After your baby is born, keeping track of their health is important. There are a number of tests that will be carried out on your newborn, but there are also some important check-ups that can become important as your baby gets older. They ensure your baby is developing as they should be, help to identify any potential problems and ensure your baby is on the right path to a healthy life too. Being aware of some of the most important health checks will help you to make sure your baby\’s development is going well.
Infant health checks in the first year
As your baby grows, here are some things that you might need to be aware of.
Your baby\’s teeth can start to come in at any time. Some babies are even born with their first teeth. However, most start teething at around four to six months. You might start to wonder when you should be taking your baby to the dentist. Experts generally recommend that you make the first appointment within six months of your baby\’s first tooth erupting. The dentist can check the health of your baby\’s teeth but also give you valuable advice on how to care for them. They can tell you about baby bottle tooth decay, teething, pacifier habits, and more.
Language and learning development review
The development of your child\’s language and learning is something you can monitor at home. There are lots of lists of milestones that you can find to help guide you, although it\’s always important to remember that all babies develop at a different pace. However, it can be useful to take your child to a doctor if you think that your child might be falling behind or you just want to check that everything is within a normal range. If you start with your pediatrician or family doctor, they might refer you to a speech-language pathologist, an audiologist, or other specialists.
Your baby\’s eyes will be checked when they are born for any visual signs of problems, such as cataracts. However, this won\’t tell you how well your baby is able to see. At six months, it\’s a good idea to start thinking about pediatric eye exams. While it might seem early, it\’s smart to try and catch any potential problems as soon as possible. The exam will check that your baby\’s eyes are working as they should be and that they are developing properly.
Newborn babies typically have a hearing test before leaving the hospital. But if your baby was born at home or didn\’t have a hearing test for any other reason, it\’s recommended that you arrange one within six weeks of birth. A hearing test can check for different types of hearing impairment using tests designed for babies. As your child gets older, watching out for both hearing difficulties and vision problems will help you to catch any issues.
Once your baby is born, they will have a number of routine check-ups with their pediatrician. These check-ups are important for monitoring your baby\’s growth and development. The doctor will measure your baby\’s weight, length, and head circumference. They will also assess how well your baby is doing in terms of their milestones, such as sitting up, crawling, and walking. These routine check-ups are important for making sure that your baby is on track developmentally and that there aren\’t any problems.
As your baby gets older, they will need to start getting immunizations to protect them from a variety of diseases. Immunizations work by protecting your baby from the viruses or bacteria that cause these diseases. They are an important part of keeping your baby healthy and preventing them from getting sick. The immunizations typically start at two months and continue until your child is four to six years old. Some of the immunizations that your child will be offered include the DTaP vaccine, the polio vaccine, the MMR vaccine, and the chickenpox vaccine.
Social skills and emotional development
From birth, your baby will start to develop social and emotional skills. These skills will continue to develop throughout childhood and into adolescence. Some of the social skills that your child will learn include how to interact with others, how to communicate, how to make friends, and how to resolve conflicts. Emotional skills include things like self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and emotion management. As your child grows, they will learn more and more social and emotional skills. You can help them to develop these skills by providing a loving and supportive home environment.
Physical development includes things like gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve the large muscles in the body and are necessary for things like sitting, standing, walking, and running. Fine motor skills involve the smaller muscles in the body and are necessary for things like writing, drawing, and buttoning up a shirt. Most babies start to develop their gross motor skills around six months old. They will learn how to sit up, crawl, and eventually walk. Fine motor skills develop a little later, around nine to twelve months old. Your child will learn how to pick up small objects, turn pages in a book, and use a fork and spoon.
How to support help your baby\’s development
There are a few things that you can do to help your baby\’s development. One of the most important things is to provide a loving and nurturing home environment. This means spending time with your child, talking and singing to them, reading to them, and providing them with plenty of cuddles. It\’s also important to give your child plenty of opportunities to explore their environment. This means providing them with safe things to play with, taking them on outings to new places, and exposing them to a variety of people and experiences. By doing these things, you can help your baby to develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually.
When to be concerned
While it\’s normal for babies to develop at different rates, there are some red flags that you should be aware of. If your baby isn\’t meeting milestones, such as sitting up or crawling, this could be a sign of a problem. If your baby isn\’t babbling or using gestures by six months old, this could also be a cause for concern. If you are worried about your baby\’s development, talk to your child\’s doctor. They will be able to assess your child and let you know if there is cause for concern.
In conclusion – every child is different
Child development is a process that starts at birth and continues into adolescence. It involves physical, emotional, social, and intellectual growth. There are a few things that you can do to help your child\’s development, such as providing a loving home environment and giving them opportunities to explore. If you are concerned about your child\’s development, reach out to your child\’s pediatrician. Children are so different, so their knowledge of your child specifically is really important.