During these early months, you may have many questions about
your baby's health. Most doctors have phone hours when you can
call with routine questions, so don't hesitate to call with
your concerns, no matter how small they may seem.
Of course, if you suspect illness, don't wait for phone
hours - call your doctor immediately. As in the newborn period,
illness at this age requires immediate attention.
When Will We See the Doctor?
You will most likely visit your doctor with your infant at least
once every 2 months until your baby is about 6 months old. Not all
doctors follow this routine, though, so ask about your doctor's
well-baby checkup schedule.
Your infant is seen regularly to assess
habits, among other things. These regular checkups also allow the
doctor to follow up on any concerns from previous checkups and
are a chance for you to ask questions about your baby's health
What Will Happen at the Office Visit?
During these early months, your child's doctor will check
your baby's progress and growth. Common components of a checkup
- weight, length, and head circumference measurements that are
plotted on your baby's own growth chart
- a physical exam with special attention to any previous
- assessment of physical and emotional development (for
example, head control, vision, and social interaction)
- questions about how you are doing with your baby
- advice about feeding, vitamins, and other aspects of
- what to expect during the coming months, including a
discussion of babyproofing your home
during some visits (see below)
Address any questions you have, and write down the answers or
specific instructions the doctor gives you. At home, update
your baby's medical record, tracking growth and
any problems or illnesses.
What Immunizations Will My Baby Receive?
At 1-2 months old, your baby will receive the second dose of the
hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) if the first dose was given just after
birth. With combination vaccines, however, the 2-month visit may be
the first time your baby receives any immunizations.
At 2 months (and again at 4 months), your baby will be
given several immunizations:
- DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis)
- Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b) vaccine
- IPV (polio vaccine)
- PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), given in a series of
four shots over the first 15 months of life
- possibly, HBV (hepatitis B vaccine)
Some of these safeguards against serious childhood illnesses can
cause reactions (usually mild), such as fever or irritability. Be
sure to discuss side effects with your doctor and get guidelines
for when to call the office.
When to Call the Doctor
Some common medical problems at this age may need a doctor's
- diarrhea and vomiting, which could be caused by an infection
of the digestive tract and can put your infant at risk for
. A baby with an ear infection may become irritable; fever may or
may not be present.
- rashes, which are common in infants. Some may not seem to
bother your baby, but skin conditions like eczema can result in
dry, scaly patches that are itchy and uncomfortable. Your doctor
can tell you which lotions, creams, and soaps to use.
- upper respiratory tract infections (including the
), which affect infants just like the rest of us. Since babies
can't blow their own noses, you'll have to handle
clearing mucus with a rubber bulb aspirator. Don't give your
baby any medications without checking first with your doctor.
Call the pediatrician's office immediately if baby develops a
cough, refuses to eat, has a rectal temperature above 100.4Âº
Fahrenheit (38Âº Celsius), or is excessively cranky or
Again, don't hesitate to contact the doctor's office
about any health or behavior concerns.
Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: October 2008
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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