Your Child's Checkup: 3 to 5 Days

Your Child's Checkup: 3 to 5 Days

Lea este articulo en Espanol

What to Expect During This Visit

Your baby's doctor and/or nurse will probably:

1. Check your baby's weight, length, and head circumference and plot the measurements on the growth charts.

2. Ask questions, address any concerns, and offer advice about how your baby is:

Feeding. Newborns should be fed when they seem hungry. Breastfed infants eat about every 1 to 3 hours, and formula-fed infants eat about every 2 to 4 hours. Your doctor or nurse may observe breastfeeding and help with technique. Burp your baby midway through a feeding and again at the end.

Peeing and pooping. Newborns should have several wet diapers a day. The number of poopy diapers varies, but most newborns have 3 or 4 soft bowel movements a day. Tell your doctor if you have any concerns about your newborn's bowel movements.

Sleeping. A newborn may sleep 16 hours a day or more, often for 2 to 3 hours at a time, with one longer stretch at night. Newborns should not go longer than 4 hours without eating.

Developing. In the first month, babies should:

3. Perform a physical exam with your baby undressed while you are present. This exam will include an eye exam, listening to your baby's heart and feeling pulses, inspecting the umbilical cord, and checking the hips.

4. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect infants from serious childhood illnesses, so it's important that your baby receive them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.

Looking Ahead

Here are some things to keep in mind until your next routine visit at 1 month:

Feeding

  1. Continue to feed your baby on demand (when he or she is hungry). Pay attention to signs that your baby is full, such as turning away from the nipple or bottle and closing the mouth.
  2. Don't introduce solids or juice, and don't put cereal in your baby's bottle unless directed by your doctor.
  3. If you breastfeed:
    • Help your baby latch on correctly: mouth opened wide, tongue down, with as much areola in the mouth as possible.
    • Continue to take a prenatal vitamin or multivitamin daily.
    • Ask your doctor about vitamin D drops for your baby.
    • Don't use a bottle or pacifier until nursing is well established (usually about 1 month).
  4. If you formula-feed:
    • Give your baby iron-fortified formula.
    • Follow the formula package's instructions when making and storing bottles.
    • Don't prop bottles or put your baby to bed with a bottle.
    • Talk to your doctor before switching formulas.

Routine Care

  1. Wash your hands before handling the baby and avoid people who may be sick.
  2. Keep the diaper below the umbilical cord so the stump can dry. The umbilical cord usually falls off in 10-14 days.
  3. For circumcised boys, put petroleum jelly on the penis or diaper's front.
  4. Give sponge baths until the umbilical cord falls off and a boy's circumcision heals. Make sure the water isn't too hot — test it with your wrist first.
  5. Use fragrance-free soaps and lotions.
  6. Hold your baby and be attentive to his or her needs. You can't spoil a newborn.
  7. Give your baby supervised "tummy time" when awake. Always supervise your baby and be ready to help if he or she gets tired or frustrated in this position.
  8. It's normal for infants to have fussy periods, but for some, crying can be excessive, lasting several hours a day. If a baby develops colic, it usually starts in an otherwise well baby around 3 weeks of age.
  9. Call your baby's doctor if your infant has a fever or is acting sick, isn't eating, isn't peeing, or isn't pooping. Don't give medication to an infant younger than 2 months old without consulting a doctor first.
  10. It's common for new moms to feel sad, moody, or anxious after the birth. Call your doctor if feelings are intense or last more than a week or two.

Safety

  1. To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS):
    • Breastfeed your baby.
    • Always place your baby to sleep on a firm mattress on his or her back in a crib or bassinet without any crib bumpers, blankets, quilts, pillows, or plush toys.
    • Avoid overheating by keeping the room temperature comfortable.
    • Don't overbundle your baby.
    • Consider putting your baby to sleep sucking on a pacifier. If you're breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is established before introducing the pacifier.
  2. Don't smoke or let anyone else smoke around your baby.
  3. Always put your baby in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat.
  4. While your baby is awake, don't leave your little one unattended, especially on high surfaces or in the bath.
  5. Never shake your baby — it can cause bleeding in the brain and even death.
  6. Avoid sun exposure by keeping your baby covered and in the shade when possible. Sunscreens are not recommended for infants younger than 6 months. However, you may use a small amount of sunscreen on an infant younger than 6 months if shade and clothing don't offer enough protection.

These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The mission of the CDC is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. Call: (800) CDC-INFO
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
Web SiteZero to Three Zero to Three is a national nonprofit organization that promotes the health and development of infants and toddlers.
Web SiteNational Immunization Program This website has information about immunizations. Call: (800) 232-2522
OrganizationImmunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.
Web SiteAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Bright Futures Bright Futures is a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative that addresses the health needs of growing children. To learn more, visit the website.
Related Articles
Bonding With Your Baby Bonding, the intense attachment that develops between you and your baby, is completely natural. And it's probably one of the most pleasurable aspects of infant care.
Pregnancy & Newborn Center Advice and information for expectant and new parents.
The Senses and Your Newborn Your newborn is taking in his or her first sights, sounds, and smells while learning to explore the world through the senses. What are your baby's responses to light, noise, and touch?
Communication and Your Newborn From birth, your newborn has been communicating with you. Crying may seem like a foreign language, but soon you'll know what your baby needs - a diaper change, a feeding, or your touch.
Growth and Your Newborn A baby's growth and development is measured from the moment of birth. How much should your baby weigh?
Medical Care and Your Newborn By the time you hold your new baby for the first time, you've probably chosen your little one's doctor. Learn about your newborn's medical care.
Feeding Your Newborn How you feed your newborn is the first nutrition decision you will make for your child. Take a closer look at these guidelines for breastfeeding and bottle-feeding so you can make an informed choice.
Sleep and Newborns "Does your baby sleep through the night?" is one of the questions new parents hear the most. And almost always the answer is "No."
Looking at Your Newborn: What's Normal When you first get to see, touch, and inspect your newborn, you may be surprised by what you see. Here's what to expect.
A Guide for First-Time Parents If you're a first-time parent, put your fears aside and get the basics in this guide about burping, bathing, bonding, and other baby-care concerns.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter