By the time your child has reached the age of four months, you'll likely be pretty used to bringing your child into the pediatrician's office for routine check-ups. However, to help quell your anxiety a bit, it can be helpful to have a better idea of what to expect when you arrive at the pediatrician's office with your four-month-old!
Plotting on the Growth Chart
One of the first things your pediatrician will likely do is to have you undress your baby so he or she can be weighed and measured in a variety of ways. Some areas that will be measured include your baby's total length as well as the circumference of his or her head. Your baby will also be carefully weighed, and all of this information will be plotted on a growth chart. Given national averages, the pediatrician will also be able to give you a better idea of what percentile your child is in for growth in different areas as comparison.
Next, it's time for the worst part (for both you and baby): those pesky shots. No parent enjoys having to endure the cries from their own child when shots are given, but they are important in protecting your child from illness later in life. At your child's four-month appointment, the shots given will depend on what has already been done in previous appointments. However, it is not uncommon for pneumococcal vaccines and the rotavirus vaccine to be given at this time.
A Thorough Physical Exam
Another important part of your child's four-month appointment will be a thorough physical exam, which will involve assessment of your child's organ function, eyes, ears, mouth, and much more. The pediatrician will also likely move and bend your baby's legs to make sure there are no signs of any problems in the joints.
Time to Speak With the Doctor
At the end of your appointment, the pediatrician will review everything with you and give you an opportunity to bring up any questions or concerns you may have. From there, he or she will likely have you schedule your child's next appointment on your way out!
Routine pediatric exams are an important part of your baby's first months of life, and the four-month check-up is no exception. Now that you have a better idea of what to expect at that appointment, hopefully you can relax a bit and be prepared for what's to come. Contact a medical facility that provides pediatrician services for more information.