You might go to your doctor once a year, or maybe even once every two years for a checkup. But your little newborn is growing and changing quickly, so they'll need more frequent checkups for the time being. Your pediatrician will likely want to see them a few days after birth, and then every month or two in the next year or so. These first baby visits are important, but they can also be a bit challenging for a new parent. Here are a few tips you can follow to make these early visits easier on yourself and your baby and also more productive.
Have the baby's other parent come too
If you and your partner can manage to find the time, you should attend these early appointments together. When you're sleep-deprived new parents, it is so easy to miss something the doctor says or to forget to ask certain questions. With two of you there, someone is more likely to catch the important points.
Schedule the appointment when your baby is likely to be best-rested
Even when you've only had your baby home for a few days, you likely will have noticed that they're better rested and in a better mood during certain times of day. For some babies, this is the morning. For others, this is the afternoon. Schedule your baby's appointment during their best hours, and you (and the doctor) won't have to deal with as much fussing.
Don't be afraid to ask questions
Sometimes new parents are afraid to ask the pediatrician questions because they assume they should know certain things as a parent or because they feel that not knowing something makes them a bad parent. But part of your pediatrician's job is to answer these questions! No question is too silly or too embarrassing, and the doctor will not think you're a bad parent for not knowing everything. Everyone has to learn to parent for themselves, and asking questions of the doctor is a good way of doing that.
Bring plenty of supplies
You may have to wait in the waiting room for a while, and you may also have to sit in the exam room for a little bit before the pediatrician arrives. It will be really helpful to have supplies like a pacifier, a bottle, extra diapers, and wipes on-hand. This way, you can satisfy your baby's needs and keep them comfortable so the doctor is better able to examine them.
With the tips above, your baby's first doctor's visits will be more peaceful and productive. Above all else, remember to stay calm and do your best. There's a learning curve with parenting, and the most important thing is that you're getting to these appointments in the first place.
If you're looking for a doctor for your baby, reach out to a clinic like Kitsap Children's Clinic LLP near you.