Preparing for Your Baby’s Checkup
Your baby is growing, growing, growing! As your baby reaches 4, 6, 9, and 12 months old, there are many developmental changes. From those first smiles, to the ability to sleep through the night (Amen!), to rolling over, sitting, and perhaps even standing independently, growth and development throughout the first year is simply amazing!
As your baby continues to change, it is good to know that there are many resources that will ensure your baby is on track developmentally (both physically and cognitively). One of your best resources is your pediatrician. The pediatrician is an expert in the field of child development. Although there are varying schedules for infant check-ups, most pediatricians will request a check up at 4, 6, 9, and 12 months.
This check up will include a physical examination of your baby (including checking length/height, weight, and head circumference), as well as a few questions for you regarding your baby.
Each check up also provides a time for you to talk with the pediatrician and ask questions. As a multi-tasking mama (or dad), it may be best to create a list before walking into the waiting room.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- How much should my baby be sleeping? How can I get my baby to sleep independently (without being held)?
- If your baby has begun rolling over, you may have questions regarding their sleep position (i.e. is it okay for them to sleep on their stomach if they have rolled over onto it during the night?). You may also have additional questions about crib safety, especially if your baby has begun to pull up.
- When should I start my baby on solids (i.e. cereal)?
- If you've heard about baby sign language, you may be curious about this or other methods to best communicate with your baby.
- If you are breastfeeding, you may question if there is an optimal time or way to wean a baby from the breast.
- Are extracurricular classes (i.e. swim, gym, or music classes) beneficial for my child? How?
- If you are returning to work outside the home and will need childcare, you may be curious how and when is the best way to transition a baby to a childcare provider?
And, of course, you may also have specific questions about your child's temperament, interests, and abilities.
Before your next visit, take the time to make a list – do check it twice.
It's an investment towards raising a healthy and happy infant.