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 winter. 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 childcare
or have older siblings.
What to Expect at the Office Visit
Well-baby checkups vary from
doctor to doctor, but usually will include:
Measurement of your baby's length, weight, and head circumference. Growth will
be plotted on a growth chart,
and you'll be advised of the progress.
A physical exam.
A review of your baby's development through both observation and your progress
report. Can your baby hold up his or her head? Is your tot rolling over? Sitting with
or without support? Can he or she transfer an object from hand to hand? Respond to
own name? Has your baby started to babble? Your doctor may ask you these questions
You may be asked how you are doing with your baby and how the rest of the family
is doing. Your doctor may go over safety questions with you: Have you babyproofed
your home? Is your little one in an appropriate safety
seat while in the car?
A discussion of your baby's eating
habits, including the likelihood that solid foods will be introduced soon.
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 medical record,
listing information on growth and any problems or illnesses.
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,
kids usually get the meningococcal
vaccine at 11–12 years old.)
When Should I 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:
Breastfeeding your baby will provide antibodies and enzymes that help protect
Try to keep your baby away from kids you know are sick, especially those with
infectious diseases such as the flu.
Family members who are sick should not share food or drink with the baby, and
they should wash their hands
well before handling the baby and your tot's toys.
Stay up to date with your baby's vaccines. Stick to the immunization
schedule recommended by your doctor.
Call your doctor if your baby has a fever,
is acting sick, refuses to eat, suddenly has trouble sleeping, has diarrhea, or is