Welcoming a new bundle of joy to the world can be one of the happiest moments for any woman (or man). And while it is a time of celebration, it is also important to remember that your baby’s long-term health and well-being will greatly depend on how properly they are cared for from birth.
When it comes to newborn health, regular well-child visits are essential. These visits allow your pediatrician to monitor your baby’s growth and development and provide the necessary preventive care.
Below are five crucial reasons why well-child visits are extremely important for newborns.
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1. They Help Monitor Growth and Development
Your baby’s first well-child visit will usually take place within the first few days after birth. During this visit, your pediatrician will check your baby’s height and weight, and head circumference.
Besides these physical measurements, your healthcare provider will also evaluate the newborn’s mental and emotional development to determine if your baby is growing and developing at a healthy rate.
2. To Identify Potential Health Problems Early Enough
Another huge reason to prioritize well-child visits is that they can help identify any potential health issues as early as possible, so they can be addressed and proper treatment administered before they become serious.
Throughout these visits, your pediatrician or family doctor will usually check for signs of infection, physical abnormalities, hearing and vision problems, and other health issues that could be a reason for concern. In some cases, these issues may also help detect birth defects or injuries early enough.
3. Establish a Relationship with Your Baby’s Doctor
Well-child visits are also an important opportunity for you and your baby to get to know your pediatrician. The best pediatrician for your baby should be someone you trust and feel comfortable talking to about any concerns you may have regarding your newborn as they grow into a toddler, child, and even teenager.
Since you will be making regular trips to the pediatrician, these visits are instrumental in establishing a strong and healthy relationship between you, your baby, and their doctor. This relationship can be beneficial in the event of any future health concerns, as the provider will already be familiar with the baby and their medical history.
4. Receiving Baby Care Advice and Education
Well-child visits are a great time for parents to ask questions and get more information about their newborn’s health. During these visits, healthcare providers can provide valuable information and advice on how to take care of your newborn baby, so it can stay healthy and develop properly.
For instance, the pediatrician can enlighten you and answer questions that you may have regarding crucial topics such as your baby’s nutrition, sleep, and safety, how to handle common illnesses, and other aspects of newborn care.
5. To Receive Vaccinations
Vaccines are an important part of keeping your baby healthy and safe from a variety of diseases, including hepatitis, rotavirus, polio, and diphtheria, among others. During your baby’s well-child visits, your pediatrician will provide the recommended immunizations for your baby’s age according to the recommended schedule.
According to Danis Copenhaver, MD, immunization usually starts during the third check-up of your well child visit schedule, often when the baby is around 2 months old.
Well-child visits are an essential part of caring for your newborn. Not only do they help monitor your baby’s growth and development, but they can also help identify any potential health problems early.
They can also help protect your baby from illness and provide a wealth of advice on caring for them. With this in mind, don’t forget to ask about and keep up with your baby’s well-child visits, as soon as you welcome them into the world.