Neonates and infants have special medical and care needs that benefit from the special training offered by an experienced pediatrician. During the first weeks and months of life, infants experience significant growth and development. Many issues affecting growth and development appear within the first few months of life, but sometimes these signs can be subtle, and a pediatrician with experience in newborn care can play an essential role in identifying issues and providing treatment or referrals as needed. Plus, pediatricians with experience caring for newborns can also provide new parents with a wealth of guidance about the care and health needs of newborns, and they can also ensure infants receive proper immunizations to supplement their natural immune systems and prevent serious diseases.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends newborns and infants be seen by a pediatrician:
Annual visits typically begin once the child reaches two years of age.
A newborn office visit includes a head-to-toe examination, including assessments of vision, heart and lung function, and other evaluations to ensure the child remains “on track” with normal growth and developmental milestones. The baby will be weighed and measured and gently palpated in the belly area to look for signs of tenderness or swelling that could indicate a hernia or other problem. Head circumference will also be measured during the early months of life. Once the evaluation portion of the exam is complete, recommended immunizations will be provided and parents will be asked a series of questions about their child's behavior, including bowel and bladder function, eating frequency, sleep patterns, fussiness and other issues aimed at providing a complete picture of the child's overall health and wellness. Finally, parents will have a chance to ask questions and guidance will be provided to help patients understand what to expect during their child's growth and development.
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