It’s time for your baby’s 1-month checkup and you have quite a few questions running through your mind. You wish everything is fine, that your baby is growing normally, and you are looking for some kind of an assurance from the paediatrician. During your baby’s 1-month checkup, the paediatrician is likely to conduct a complete physical examination of your baby, including heart & lungs, eyes, ears, head, body, belly, genitals, hips & legs, etc. They may ask you some questions regarding the baby such as pattern of sleep, eating frequency, bowel movements, general activities when awake, etc. They may also enquire about your own physical and emotional health to check if you are experiencing any postpartum symptoms such as depression, anxiety, stress or nutritional deficiency. Once these conversations are over, you can freely ask questions and discuss your concerns about the baby. Since the consultation time may be limited, here are some of the most important questions you can ask during your baby’s 1-month checkup.
Have the tests come out right?
Your hospital is likely to have conducted a wide variety of tests to check for any signs of disease or disorder in your baby. Ask the doctor about the reports and if there is anything you need to be concerned about. Screening tests can identify potential problems such as haemoglobin disorders, sickle cell disease, etc. a lot earlier, which helps prevent further damage and increases the chances of recovery through treatment.The doctor will inform you if anything unusual is noticed in the tests and how it can be tackled.
Is it okay to use formula?
Breast milk is considered the best choice for a baby, but sometimes, due to medical or other reasons, it may not be working that well for you and your baby. You can ask the doctor if you can supplement with formula. However, it is not advisable to completely give up nursing the baby. The doctor can evaluate the nutritional needs of your baby and let you know how much and how frequently you can supplement with formula. They can also suggest a specific type of formula, which would be most suitable for your baby.
Is the baby feeding too much or too little?
You need to keep track of your baby’s feeding routine and ask the doctor if it’s normal at this age. Most breastfed babies will require feeding every 2-3 hours whereas the eating frequency of bottle-fed babies may be every 3-4 hours. Most babies are likely to display a voracious appetite since they are growing at a fast rate. However, it may vary from child to child, so it’s better to consult the doctor.One of your top concerns may be to ensure that the baby isn’t starving, so you can discuss this as well.
Is the baby’s poop normal?
This may seem like an awkward question to ask, but keep in mind that your baby’s poop can reveal a great deal about their digestive health. The colour, consistency, smell, texture, quantity and frequency of your baby’s poop can be very useful in determining whether your baby’s digestive system is working normally or not. If you notice something unusual about the baby’s poop or pee, for example, a strange odour or colour, you can discuss these as well with the doctor.
Is the baby’s vision normal?
At one month, most babies learn to focus on and follow objects. You may have noticed that too, but you may not be completely sure if that’s a valid test for certifying normal vision in a 1-month old baby. You can share your experiences with the doctor and ask if your baby’s vision is normal for this age. During your baby’s 1-month checkup, the doctor is likely to examine your baby’s eyes and inform you if anything unusual is noticed or if more tests are needed.
What vaccinations to give to the baby?
You may be aware of the second shot of Hepatitis B vaccine that is given to one-month babies. Next month, your baby will be getting a lot more vaccinations such as Polio, Diphtheria, Rotavirus, Tetanus, etc., so discuss these with the doctor. If you have any concerns about vaccinations such as any adverse reactions or short-term or long-term side effects, you can share these as well with the doctor.
Is the baby sleeping normally?
Newborn babies tend to sleep 16-17 hours in a 24-hour cycle. However, this is not at a stretch; it’s more like sleeping for 2-4 hours, then waking up, and then going to sleep again. You may have already noted down your baby’s sleep patterns and you may want to ask the doctor if the baby is sleeping less, more or normally. Also, if your baby has trouble sleeping, the doctor can provide the right advice to help your little one sleep better.
What development milestones to look for?
At one month, it may be too early to look for development milestones for your baby. However, just for your peace of mind and to relax your anxieties, you can ask the doctor what to expect in the near future. Development milestones would include things like the ability to crawl, walk, speak, etc. These would come later, but there’s no harm in being proactive in your approach.
Is the baby meeting growth chart requirements?
You may want to know whether your baby is growing normally or not. During your baby’s 1-month checkup, the doctor is likely to measure your baby’s height, weight, head circumference, etc. These measurements will then be plotted on a standardized growth chart, which will give insights about your baby’s growth. If anything unusual is noticed, the doctor will inform you about the next steps.
Will the baby grow a flat head?
Often, parents are concerned that their baby might grow a flat head, especially when they notice that their head is too soft. However, this is normal, since the baby’s skull bones are yet to fuse together and become strong. A baby can develop a flat head only if she is consistently sleeping in the same position. If your baby has already started developing a flat head syndrome, the doctor can prescribe a special helmet to reshape your child’s head.