Newborn Basics

What Happens At Baby’s Six-Month Checkup?

Baby’s six-month checkup is coming up. What questions, procedures and immunizations should I expect? 

At six months baby is approaching lots of new milestones if he hasn’t already — teething, solid food and crawling — so you’ll talk about all of these at the mid-year check-in, says Preeti Parikh, MD. Here’s what else will happen:

Questions the doctor will ask

• How are things going? Are there any concerns? Is there anything new going on?

• Has baby started teething? (This can start as early as four months.)

• Can he roll over and sit up?

• Has he started to crawl?

• Can he make identifiable consonant sounds?
 
Procedures the doctor will do

Weight check
The doctor or nurse will measure and weigh baby and plot weight, height, and head circumference on a growth chart that indicates the average height and weight for boys and girls. The idea is to check that baby stays within the same percentile range from checkup to checkup. 

Physical
The doctor will check baby’s reflexes, joints, eyes, ears, mouth, heart, lungs, genitals and reflexes. She’ll also take a look at the shape of baby’s head and look at his soft spots (fontanels) to make sure they’re developing properly.

Vaccines baby may get

These come at the end, and are the same shots baby had at the two- and four-month checkups. Depending on the practice, some of the vaccines are given in combo shots.

• Pneumococcal (PCV)
• DTaP
• Hib
• Polio vaccines
• Rotavirus vaccine (If baby has been receiving the Rotarix version, he won’t receive a third round of the RV vaccine. But if he’s been receiving the RotaTeq version, he will get this third dose. It all depends on what pharmaceutical company your doctor works with.)
• Hepatitis B
 
Recommendations the doctor will make

• It’s time to start introducing solids if you haven’t already. Start with one pureed food a day. Baby cereal, fruits or vegetables are all good first foods. If you do try something new, do it early in the day so you can watch for a reaction and have time throughout the day to call the doctor should baby get sick.
 
• Introduce water in a sippy cup. Water is important to help with digestion and to provide fluoride.
 
• Start brushing baby’s teeth if you haven’t already.
 
• Continue with vitamin D supplements if baby is on breast milk only.
 
• Talk, read and sing to engage baby and aid in development.
 
•  Baby-proof the house, since baby will start crawling between six and nine months.
 
• Depending on the season, baby is now eligible for a flu shot. Ask the doctor when is the right time to administer one.
 
Expert: Preeti Parikh, MD, New York City-based pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics

 

By Anisa Arsenault