During these early months, you might have many questions about your baby's health.
Most doctors have phone hours when parents can call with routine questions. Don't
hesitate to call with your concerns, no matter how minor they might seem.
Of course, if you think your baby could have an illness, don't wait for phone hours
— call your doctor immediately. As in the newborn period, illness at this age
needs immediate attention.
How often you see the doctor in the first 2 months will depend on your baby's health,
but most infants are seen at 1
month and again at 2
months for routine care.
Babies are checked for growth,
development, and feeding,
among other things. These regular checkups
also let your doctor follow up on any concerns from earlier checkups and are a chance
for you to ask questions.
What Happens at the Office Visit
During these early months, your doctor will check your baby's progress and growth.
Common parts of a checkup include:
weight, length, and head circumference measurements that are plotted on your baby's
a physical exam with special attention to any previous problems
assessing development (for example, head control, cooing, and smiling)
questions about how you're doing with your baby
advice about feeding and other aspects of nutrition
what to expect during the coming months, including a discussion about safety precautions
possibly HBV (hepatitis B vaccine), if not previously given
Babies at high risk for meningococcal disease, which can lead to bacterial meningitis
and other serious conditions, may get the meningococcal
vaccine. (Otherwise, the meningococcal vaccine is routinely given at 11–12
Vaccines protect against serious childhood illnesses. Vaccines, like any other
medicine, may cause reactions (usually mild), such as fever or irritability. Be sure
to discuss side effects with your doctor and get guidelines for when to call the office.
When to Call the Doctor
Some common medical problems at this age may need a doctor's attention, including:
diarrhea and vomiting, which could be caused by an infection and put your infant
at risk for dehydration
a baby with an ear infection may become irritable, and could have a fever
rashes, which are common in infants. Some may not seem to bother your baby, but
skin conditions like eczema
can result in dry, itchy skin. Your doctor can recommend lotions, creams, and soaps
upper respiratory tract infections (including the common
cold), which affect infants just like the rest of us. Babies can't blow their
own noses, so you may need to help clear mucus with a rubber bulb aspirator.
Don't give your baby any medicines without checking first with your doctor. Call the
doctor's office right away if your baby has trouble breathing, refuses to eat, has
a rectal temperature above 100.4°F (38°C), or is excessively cranky or sleepy.
Again, don't hesitate to contact the doctor's office about any health or behavior