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 18 hours a day or more, waking up often (day and night) to breastfeed or take a bottle. Breastfed babies usually wake to eat every 1 to 3 hours, while formula-fed babies may sleep longer, waking every 2 to 4 hours to eat (formula takes longer to digest so babies feel fuller longer). Newborns should not sleep more than 4 hours between feedings until they have good weight gain, usually within the first few weeks. After that, it's OK if a baby sleeps for longer stretches.
Developing. In the first month, babies should:
focus and follow objects (especially faces)
respond to sound — they may quiet down, blink, turn head, startle, or cry
hold arms and legs in a flexed position
move arms and legs equally
lift head briefly when on stomach (babies should only be placed on the stomach while awake and under supervision)
have strong newborn reflexes, such as:
rooting and sucking: turns toward, then sucks breast/bottle nipple
grasp: tightly grabs hold of a finger placed within the palm
fencer's pose: straightens arm when head is turned to that side and bends opposite arm
Moro (startle response): throws out arms and legs, then curls them in when startled
3. Perform aphysical 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.
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.
Use fragrance-free soaps and lotions.
Hold your baby and be attentive to his or her needs. You can't spoil a newborn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.