Becoming a parent is one of the biggest blessings, as nothing can give you more happiness than holding your child in your arms. At the same time, it puts a huge responsibility on your shoulders to look after your child’s mental and physical development.
The first two years are crucial for any newborn child, so as a parent, you have to be vigilant during this phase. Ensure that you are attending wellness checkups regularly to monitor their overall growth.
Health experts say parents must schedule wellness checkups when their child is three to five days old. After that, ensure that your child is receiving checkups every month.
Even if you think your baby is healthy, you should not skip the well-child visits. It can help you know how you can improve care for your child and keep them healthy.
Without further delay, let’s uncover what you should expect at an infant wellness checkup.
1.Physical Examination to Identify any Disorder
One of the primary purposes of child wellness checkups is to ensure that infants do not have any physical disorder or illness.
Specialists examine the child’s body to identify and prevent the potential problems common among newborns and infants.
Also, they look for the symptoms of disorders that can occur due to birth injury, such as cerebral palsy. It is caused due to the issue that can affect the development of a child’s brain during labor, affecting the child’s physical ability.
Infants can suffer due to different types of cerebral palsy, so after diagnosing the type, doctors make recommendations accordingly. After identifying the type of cerebral palsy, doctors suggest different exercises that can help to improve movement and overall posture.
The diagnosis of cerebral palsy is crucial in the early stage of a child’s physical development. Therefore, parents have to be careful when it comes to infant wellness checkups.
Some other common birth defects among infants are Down syndrome, clubfoot, and cleft palate. You should not worry if your child is diagnosed with any physical disorder or illness. The early diagnosis can positively impact the child’s healing and recovery process.
During the physical examination, doctors ensure nothing unusual in the child’s heartbeat, umbilical cord, and pulse. They also conduct eye exams to ensure that the child can see clearly.
2. Height and Weight Checkup
Another crucial aspect of the child wellness checkup is the height and weight checkup. Doctors weigh the child to check whether it falls under the normal weight category. Most child specialists use the child’s weight to track the growth progress.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s weight, then feel free to ask the doctor. On the other hand, doctors also track the child’s height to check whether it is increasing at the right pace. They also compare it with the height of other infants to ensure that it is progressing at the normal growth rate.
3. Screening Tests
Screening tests are essential for infants as it helps doctors to know whether their body is functioning properly. The first screening test is conducted to check the metabolism of the child. It helps detect any problem related to enzymes that may not work correctly.
Then doctors conduct hormone tests to check the hormone level of the child. It helps to know whether a child has the right hormone level in the adrenal gland and thyroid. Doctors also take hemoglobin tests to ensure everything is normal in the child’s blood cells.
The other screening tests are also conducted to ensure that child is not suffering from medical disorders like galactosemia, cystic fibrosis, and hearing loss.
Although screening tests are done when the child is born, doctors repeat these tests to ensure that infants are in the perfect physical and mental state.
4. Updated Vaccines and Immunizations
During child wellness checkups, doctors examine your baby and recommend updated vaccines and immunizations.
It helps to protect infants from serious illnesses. Therefore, your child must receive the timely vaccine to remain safe from harmful diseases like Polio, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Measles, and Hib.
After examining your baby’s development progress, doctors recommend the latest immunizations and vaccines.
5. Evaluation of Milestones
During wellness checkups, doctors check whether the child is hitting particular markers. It helps doctors know the child’s physical development is on the right track.
For example, a one-month-old child should be able to eat 12 times a day, although variation in the bowel movement of infants is common. Also, after one month, a child should be able to sleep at least 14 to 17 hours a day.
When infants are four to six months old, they should get nutrients from breast milk or formula. It is also important for babies of this age to have proper bowel movements. If your child is having passing stools, doctors may suggest medication to improve bowel movement.
A four to six months old child starts smiling, cooing, and laughing. You will notice that your child will also start holding objects and folding hands over his head at this age. It shows good physical control of the child, which is considered a healthy sign.
Another thing that doctors evaluate in children who are six months old is the growing teeth. At this age, children start growing teeth, so if you see the same changes in your child, it is also a great sign.
After nine months, there should be consistency in the bowel movement of the child. Babies start eating solid food at this age, so doctors examine children accordingly to ensure they have consistent bowel movements.
It is also essential for a nine-month-old child to sleep at least 12 to 16 hours daily. On the other hand, at this age, a child should show the basic signs of speech by saying easy-to-pronounce words like “no” and “yes.”
So, doctors examine children of different age groups to ensure they achieve the milestones mentioned above.
Paying attention to the health of a newborn baby can make a huge impact on his future life. As a parent, you must be responsible and regularly take your child to wellness checkups. It will help protect your child from serious illnesses and disorders and ensure that it is in good physical and mental shape.
This article will help you understand what to expect during an infant wellness checkup.