by Mollee Bauer
New cars come with maintenance guides and manuals so you know exactly when to change the oil and sparkplugs and how to inflate the tires.
Many new parents complain that babies don't come with instructions! It's pretty simple to figure out when to change a diaper, but other new baby questions can be a bit trickier. Your well-child checkups can serve as a simple guide to new baby care.
Below you'll find what to expect at your baby's two-week well-child visit as well as questions other parents have asked their pediatrician.
Action Item List
When most babies were several days old before they were discharged from the nursery, they didn't see their pediatrician until they were two weeks old.
These days, it's likely that you have already seen your pediatrician at least once or twice already for jaundice or weight checks. Even so, your doctor will still want to see you baby will also need a two-week checkup.
• Bring information: Be ready to answer questions about sleep, breastfeeding, wet and soiled diapers and how you think your baby is doing.
• Remember your list of questions and concerns. With all the changes and lack of sleep, it helps to write down questions as you think of them. Pop your list into your diaper bag.
• Schedule baby's next appointment. The next visit with your pediatrician will probably be when your baby is two months old although some pediatricians also recommend a visit at four weeks of age. Bring your baby's shot record to the visit.
• Newborn screening: Your newborn had a first PKU done before leaving the hospital. You may have been given a card to bring to your 2-week appointment for a second test.
• Vaccinations: If you've opted to vaccinate, your baby may receive the first Hepatitis B vaccine unless it was given in the nursery.
• Postpartum depression: Don't be surprised if the pediatrician asked you question about PPD. Generally, symptoms of the "baby blues" start going away by the two week appointment. If you continue to feel depressed, anxious, worthless or find yourself crying a lot, you may have postpartum depression.
Routine Visit Checklist
• Weigh and measure: The nurse will ask you to undress your baby to get an accurate weight and measure your baby's length and head circumference. You'll probably learn where your wee one falls of the growth chart.
• Developmental milestones: At this checkup your doctor will check your baby's startle reflex, see if his eyes follow objects, listen to sounds he makes and see if he lifts his head for short periods of time.
Questions to Ask
In a few weeks you'll begin to relax and enjoy each other, but right now you and your baby may both be feeling a bit confused.
We talked with other moms to learn their biggest newborn concerns. Here's a list of questions they had for their baby's doctor:
• What can my baby see and hear?
• How can I keep my baby's head nice and round?
• Is my baby getting enough to eat?
• Why does my baby sleep all day and stay awake at night?
• How to I care for my baby's foreskin?
• How can I get my baby to stay awake during a feeding?
• How can I tell what my baby wants?
• Can my little one have a baby massage?
Take advantage of the practical, thought-provoking and entertaining resources on baby and beyond that we've gathered up. Whether you'd like a peek at your baby's development, get parenting tips or want to meet up with others parents of babies this age, we have what you need.
Articles to Read
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• Join Pregnancy.org on Pinterest You can print out this article, jot down your own questions, concerns and notes and bring it to your baby's appointment.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.