1. Check your baby's weight, length, and head circumference and
plot the measurements on the growth
2. Ask questions, address any concerns, and offer advice about
how your baby is:
Feeding. Newborns should
be fed whenever they seem hungry. Breastfed infants eat about every 1–3
hours, and formula-fed infants eat about every 2–4 hours. Your doctor or nurse
can watch as you breastfeed and offer help with any problems. Burp your baby midway
through a feeding and again at the end.
Peeing and pooping. Newborns should have about six 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
Sleeping. A newborn
may sleep up to 18 or 19 hours a day, waking up often (day and night) to breastfeed
or take a bottle. Breastfed babies usually wake to eat every 1–3 hours, while
formula-fed babies may sleep longer, waking every 2–4 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:
pay attention to faces or bright objects 8–12 inches (20–30 cm) away
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
Moro reflex (startle response): throws out arms and legs, then curls them in when
3. Do aphysical
exam with your baby undressed with you 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. Do screening tests. Your doctor will review the screening
tests from the hospital and repeat tests, if needed. If a hearing test wasn't
done then, your baby will have one now.
5. Update immunizations.Immunizations
can protect infants from serious childhood illnesses, so it's important that your
baby get them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk
to your doctor about what to expect.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your next routine visit at 1 month:
Continue to feed your baby when he or she is hungry. Pay
attention to signs that your baby is full, such as turning away from the nipple or
bottle and closing the mouth.
Don't give solid foods or juice.
Don't put cereal in your baby's bottle unless directed to by your doctor.
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
Use fragrance-free soaps and lotions.
Hold your baby and be attentive to his or her needs. You can't
spoil a newborn.
Sing, talk, and read
to your baby. Babies learn best by interacting with people.
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 medicine to an infant
younger than 2 months old without talking to your doctor first.
It's common for new moms to feel tired and overwhelmed at times. But if these feelings are intense, or you feel sad,
moody, or anxious, call your doctor.
Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your living situation.
Do you have the things that you need to take care of your baby? Do you have enough
food, a safe place to live, and health
insurance? Your doctor can tell you about community resources or refer you to
a social worker.
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.