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?  

Baby is approaching lots of new milestones if he hasn’t already — teething, solid food and crawling — so you’ll talk about those at the mid-year check-in, says Preeti Parikh, MD. Here’s the rest:

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 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 could be first foods. If you do try something new, do it early in the day so you can watch for a reaction throughout the day.
 
• 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 baby 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 what the right time for one is.
 
Expert: Preeti Parikh, MD, is a pediatrician in New York City and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

By Anisa Arsenault