The check of a healthy child helps the doctor monitor baby’s growth. They are also an opportunity for you to raise questions about the health of your baby and its development – and get some answers.
From the moment of birth, you takes hold of a role to play for a long time: You are the lawyer of his son, his voice in the adult world and its eyes and ears that they know better than anyone. “Pediatricians are interested in providing the best care possible,” says Dr. Lynn Olson of the American Academy of Pediatrics. This means both “responding to the needs of parents, and make a difference in the lives of children”. But your doctor can not do it alone. It requires that parents be active partners in the health of your child.
The better informed you are, the better for your baby. But it is hard to know what to do in a new situation. This is what you can expect during doctor’s visits – and how to make the most of the time you spend with your pediatrician.
Every healthy child begins his visit with a few greetings and then start the check itself, starting with weighing and measuring your baby. Babies can measure the head circumference as an indicator of the growing baby. Most doctors compare progress with a standard growth chart. Your doctor may show you how to read the chart, if you wonders. Steady growth over time is a sign of good health.
At the beginning of the consultation, ask your doctor whether it is better to raise questions during or after the exams. Do not be shy! You have to speak for your child, even if the doctor’s office is intimidating. It’s smart to write their questions before the time, especially if you know the visit might be stressful, like when your baby is getting an injection, or have high anxiety is separation from his mother (common around 9 months old).
Then the doctor will do tests to check reflexes and muscle tone of your baby. You can gently move your newborn’s limbs, or ask their two month old baby uses his arms to look around. “At four months old, she is spinning in his crib? At six months, did you feel alone? Go crawl at eight months? or “stroll” around the room with the help of furniture at 10 months. Of course, these stages represent average ages, all babies mature on their own schedule. However, this is the progression your doctor anticipates. If the pattern of your child varies, it is important to mention during an office visit.
When the baby grows, so do their vocal abilities and social interests. Many doctors talking to the babies, while check their heart rate, ears, eyes and stomach, using the time to see how baby engages with an attentive adult is so attentive, as you move your eyes to check the function of attention and monitoring, and study the personality of the baby. Some doctors do more formal assessments, especially if there is reason for concern, but most of the time, use the exam as an opportunity to interact with her baby, to play a little and get a sense of emotional and verbal development.
For babies who can eat cereal or other solid food, the pediatrician may suggest new foods, or ask how they have been tolerated last food. If you have questions about food, possible allergies, or if your mother suggests thickening of the evening bottle with rice cereal baby, ask all the doctors at these centers. This can be hard, if your doctor is in trouble, but even everyday concerns deserve a response. It is difficult to know how and when to feed a baby (especially your first) and both you and your baby can benefit from more support and guidance.
When the physical exam is done, it is often when vaccines or other uncomfortable procedures. Doctors hate to mourn your baby as much as you hate to hear it. In fact, many pediatricians schedule a ‘quota’ daily infants and toddlers, to be sure that your day is not filled with crying babies. Some moms have concerns about vaccines. If it does, make sure in advance. Do not wait until you’re in the heat of the moment when emotions and apprehension are at its best.
Use the last-minute visit to review any instructions the doctor gives you. Once you are sure that all your questions have been answered – and that you understand all the answers – that’s it! Stop at the receptionist’s desk and schedule the next appointment for your baby. Then, relax and enjoy the day.
A final word of comfort: While the visit is the best time to get answers is not the only opportunity to communicate with your pediatrician. Some physicians welcome to answer questions by phone and others are happy to respond to questions via email.