Well-child visits: Your baby's two-week checkup

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

getting ready for your baby's 2-week checkupWhen 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.

Your Tasks

• 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.

Appointment-Specific Checklist

• 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

Common questions at a third trimester visitIn 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: