Your newborn will be between three- and five-days old for her first checkup with the pediatrician. This is basically right after you get home from the hospital. The timing of it all isn’t the best, as you’re smack-dab in the middle of adjusting to life as a sleep-deprived and newly nursing baby mama. What should seem like an easy enough task can suddenly feel exhausting when you’re traveling out into the world with your newborn for the first time. So! Use this handy list to keep it all in check, and be ready to ace the first visit like the rockstar parent you are.
1. Write it all down. Have you been endlessly Googling what is and isn’t normal for newborns? Try writing down all of your concerns instead (don’t rely on memory alone!), and bring them to the doctor’s office with you. And keep in mind that no question is too weird or too silly. Questions about feeding, pooping, breathing, sleeping, soothing and whatever else is worrying you are all normal topics to discuss with the doc.
2. Pack light (or as light as you can). Pack it up with all the essentials needed to feed, dress and soothe the baby. This could be a bottle, a nursing cover-up (if you prefer), a baby blanket, an extra change of clothes, a pacifier and diapering supplies. No, you don’t have to bring toys, books, piles of blankets, the bassinet and whatnot. It’ll be tempting to bring all the “just in case” stuff, but resist the urge to overpack. The less you have to keep track of, the better.
3. How are *you* feeling? Do you feel blue, overly anxious, fearful, angry or any emotion that feels out of your control or out of the ordinary for you? Bring it up. Although the doc is your baby’s physician, she is trained in assisting with postpartum issues too. She may also have resources or a referral for you, if needed.
4. Bring your current insurance info. Even if you already provided this to the pediatrician. Bring it. It’s super common to be asked for it again (and again) at each visit.
5. Write it all down (again). Whether it’s a notebook, a phone or your laptop, it doesn’t matter. Whatever device is easiest for you to carry and jot down notes. Just like it will be hard to remember all of your questions without writing them down, the same will go for the doctor’s instructions or advice. And don’t forget to take down those golden height and weight measurements!
6. You don’t have to do this alone. It’s a good idea to bring another adult with you to help out with the baby. You may be waiting for awhile for your appointment to start, and that can be tiring and boring at the same time. You may also need to bounce and shush the baby when it’s time to ask the doc your questions. Having an extra set of hands and a person to spend time with will come in real handy, real fast, if you find yourself in the appointment longer than expected.
Did you feel prepared for your baby’s first doctor’s visit? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo
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