Pediatrician smiling at child while listening to heartbeatCongratulations! Your bundle of joy and sleeplessness has finally arrived, and you are switching gears from frequent OB/GYN appointments to frequent pediatrician visits. Your first pediatrician visit is an important milestone and a supportive setting to ask questions and gain reassurance that baby is healthy and thriving. It is also the optimal time for you and your provider to build rapport, mutual respect and a foundation for a long-lasting relationship. The following are five important parts of your baby’s first pediatrician visit.

Weights and Measures
Ensuring that baby is continuously gaining weight and growing is one of the most important reasons you will see your pediatrician so often in your baby’s first few months. At the first visit, your provider will check your baby’s weight, length and head circumference. Babies often lose a small percentage of their body weight in the first day or two after birth, which is a main reason that your first pediatrician visit will be between days 3-5 after they are born, to make sure he or she is getting enough nutrition and has started to gain weight.

Feeding Support
In the beginning, the key to making sure that your baby is growing and gaining weight is to make sure he or she is eating enough. In the first few days babies need just a tiny amount of milk to feel full and satiated, because their stomach is so small. It is often difficult to gauge how much milk an exclusively breastfed newborn is consuming because they often feed around the clock. It is easier to keep track of how many ounces and how often you are feeding your baby if you are bottle feeding pumped milk or formula feeding, but as long as the baby is gaining weight and not jaundiced, they are getting enough. Your first pediatrician visit is the perfect time to address any feeding issues or concerns, including your baby’s latch. Your provider may have tips and tricks to help with breastfeeding success or may refer you to a certified lactation consultant.

Physical Exam
Your provider will check several areas of your baby’s physical development at your first visit to try to identify any abnormalities and more likely to ensure that everything is progressing normally. Your pediatrician will check your baby’s collarbone to make sure there was no injury during birth, his or her head to feel for the soft spots that should be there to allow for your baby’s head to safely grow, as well as the hips, reflexes, genitalia and condition of the skin.

Likely the most anticipated part of the visit and the most helpful for new parents. Come to your visit with a list of questions for your pediatrician, and don’t be afraid to ask him or her any questions you may have or address any issues you are concerned about.

Your family’s first pediatrician visit is a great opportunity to build a foundation for healthy growth and development for you baby and for you as a new parent. Make an appointment with Touchpoint Pediatrics today.