An infantis without a doubt a fragile and delicate living being. It requires love and care like none other. While parents continue to nurture the child with all the affection in the world, priority is to be accorded to the medical check up of an infant at regular frequencies. A baby has to undergo checkups at regular intervals and the particulars to be looked into by a paediatrician at the time of each of such checkups are pre defined. . Though parameters of check up are the same at the time of every visit, the aspects to be considered keep changing as the child grows.
Baby check up after birth: –
The first checkup after birth is considered to be the most important. This check up is done immediately post birth and includes a complete physical checking of the infant to ensure that the baby is growing up properly.
Growth pattern: A check up at birth is to determine the start up points for tracking the infant’s growth pattern. This would be done by keeping a tap on the height, weight and circumference of the head. All these yardsticks would be tracked at the time of every check up for the first one year.
Feeding schedule: The paediatrician would suggest a feeding schedule and type suited for the baby. Whether the baby needs top feed or mother’s milk would be enough.
Bowel movement: The peeing and pooping schedule and the colour of the poop.
Sleeping pattern: Make the mother understand and keep her informed about what she should expect out of the child’s sleeping pattern.
Vaccinations: Immunizations due at this time would also be given.
Basic physical developments: The Doctor would also check a newborn’s response to sound, his grip, ability to hold hands and legs in flexed positions, reflexes and attention paid to bright nearby objects.
Medical tests: The baby would be checked for hearing ability, basic blood tests would be done by pricking the baby’s heel to ensure he is not suffering from any diseases and oxygen level of the baby should be checked.
Physical examination: A trained Doctor would check all parts of the baby’s body including his heart beat and umbilical cord.
Baby check up after one month:-
By this time the mother would have spent a month’s time with the child and would be bubbling with questions. All the parameters which were checked by the Doctor at the time of infant’s first visit would be repeated at the time of first month check up. The Doctor would confirm if the growth pattern is aligned with the pre-defined norms, a complete physical examination would be done to eliminate chances of any infection, baby developments would be tracked and the child would be appropriately vaccinated.
Besides routine, Doctor would pay special attention to check if the umbilical cord has fallen off and the relevant portion of the body is healing well. Supplements and medicines required by the baby would be suggested.
The paediatrician would address all the doubts of the mother. A complete questionnaire concerning adequacy of the baby’s diet, sleep patterns, bowel movements, allergies and rashes, cooing noises made, movements would be discussed with the mother to understand the behaviour and development of the baby.
Baby check up after two month:-
Growth and development yardsticks would be checked on by the doctor. The paediatrician would be maintaining complete details to study the growth of the baby. Physical examination at this time would include a complete check up to access chances of infection. Besides the routine checks, this check up would include muscle development and toning, baby’s head control, better body coordination like pushing up his forearms, baby’s response when family members interact and baby’s sweet little world winning smile.
Vaccinations would be an important part of the visit. Supplements and medicines would be reviewed and change of medication or dosage would be done to suit the child.
Baby check up after four months:-
Tracking of growth and development, physical examination, vaccinations, medication and addressing of mother’s queries would be a part common to all the following checkups. However, the paediatrician would look for certain physical developments at the time of every visit. The Doctor might also have certain suggestions regarding quantum of milk intake or starting of new supplements or medications.
Whether the baby is being able to sit with support, lifting or controlling his head better, making different sounds, developing motor skills, identifying and responding better to the mother are a few aspects the doctor would particularly consider during this phase.
Baby check up after six months:-
Besides all the check up parameters looked into at the time of every visit the paediatrician will look for various physical developments.
The sleeping pattern would be changing. The baby would be sleeping for longer spans of time stretching to 12 to 16 hours a day.
His responses would be improving, coordination of body parts would be accelerating, sounds made would be better pronounced and he would now be rolling all over with much more ease. All these movements and developments would carefully be observed by the paediatrician.
Solid foods might be started with after the infant completes six months. The Doctor would carefully understand the allergies that run into the family and then suggest foods for the baby. Pureed or mashed fruits, chicken soup and cereals mixed with milk may be recommended as foods to be started off with. It is best to start with small quantities and observe carefully as to how a child responds to the particular meal or food type.
A baby might also be starting with teething at this time and may exhibit irritable behaviour. Methods for soothing his pain and supporting medication may also be suggested by the Doctor.
Baby check up after nine months:-
Besides routine checks, this would generally include a complete development check. The Doctor would like to know if the baby is eating and digesting solid foods with ease. Children would be crawling around trying to stand with support and calling out short words. Activity level of the baby is what the Doctors would accord on priority during this visit. The child would be treated accordingly.
Baby check up after 12 months:-
The Doctor would like to check the motor and social skills, child’s speech developments, ability to pick up and point at objects, teething and food habits at this stage. The child will be entering the toddler stage and hence activity levels would be very critical.
All the routine checkups would include physical examinations, growth study and immunizations. Besides, these doctors look out for different developmental milestones with every growing month.