The Doctor's Focus

To ensure your baby gets the proper care at doctor's appointments, know what's on the agenda.   American Baby's Executive Editor Laura Kalehoff shares the top priorities for each check-up appointment.


At the first appointment make sure you bring a list of your own questions as well as a notebook and pen to take notes on any advice your doctor offers. A little preparedness will go a long way toward getting the most out of every visit. You'll probably have questions on sleeping, eating, crying and soothing. Request a hearing test if it wasn't performed at birth. And expect the doctor to ask you how you're doing too as a way to check for postpartum depression.

During month two the doctor wants to see how you're connecting with the baby and are you bonding. The doctor will have questions such as is the baby trying to roll and how much tummy time is he getting. If you're back at work the question will be how are you and your baby handling the separation.

Month four your pediatrician should go over how your oral health affects your baby's. The doctor will prepare you for what's in store for teething and how to avoid cavities.

By month six the doctor will become concerned about your baby's brain development. He'll ask how is she communicating, can he soothe himself and what is playtime like. If you live in a high risk area, your baby will get a lead test.

In month nine the doctor will ask questions to make sure you're helping your baby gain some independence. Can she maneuver finger foods and use a sippy cup or is she sitting unsupported will be some of the questions. This will be an opportunity to discuss childproofing.

For more information on your baby and doctor's visits and other parenting tips, click here.

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