Babies who were
born early or have health problems may grow and develop at a slower
Why are routine medical visits needed?
Doctors recommend that babies have routine checkups (well-child visits) every 2 to 3 months from age 1 month to 12 months. These visits
are important to check for problems and to make sure that your baby is growing
and developing as expected.
Weigh and measure your
baby to see how your baby compares to other babies of the same age.
Likely ask you questions about how your family and the baby are doing.
This is a good time to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. Between
visits, write down any questions you want to ask the doctor next time.
When should you call the doctor?
Call your doctor
anytime you have a concern about your baby. Be
sure to call if your baby:
Hasn't grown as expected or hasn't been
eating well for some time.
Has lost skills he or she used to have,
such as crawling.
Shows signs of hearing problems, such as not
responding to your voice or to loud noises.
Your own health is also important in
helping your baby grow and develop. Talk to your doctor if you think you might
be depressed or if you feel like you cannot care for your baby.
How can you help your baby during the first year?
The best things for your baby are often the most basic. Loving, holding,
changing diapers for, talking to, and feeding your baby are the first things to
During the first year, other ways that you can help your
baby grow and learn are to:
Respond to your baby?s cries.
Crying is your baby?s way to tell you what he or she needs. If your baby has
colic, do what you can to comfort him or her. Remember
that colic is normal-and temporary. Your baby will grow out of it.
Help your baby learn. Talking, reading, and playing are all important ways to
help your baby?s mind grow.
Place your baby on his or her tummy,
and play together. Also give your baby plenty of time to explore safely. This can
help your baby gain the confidence to try new skills, such as crawling and
walking, and to grow into a healthy toddler.
Keep your baby safe.
Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back to reduce the risk for sudden
infant death syndrome (SIDS). Use a car seat every time your baby rides in a
Know that your baby is curious, but set limits. A baby
between 1 and 12 months is too young to understand what is "good" and "bad"
behavior. You may need to redirect your baby?s attention. For example, if your
baby tries to pull the dog's tail, you can find a toy to get your baby?s attention, and
then move the dog to another area.