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What to expect for baby’s first visit with their pediatrician

Tips on what to expect and what to bring to the pediatrician for baby’s first visit

Aimee Pollak, MD,
IHA Orchard Pediatrics
Baby’s first visit to the pediatrician is a big deal, which is why it’s important to be prepared.

The first few days after a baby arrives can be very exciting and overwhelming for new parents – the blur of labor followed by childbirth and a flurry of activity around mom and baby. During the short hospital stay, mom and baby are cared for by a team of physicians, nursing staff and lactation consultants to ensure they receive the care need. Leaving behind this 24-hour care when going home with their newborn, adjusting to the new responsibilities of parenthood and lack of sleep, can leave new parents with a lot of questions. Fortunately, there are many resources available to parents, starting with the pediatrician. Your baby’s first appointment with their pediatrician is often the first trip out of the house as a family. Here is what you can expect and what you should bring to the first appointment.

What the pediatrician and medical staff will do during the first appointment:

1. Screenings

  • Your pediatrician will review your newborn’s medical history and newborn course, including special care, a cardiac screening and a hearing screening. If any follow-up is needed from the newborn nursery, physicians will refer you to the appropriate providers.

2. Development & feeding

  • The pediatric provider and staff will measure and weigh your baby to make sure their growth is on track, observe their development and behavior, and perform a physical exam. They will also check to see if your baby is jaundiced (a yellow coloring of the skin common in newborns).
  • Your provider will address any questions you may have regarding your newborn since going home. If you are having trouble breast feeding, talk to your provider. The first few weeks of breastfeeding can be an adjustment for many families and your pediatrician can provide many resources.

3. Immunizations

  • Your baby will receive the Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine if they did not receive it in the hospital. (The AAP recommends newborns receive their first dose of vaccine within the first 24 hours of birth.)

What to bring to the first appointment with the pediatrician:

1. Hospital paperwork

  • This includes information about your baby’s birth weight, discharge weight and paperwork documenting any complications for mom or baby during pregnancy or birth.

2. Pediatric practice paperwork

  • You will have enough to think about after your baby arrives. Check the website for your pediatric practice for new patient paperwork. If possible, print and complete the paperwork, and stick it in your diaper bag before the appointment.

3. Diaper bag

  • Pack the basics for this appointment. You’ll need diapers, wipes, a bottle with formula premeasured and water ready to mix (if you’re not breastfeeding), a soft cloth and an extra outfit (or two!).

4. Medications

  • If mom is taking medication following childbirth, try to time dosage just before you leave for the pediatrician.

Questions the pediatrician may ask:

1. Does your baby receive breast milk, iron-fortified formula, or a combination of the two?

2. If breastfeeding, do you have or need support from a lactation consultant?

3. Is your breastfed baby getting a vitamin D supplement? (It’s recommended that infants receive 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily beginning in the first few days of life.)

4. How are you feeling? If you are having postpartum issues with breastfeeding, anxiety, sadness, or anything else, discuss it with your baby's pediatrician.

5. Where does your baby sleep?

As you navigate the end of pregnancy and the beginning of your baby’s life remember: your pediatrician is here for you. Always. Never hesitate to call your pediatrician with questions or concerns — even if your question is after hours.

At IHA, our team is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can help you work through anything that comes up.

IHA resources for new (or soon-to-be) parents

1. IHA Pediatrics

  • Meet the pediatric providers
  • Choose your baby’s pediatrician during your third trimester. You can switch providers anytime, but it’s important to have a practice and provider lined up for when you and baby are released from the hospital.
  • IHA Pediatrics is currently welcoming new patients! We hold free, virtual monthly group meetings for expectant parents and parents of new patients ages 0 to 18. Join us virtually to meet our pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners, ask questions about your child's health plan, and learn about our practices. Register for an upcoming event here.

2. IHA Obstetrics & Gynecological Care

3. IHA Nurse Midwifery

4. IHA Breastfeeding Medicine

5. IHA Blog

Aimee Pollak, MD is a board-certified pediatrician and sees patients at IHA Orchard Pediatrics in Farmington Hills. Dr. Pollak's clinical interests include preventive care, growth and development, pediatric obesity prevention and management, and working together with families to improve overall wellbeing. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Pollak call (248) 855-7510 or visit online at ihacares.com.

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