A Guide to Your Baby’s Medical Care

 

If you’re a mom of a brand new baby, chances are you’ve been worrying about their health. There are so many things to watch for and consider when you’re taking care of an infant during one of the most crucial points of development. It can be hard to keep track of it all! Here’s a handy guide to what kind of medical care your baby should be receiving.

Schedule an Appointment for the Dentist

By the time your child is a year old and has started teething, they should have their first appointment at the dentist. Making sure that your child is visiting a good family dentist is a must. You can often see which pediatric dentists offer a fun, safe environment by visiting their company’s webpage. Websites like Vellore’s, in which Vellore Dentistry in Woodbridge provide an abundance of information are likely to be more reliable than sparse sites.

Even before your infant grows their first teeth, you should wipe their gums with a damp cloth to clean them. You can then brush their first teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush. Then, your baby’s dentist appointments should be scheduled at least every six months after their first. This is so their teeth can be regularly professionally cleaned.

Visit the Pediatrician

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants receive check-ups when they are born. Then should get another one again after 3-5 days. After this, your baby should be seen at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 24 months. This may seem like a lot of appointments, but it is to ensure that they are growing within a normal rate for their age.

Your baby’s length/height, weight, and head circumference will be measured at all of these appointments. They will then get a physical exam. The pediatrician will also ask about your baby’s milestones, like sitting up and rolling over, and their psychosocial development. Again, these check-ups are crucial in determining whether your infant is having a normal development in all areas.

Immunize your Baby

Immunizing your child has become a hot topic over the past few years. Rest assured, your child will be happier and healthier when they receive their regular vaccines.

Immunizations that should take place at the 12-month pediatrician visit include:

  • The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (also known as the MMR vaccine)
  • The chickenpox (or varicella) vaccine
  • The third or fourth Haemophilus influenzae type b (to prevent against meningitis) vaccine
  • The fourth diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine
  • The fourth (PCV, PPSV) pneumococcal conjugate vaccines vaccine

When your child reaches 18-months old they will also receive:

  • The fourth DTaP vaccine
  • The third (IPV) inactivated poliovirus vaccine
  • The third hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) vaccine.

The latter two vaccines can be given to your baby as early as six months old.

Developmental disorders are screened for at 18 months old. By this age, most toddlers will have learned to speak around 15 words and walk on their own. Without these milestones, there is a possibility of developmental delay or autism, but professional doctors will be able to determine these types of cases on an individual basis.

These aren’t the only times your child should visit a professional…

If you suspect that your infant or toddler is sick, you should see a medical professional right away. This can include symptoms like a high fever, won’t sleep, has problems eating or drinking, is vomiting, or has diarrhoea. You know your child best to know when they’re sick—but getting the right appointments set in their first years of life are the best bet for keeping your child the healthiest they can be.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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