When Should an Infant First See a Pediatrician?

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When your baby is born, your medical team evaluates your bundle of joy immediately to check his vitals and overall condition. During your hospital stay, your baby's health will continue to be monitored at regular intervals by your maternal care team. When you finally bring your little one home, the medical care does not stop. Typically, your baby's first pediatrician visit will likely take place during the first week of his life.

Hospital Checkup

  • In addition to the immediate care provided by your medical team after birth, your hospital staff will likely contact your pediatrician's office to let them know your baby has arrived. Your pediatrician will likely visit your baby during her first 24 hours of life for her first well-baby checkup. Every pediatrician practice operates slightly differently for this checkup. Your pediatrician might do daily rounds in the nursery or visit you in your room for the first checkup.

First Week

  • Once you are discharged from the hospital, you will be provided with specific instructions from your pediatrician's office regarding your little one's first visit. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports on its website HealthyChildren.org that most newborns visit their pediatrician within 3 to 5 days of birth, after the in-hospital evaluation.

Benefits

  • Your baby's first well checkup during his first week allows your pediatrician to ensure he is thriving outside of the womb. Your doctor will check the baby's growth -- weight and length -- as well as heart, lungs, eyes, ears, mouth, hips and legs. Just as importantly, this first checkup gives you the opportunity to ask your pediatrician about general infant care, whether you're concerned about your baby's eating or sleeping schedule or worried about weight loss.

Future Checkups

  • Your infant's first checkup will dictate her future pediatrician visit schedule. If your doctor does not have any health concerns, you likely won't see him again for several more weeks, likely when she turns around 1 month old. If your newborn's weight loss is a concern, which is common, he might want to see your little one back in the office for a weight check in a matter of days. Follow your pediatrician's guidance when scheduling well-baby checkups.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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