A comprehensive list of what questions to ask on baby’s first pediatrician visit curated specifically for first time parents.
Congratulations! If you’re all done with unpacking your hospital bag and the delivery room drama, now you need to be preparing for your newborn baby’s first pediatrician visit. The first pediatrician visit can be a little overwhelming especially if you’re a first-time parent. However, knowing what to expect and having a general list of questions will definitely make for a fruitful visit and help quash any doubts you may have.
What Happens At Baby’s First Pediatrician Visit
Parents usually meet with the pediatrician a few days after the baby is born, then again at 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. The number of appointments generally tends to grow if the baby is not showing sufficient development during each of these milestone visits.
During the first visit, the baby’s height and weight is measured. Newborn babies tend to lose up to 10% of their birth weight in the first few days after birth. Typically, a well-nourished baby makes up this weight loss by about one week of age. During this visit, the pediatrician also checks for things like signs of jaundice, any hip dysplasia, baby’s reflexes, swelling around umbilical cord or the genitalia. This visit is primarily for parents to have any questions answered so that they can focus on the baby’s development and establish a well-rounded care routine with the doctor’s guidance.
Questions to Ask on Baby’s First Pediatrician Visit
It isn’t uncommon for (new) parents to be brimming with questions when it comes to the general wellbeing of their new baby. Or if you are a clueless dad like I was, then review the questions I’ve put together to help you during your baby’s first pediatrician visit.
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Questions About Feeding Baby
Eating being a baby’s primary activity, questions related to your baby’s feeding regimen and any concerns thereof should take priority. Most questions parents have regarding the baby’s diet are
- Should feeding be on demand or on a schedule?
- What frequency does baby feed?
- Is it normal for a newborn baby to go four or more hours without feeding?
- What are some common signs of a baby feeling hungry?
- What are advantages of breast feeding vs formula feeding?
- Can I pump milk and bottle feed baby?
- How to supplement baby’s diet with formula?
- What type of formula does the pediatrician recommend?
- What is a normal amount of formula per feed?
- How to identify if baby is not eating enough?
- How to burp the baby after feeding?
- Is it worth meeting with a lactation consultant?
- Does the pediatrician have any recommendations for a lactation consultant?
Questions About Illness
Any sort of illness in newborn babies should be taken very seriously and care should not be delayed.
- How do I check the baby’s temperature?
- What temperature is considered a fever for babies?
- What do I need to do if the baby develops a fever?
Questions About Sleep
Newborn babies sleep anywhere from 14 hours to 17 hours per day. They are awake pretty much only during the time they’re feeding. This tends to change as they get used to a sleep schedule.
- How many hours should the baby sleep per day?
- Can I wake the baby up if its going to miss a feed?
- Is my baby allowed to sleep on my bed?
- What is allowed in the baby’s crib?
- What type of baby mattress is preferred?
- Can I use a pacifier to calm a fussy baby?
- Can I swaddle the baby?
- Is the baby allowed to sleep on its side or tummy?
- What to do if the baby is not sleeping enough?
- Is it worth investing in a smart baby monitor?
Questions About Baby Poop
Newborn babies tend to poop and pee a lot. As the baby is still getting used to a diet outside the womb, their poop will come in a variety of shades. Try to be specific about poop color, frequency and appearance when talking to your pediatrician.
- How often should the baby poop?
- How often should the baby pee?
- Is it normal for the baby to poop during a feed?
- How long can I leave the baby with a poopy diaper?
- What color should the poop be?
- What volume of poop should I be expecting?
- What to do if the baby seems constipated?
Questions About Bathing Baby
Newborns don’t get that dirty because they’re still quite restricted to their bed and their parent’s arms. Giving sponge baths is recommended until the baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off.
- How often can I give my baby a bath?
- What temperature should the water be?
- What do I use to check the water temperature?
- What soap/shampoo should I use for cleaning the baby?
- Can I use baby lotion?
- Are there any parts of the body that need extra care while bathing?
- What to do if I get soapy water in the baby’s eyes or ears?
- Is there a special baby bath tub for bathing?
- Are bath toys needed during bath time?
- When can I give the baby regular baths instead of sponge baths?
Questions About Umbilical Cord
Although most of the umbilical cord is cut off from the baby after delivery, a small stump still remains attached. This stump usually falls off after about two weeks.
- Is it normal for the area around the stump to have swelling?
- What do I do if there’s slight bleeding around the cord stump?
- How does the stump fall off?
- How do I keep the area around the stump clean?
Questions About Vaccination
Typically, vaccinations are given in accordance to a regimented schedule with the first set of vaccinations starting at around 2 months of age.
- What kind of vaccinations will the baby need?
- Is there a scheduled vaccination program?
- Are there any side effects post vaccination?
- What medication can I give to baby?
Questions About Genitalia
Treat genitalia with utmost care and always be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t seem normal.
- Is it normal for my baby girl to have vaginal discharge or mild spotting?
- Is it normal for baby boys to have erections?
- How do I keep the genitalia clean?
- Are there any benefits for circumcision?
- How to care for a circumcised penis?
Questions About Travel or Events
Be open with your pediatrician about any special events or upcoming travel plans. The pediatrician may be able to provide advice on what to avoid when traveling with a baby.
- When can I take my baby out in public?
- When can I travel with my baby?
- How long can my baby be in the car seat?
- Can I use a baby carrier?
- What should I avoid while traveling with a baby?
- Can I take my baby to concerts or wedding events?
Questions About Baby Milestones
Your baby will surprise you with a new development almost every week, whether its responding to your voice or following your movements.
- What milestones should I expect in the first few weeks?
- When will my baby start smiling?
- When to start reading or singing to the baby?
- When will my baby start tracking movements with their eyes?
- What type of baby toys are recommended?
- When will my baby start lifting its head?
- When to start tummy time with the baby?
Although the list of questions can be extensive, just remember that your pediatrician is only a phone call or text away. Leverage the support and care provided by them.