Baby’s first trip to the doctor: What you need to know

ROCKFORD, Mich -- Whether it's the first step, the first word, or even those dreadful first shots, there are a lot of baby firsts that parents won't forget.

However, a child's first trip to the doctor can be a stressful time for both parents and baby.

During a baby's first year of life, they will likely visit the doctor at least seven times.  Although those visits may feel repetitive, frequent appointments are the best way to get expert opinions to your question and to make sure your child is on track to succeed in life.

"A lot of what we do is we look at their growth charts, make sure they're gaining weight, growing tall, doing all of those things," Dr. Kim Alt said, a pediatrician at Rockford Pediatrics.

One of the most common questions Dr. Alt is asked is: "Is this normal?"  Dr. Alt says if you're starting to Google stuff or looking stuff up online, it's always better to call and ask your doctor.

At your child's two-month appointment doctors will check many things: including feeding habits, their weight, sleep patterns and stools. Doctors will perform a full physical exam and your baby will receive their first round of shots.

Dr. Alt encourages both parents to be at the first few doctor visits and says it's important to contact your insurance company before heading in to make sure your child is on your policy.

In addition, try bringing any and all discharge information you received from the hospital.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when you're away from the doctor:

  • No extra water, newborns should only be drinking formula or breast milk. Extra water can throw off their electrolytes.
  • No Ibuprofen until after six months. If your baby is in pain, give them Tylenol.
  • If your baby has a fever, call your doctor right away.

"A lot of what we do especially towards the ends of visits are talking about what can you expect over the next couple of months," Alt said. "These are the things you should watch out for these are things to be worried about these are things that should bring you back in."

Rockford Pediatrics is brand new practice. If you're interested in scheduling an appointment call 616-259-6100. Same day appointments are available, they also provide a walk-in hour. They're located at 120 Marcell Drive NE.

Rockford Pediatrics will host an open house from 4:00-7:00 on July 13. There will be free food and face painting.

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