Caring for Baby

Building Blocks of Baby’s Good Health

Building Blocks of Baby’s Good Health

Like any new mom, you want your baby to get the best start in life possible. But, you may not be entirely sure what that involves. (If only babies came with an instruction manual!) Well-baby visits play a vital part in creating a good beginning. Your baby will grow and develop very rapidly during the first two years, so it’s important to see your baby’s health care provider often.

What to Expect at a Wellness Visit

Well-baby visits offer you an opportunity to get to know your baby’s health care provider and talk about normal development, nutrition, sleep, safety, general care, immunizations, the latest infectious diseases going around and other important topics. Some wellness visits will also include tests for hearing, vision and other functions. Your baby will get a complete head-to-toe physical exam at each visit.

Your baby’s health care provider will determine whether your baby is meeting normal developmental milestones. Providers may ask you about (and observe for themselves) when your baby first smiles, rolls over, sits up and walks. Your baby’s height, weight and head circumference will be measured, and the information recorded in a growth chart that is kept with your child’s medical record. Checking all these things can help find or prevent any problems.

Preventive care is important to keep your baby healthy, and routine vaccinations are one of the most crucial ways of protecting your child and others. Aside from the hepatitis B vaccine series, the first dose of which is usually administered right after birth, routine vaccinations often start at the two-month well-baby visit. Read a pediatrician’s post on the Illuminate blog from Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children about why and when vaccines are given.

Your Participation is Vital

It’s a good idea to keep a list of questions you want to ask your baby’s health care provider in preparation for your baby’s wellness visit. Making note of them when they arise will help keep you from forgetting any important issues. Keep in mind that they don’t have to be medical questions. Your child’s provider is an excellent source of information about general child care issues and can help connect you with assistance such as child care help, parent support groups and more.

You may want to ask about:

  • Development — When should you expect your baby to roll over, lift his or her head, coo and babble, sit up, crawl, etc.?
  • Nutrition — How can you tell if your baby is eating enough? How will your baby’s nursing schedule change? When should you introduce solid foods?
  • Sleep — How can you help your baby learn to go to sleep on his or her own? When will the baby sleep through the night?
  • Safety — How can you make your home “baby-proof”? What are common choking hazards to look out for?
  • Crying — If your baby is colicky, what can you do to soothe him or her? How much crying is normal?
  • Vaccinations — What are the possible side effects and how long might they last? When does your baby need the next round of vaccinations?
  • Family — How can you help older siblings adjust to having a baby in the family?

Here for You

Your child’s health care provider can answer your questions and provide the support you need to your baby a great start in life. Call 321.843.2584 or find a physician at www.arnoldpalmerhospital.com/physician-finder.