Your baby’s first year is a big one, both for you and for her! So what should you expect at each developmental stage from your newborn? Sound Family Medicine is here to help answer the tough questions about each stage and let you know what to expect from us during each phase, specifically at her wellness checkups.
Milestones 3 to 5 days After Birth
While your baby hasn’t had much time to develop, this is one of the most important wellness checks your healthcare provider will make. We test for hearing loss, jaundice, heart murmurs and make sure baby is eating properly. If your little boy needs to be circumcised, we offer the procedure at any of our clinics.
Baby will also go through various development and behavior exams, just in case. Every wellness exam will include weighing her, measuring her head circumference, her length, and a physical exam that checks her eyes, ears, mouth, heart, skin, lungs, abdomen, hips and legs to make sure she’s on track and healthy.
1 Month Milestones
This is when your baby begins to learn how to move his body and react to situations around him. He is learning to identify familiar sounds and he can move his head from side to side. He is also making jerky arm movements. During his one-month checkup, his provider will check to make sure his growth and feeding is normal. Your doctor may also ask about mom’s stress levels and ask about baby’s sleep habits. If you haven’t received it already, you’ll also receive a complimentary book gift set full of our favorite Dr. Seuss books because it’s never too early to learn one fish, two fish.
2 Month Milestones
Your baby is learning how to smile, and she can now track objects with her eyes. She’s also learning to repeat vowel sounds, and her cries have become more distinctive, alerting you to her needs. During her wellness exam, her provider will administer her first round of vaccinations. These vaccines include rotavirus (RV), diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP), the Haemophilus influenzae type B conjugate vaccine (Hib), the pneumococcal vaccine (PCV) and the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). Vaccines are administered through shots, but don’t worry, our providers are prepared to handle any tears she (or you) might shed. Dr. Jennifer Pense, at our 10th Street clinic states that with her son, “as soon as they’re done he’s immediately in our arms and we give him some loves as well as during the next 24 to 48 hours and expect that his legs might be a little sore.”
4 Month Milestones
Baby is now learning how to laugh and he’s on a roll, quite literally. He’s rolling over, possibly sleeping through the night, and he just figured out what his hands can do. Dr. Daniel Wells says that his favorite milestone is when babies learn to use their hands, “It is one of the first real moments of self-awareness as they become transfixed watching their own hand movements as they discover for the first time these amazing appendages.” Dr. Marc Aversa calls this the “oral phase” because baby is starting to drool and place his hands in his mouth. Don’t expect any teeth just yet, Dr. Aversa says, “There’s a very normal evening fuss behavior that children sometimes get into around 2 months or so.” When he comes in for his wellness exam, his provider will once again be monitoring his weight, vitals, and head circumference. We’ll also test his muscular and neurological development. It may be time for the second round of vaccines, specifically the RV, DTaP, Hib, PCV, and IPV.
6 Month Milestones
The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar is sounding more like your home now that baby is teething. She can also sit up with support, hold a bottle, and she is learning to copy facial expressions. At her wellness checkup, her doctor will administer her third dose of Hib, DTaP and PCV. If it is flu season, your provider might also suggest a flu shot for baby. We may perform an oral health exam to admire the incoming chompers. This is a good time to ask about solid food being incorporated into her diet. When it comes to teething, Dr. Pense says, “For the most part, it is just about giving them something to kind of soothe their gums.” She recommends the Munch Mitt, and Dr. Wells, says that, “a clean wet washcloth thrown into the freezer for less than a minute makes a great teether.”
9 Month Milestones
Your baby is on the move as he is just learning to crawl. He may also loves to play peekaboo, imitate sounds, and chew on just about anything. But his brain is also making big strides, as he can now self-identify in a mirror, knows to open his mouth for a spoon, respond to his name and makes links to sounds and gestures and their meanings. At his visit to the doctor’s office, his hemoglobin levels will be tested to make sure his iron levels are right. But lucky for him, he’s done with vaccines for a few months!
12 Month Milestones
Happy Birthday, Baby! She is getting the hang of things now and learning how to use her hands in more effective ways like transferring objects from hand to hand and eating with her fingers. She also enjoys opening and closing cabinet doors, waving bye-bye, and “dancing” to music. She also learned what “no” means, which is Dr. Aversa’s favorite stage. Why? “Because it can go so wrong,” he says, “but it can also, if you do it right, it can be a lot of fun to figure out how to manage when they’re starting to express their preferences for things in the world.” When she sees her medical provider, she’ll receive her final dose of vaccines for PCV, IPV, and Hib as well as Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) and hepatitis A vaccines. She might also receive a lead screening or tuberculosis test.
After your baby’s first year, we will continue to see him at 15 months, 18 months, 24 months and beyond. His doctor will stay with him until adulthood, and celebrate each milestone to come, just like in his first year. For mom and dad, we have various birth control options (intrauterine devices, depo, vasectomy, etc.) offered at all our clinics.
At Sound Family Medicine, we love your little bundle of joy almost as much as you do, and we strive to provide the best care for him/her. If you are expecting, or a new parent looking for a pediatrician, click here for a list of our available providers who would love to care for your child. Please visit our clinics and hours page for more information including our extended hours (because we know baby doesn’t have an internal clock yet), driving directions and the nearest walk-in clinic. You can also learn more about us and our services here.