Medical Care and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old
Babies really begin to show their personality during these months. So you might find yourself talking to your baby's doctor less about sleeping and eating and more about physical and social development.
Most likely your baby will now be seen at 4 months and at 6 months, but your doctor may schedule extra visits to check on any problems found earlier.
Colds and ear infections can become more common at this age, especially in wintertime. Once babies can reach out and grab objects and start having contact with more people, they can be at increased risk for contagious illnesses, especially if they're in daycare or have older siblings.
What to Expect at the Office Visit
Well-baby visits vary from doctor to doctor, but here are some common elements of a checkup:
Bring to the doctor any questions or concerns you may have at this time. Make sure to write down any specific instructions you receive regarding special baby care. Keep updating your child's permanent medical record, listing information on growth and any problems or illnesses.
Immunizations Your Baby Will Receive
Immunizations usually given at the 4-month visit:
At the 6-month visit, your baby also may receive (depending on the brand of vaccine given, and whether your child has received earlier doses):
Babies at high risk of developing a meningococcal disease, which can lead to bacterial meningitis and other serious conditions, may receive an additional vaccine. (Otherwise, the meningococcal vaccine is routinely given at 11-12 years old.)
When to Call the Doctor
Colds and other illnesses are a part of growing up. Your baby is beginning to explore and probably is being exposed to other kids. While it's hard to see your baby fight a stuffy nose or suffer with an ear infection, rest assured that most kids grow out of the frequent-illness stage as they build their immunity.
Meanwhile, these safeguards can help keep your baby well:
Call your doctor if your baby has a fever, is acting sick, refuses to eat, suddenly has trouble sleeping, has diarrhea, or is vomiting.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD