You’re now at home with your newborn, far away from the busyness of the hospital and birthing center, and you may be wondering, “What’s next?” or “How do I keep this baby healthy?”
It’s important to take your baby to his pediatrician for follow up care and regular healthcare. Experts at the American Academy of Pediatricians recommend the following routine health visits for all newborns and infants:
• Visit your pediatrician within 3 to 4 days after hospital discharge for follow-up care
• Schedule your second appointment 2 weeks later
• Subsequent healthcare checks are then at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months of age
Providing your newborn/infant with regular healthcare will give you and your pediatrician an opportunity to:
• Assess and track your baby’s growth
• Assess and discuss his feeding pattern and any concerns you may have
• Assess his developmental level
• Check for jaundice
• Provide the recommended immunizations for your baby
• Do any follow-up metabolic screening
• Discuss any questions you may have about your baby’s health, development, and growth.
When caught early, many newborn and infant healthcare conditions can be treated before they develop into longer-term or debilitating diseases with follow up care. Make your first appointment for follow up care and keep the rest – you’ll be doing the best thing for your baby and his long-term health.