Taking the child to the pediatrician regularly is a way of knowing if he is evolving in the right way. This pediatric follow-up is called childcare and aims to verify how the child’s development is going and remove any doubts that parents may have about everything that is related to the children’s universe.
In the first year of the baby’s life, as changes happen at an accelerated rate, this pediatric follow-up needs to be very close. Ideally, both parents should participate in these initial visits to the doctor.
This commitment gives them and the pediatrician the opportunity to get to know each other and exchange information that is relevant to the phase they are going through.
What to Ask the Pediatrician?
It is important not to be restricted to medical issues, the pediatrician is also an expert in general child care problems. Especially in the case of first-time mothers, who have many doubts about breastfeeding, in relation to visits to the newborn, sleep routines, contact with pets, food introduction and pediatric follow-up in general.
It is a good idea to make a list of questions before each visit so that you do not forget anything important.
How Child Growth and Development is Followed
In pediatric follow-up consultations, the doctor will check several points regarding the child, the main ones being:
The baby will be undressed and weighed on a children’s scale. Its length can be measured lying on a flat table with straight legs straight. A special tape is used to measure the size of your head.
All of these measurements will be noted and should be plotted on a graph to determine your growth curve from one visit to the next. This is the most reliable way to judge whether he is growing normally and will show his position on the growth curve in relation to other children his age.
The soft spot (fontanelle) must be open (normal opening covered with skin on the skull) and flat in the first months. From two to three months old, the stitch on the back should be closed. The stitch on the front should close before the child’s second birthday (about eighteen months old).
The doctor will examine inside both ears with an otoscope, an instrument that provides a view of the ear canal and eardrum. This tells him if there is any evidence of fluid or infection in the ear. Parents will also be asked if the child responds normally to sounds. Formal hearing tests are performed on the newborn and, subsequently, if there is a suspicion that there is a problem.
The doctor will use a shiny object or a flashlight to get your baby’s attention and track your eye movements. He can also look into the baby’s eyes with a lighted instrument called an ophthalmoscope – repeating the internal eye exam that was done for the first time in the maternity ward. This is particularly useful in detecting cataracts (turbidity of the lens of the eye).
The mouth is checked for signs of infection and, later, for the progress of the dentition.
Heart and lungs
The pediatrician will use a stethoscope on the front and back of the chest to listen to the baby’s heart and lungs. This test determines if there are any abnormal heart rhythms, sounds or breathing difficulties.
By placing a hand on the child’s abdomen and pressing gently, the doctor ensures that none of the organs is enlarged and that there are no unusual masses.
The genitals are examined at each visit to see if there are any bumps, or unusual signs of infection. In boys, the doctor observes with special attention to make sure that both testicles are in the scrotum.
Hips and legs
The pediatrician will move the baby’s legs to check for problems with the hip joints. The movements he will perform with the baby’s legs are designed to detect dislocation or dysplasia of the hip joint.
It is important to look for this early in life, as early detection can lead to adequate referral and correction. Later, when the baby starts walking, the doctor will do some tests to make sure that the legs and feet are properly aligned and move normally.
The pediatrician will also ask about the baby’s overall development. Among other things, he will watch and discuss when the baby starts to smile, roll, sit and walk, and how he uses his hands and arms. During the exam, the pediatrician will test reflexes and general muscle tone.
Frequency of Pediatric Monitoring (h2)
In the first month of life, the baby must go to the pediatrician three times: when he is 5 days old, for the doctor to check weight gain and umbilical stump, on the 15th day and when he is 1 month old.
From the 2nd to the 6th month, pediatric follow-up is monthly . In the second semester, it is recommended to consult every 2 months, but some pediatricians maintain monthly monitoring to check the baby’s development more closely.
Pediatric follow-up should continue to take place until the end of adolescence, but of course, less frequently, so it is important to choose a trusted pediatrician to report any problems that arise.
Why Do I Need So Many Queries? (h3)
In the first year of life, the baby gains triple in weight , increases 25 cm in height , begins to speak his first words and can even take the first steps. There are big changes in a short period of time, so to make sure everything is going well, strict pediatric follow-up is needed.
Early childhood can influence the rest of a child’s life. It is at this time that the baby creates its eating and sleeping habits and already gains some risk factors for diabetes , obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
Overweight babies have an increased risk of becoming obese adults. Pediatric follow-up also reduces the risk of hospitalizations, since chronic diseases such as heart disease, allergies and asthma are much more controlled when found at the beginning.
Pediatric follow-up is very important, as it aims to promote the health of the baby, child and adolescent , detecting any changes early and informing parents about disease prevention. Therefore, be sure to take your child to the pediatrician regularly.
See also: IMC Infantil – Alert for Moms
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.