienced during your pregnancy, everyone around you, means well when they offer you advice but it can be overwhelming.
Especially with a newborn that isn’t letting you get any sleep. You can always reach out to your baby’s pediatrician with any questions or concerns.
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