When it comes to babies, visiting the pediatrician is a must at least monthly unless there is a particular problem that might need special monitoring and might affect the growth and development of the newborn. The doctor also does part of the compulsory vaccinations. Here is what you should know about your visits to the pediatrician.
The first visit
It usually takes place when the baby is two weeks old, and generally, the doctor comes at your home. To assure baby care health, you must not forget that to vaccinate the child against B hepatitis (AHB) and tuberculosis (BCG).
The doctor will monitor the number of kilos that the kid has accumulated, if he recovered from the postpartum underweight, the cranial circumference and the height. He will also verify his eyes, ears, mouth for possible infections, but also his head (fontanel). He will investigate the genital organs (for the boys, he will monitor the lowering of the testicles towards the scrotum). He will also look at the skin, if the child had jaundice or any other irritation (especially from the diaper), he would check his heart and his lungs with a stethoscope to identify the eventual cardiac or breathing disorders.
As for the body, he will look for all possible birth signs; he will check his reflexes and the muscle tone, as well as how the navel has cured and if any infection occurred; he will look at his hips and thighs as well if there is a suspicion of dysplasia. After the medical exam, the doctor will recommend you a dose of D vitamins that you must give to your kid for the following two years.
At the age of two months
A medical assistant can also make the vaccination against B hepatitis (AHB) and poliomyelitis (VPOT), anti-diphtheria, anti-pertussis (DTP). Apart from the routine check, they will verify the abdomen for a possible hernia, the ears, for any wax deposit, the eyes for any natural affections, the mouth for candida. You can also choose to pay for a pneumococcal vaccination (against an infection that might lead to otitis, pneumonia or meningitis) and rotavirus (against diarrhea).
At the age of four months
Besides the general baby care health examination, the doctor will monitor the tooth appearance, his reaction to sounds; he will palpate the abdomen, trying to identify the increased organs and will monitor the presence of reflex by putting him on his tummy, to see if he can sustain his head by himself. The doctor will vaccinate the baby against poliomyelitis (VPOT) and diphtheria, antitetanus, anti-pertussis (DTP).
Remember that it is not mandatory to administer all these doses together, but the doctor prefers to do it to spare the child from any additional stress. It is important that you monitor the baby after every vaccination, and come back to see your doctor if you observe some reactions to them (local inflammation, high temperature, and irascibility are common). As a prevention, some doctors recommend applying cold local compresses for about 10 – 15 minutes.
When the baby has turned six months
Besides the routine baby care health check-up, the child will be vaccinated with anti-hepatitis B, against poliomyelitis and also diphtheria, anti-tetanus, anti-pertussis (DTP).Fortunately, the last three are combined into one dose, thus reducing the discomfort caused by the injection.
You must have probably read a lot about the importance of vaccinations in the immunity system of a child; it is why we recommend you to vaccinate your baby at least with the compulsory vaccinations and do not be afraid to ask your pediatrician questions about the role of every immunization.