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Anisa Arsenault
Assistant Editor

What Happens At Baby’s One-Month Checkup

Find out what to ask the pediatrician and what procedures and immunizations may be performed on baby.

Can you believe it’s been a full month since baby came home? Prep for your appointment by writing down any questions—big or small—so you remember to ask all of them. Once you get there, here’s how it will probably go down, says Preeti Parikh, MD.

Questions the doctor will ask

• How are things going? Are there any concerns, and is there anything new going on?

• Are you breastfeeding or using formula? How frequently is baby feeding? (It should be around every one to three hours.)

• What position is baby sleeping in? (To lower the risk of SIDS, she should be on her back.)

• How many dirty diapers does baby have per day? (Should be at least one or two.)

• How many times does she pee? (It’s likely four to five times.)

• Are you giving baby tummy time? (You should be doing this every day to prevent flat head and help baby strengthen her muscles.)

• How are you feeling? Since you may not have seen your own OB or doctor yet, pediatricians check in with moms about postpartum depression.
 
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. Don’t freak out about the numbers. What really matters isn’t baby’s percentile—it’s that baby stays within the same percentile range from checkup to checkup. 

Physical: The doctor will check baby’s heart, lungs, genitals, reflexes, joints, eyes, ears and mouth. She’ll also check the shape of baby’s head and check soft spots (fontanels) to make sure they’re developing properly. The doctor will also check to see whether the umbilical cord stump has fallen off.

Vaccines baby may get

Typically, no vaccines are given at the one-month checkup, but Hepatitis B can be administered if baby didn’t get it at birth, and especially if someone in close contact with baby has contracted the virus.

Recommendations the doctor will make

• Have plenty of skin-to-skin contact with baby to help you two bond.

• If baby is breastfeeding, the doctor will likely recommend you supplement with vitamin D droplets. Parikh recommends sticking to liquid in a syringe, and not mixing it with formula or breast milk, since that makes it hard to know if baby’s gotten enough of the supplement.

Expert: Preeti Parikh, MD, is a pediatrician in New York City and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.