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The visit that lays the foundation for the months and years to come. Key issues discussed include feeding, sleeping, and pooping. Bring all your questions (and remember, there are never ever any silly questions) and be prepared to answer a few as well.
2 week-old Visit
OK, hopefully the feeding is becoming smoother and at least 3 hour stretches of sleep are to be found...both for you and your child. Monitoring the weight gain is sure to be done at this visit and, of course, making sure all questions are answered.
1 month-old Visit
Can it be a month already? The cheeks are probably a bit plumper and the thighs a bit fuller. You might see some tracking by this time where your child begins to follow you with her eyes. On the flip side, some things we hope to avoid but may still present around this time include colic, milk protein sensitivity and reflux (GERD). So if any concerns with any excessive fussiness or irritability, let's be sure to discuss.
2 month-old Visit
Ahh...finally the reciprocation we're all looking for...the smiling, cooing, and tracking should all be very enjoyable around this time. At the visit, we'll continue to monitor the growth curves for both weight, length, and head circumference. We'll also begin the immunization process...so very important in protecting and maintaining the health of your child.
4 month-old Visit
Hopefully, a rhythm has been found by now...for both you and your child. The smiles are now turning into giggles and laughter and the cooing has graduated to some blabbering. At this visit, discussion of the introduction of solids begins and the vaccine boosters are given. And a gentle reminder to never leave your infant unattended, as you never know when the rolling around will begin.
6 month-old Visit
Congratulations on reaching 6 months. So many milestones have already been reached with so many more to come. Some of the developmental milestones enjoyed at this age include laughing, blabbering, sitting upright (often still with support), rolling around, raker grasp, and for some, even holding the bottle. Vaccine boosters are given at this visit and further discussion of the solid foods will occur as well.
9 month-old Visit
With the mobility of your child increasing, this becomes an important time to reiterate the safety proofing of your household. If doing it yourself, please be sure to get on your hands and knees and crawl around the same areas your child has access to. Some infants may be pulling to stand and cruising...getting close to taking their first steps...so have your video camera ready to go. But fear not, as with many of your child's developmental milestones, age ranges exist so some infants may not begin walking until closer to 15 months of age...and that's just fine. Other milestones to look for include a modified pincer grasp (another reason to safety proof the house), vocalization of the dadada and mamama, and even some separation and stranger anxiety. Any necessary vaccine boosters will be given and a Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) test will be performed to assess for potential visual issues. And, of course, a healthy discussion of advancement of solid foods will occur.
12 month-old Visit
Happy birthday and a big congratulations to everyone. It's always a time of amazement when looking back upon the first year but stay tuned, more incredible things to follow in the second year of life. At this visit, we continue to monitor the growth curves for weight, length, and head circumference as well as discuss important development milestones...including waving, clapping, and even some dancing, pulling to stand cruising, and possibly some walking and a pincer grasp that pick up even some of the finest pieces of lint. The vocabularly really hasn't begun yet but don't be surprised if a word or two or three or four is to be heard. Potential lead exposure will also be discussed at this visit and a finger prick for a lead level as well as a hemoglobin check to check for anemia will be performed. Scheduled vaccines at this visit include the MMR and Varivax (chicken pox vaccine).
15 month-old Visit & 18 month-old Visit
Probably best to let parents know that during this second year of life, your toddler may not enjoy pediatrician visits all that much. In fact, fear not, as we view it as part of the typical development of your child. At these visits, we continue to assess the overall development of your child in regard to gross motor (walking well...even picking up speed), fine motor (beginning to use the spoon and cup with improving dexterity), social aspects (clapping, waving, and even some dancing), and the beginning of some clear words. In fact, we also employ a developmental questionnaire, the MCHAT, to help assess your child's overall progress. Furthermore, along with the typical feeding and sleeping guidelines to be given at these visits is the reinforcement of appropriate disciplining techniques as this is the age toddlers begin to manipulate situations and parents. And yes, 'the terrible twos' may begin a few months before the 2nd birthday. Also, routine vaccine boosters are given at these two visits.
24 month-old Visit (the 2 year-old check)
2 years...where has the time gone? So many amazing things over the past two years with so much more to come. As we continue to monitor the overall development and growth of your child, please bear in mind that there are ranges as to when children reach certain developmental milestones. One may be speaking in sentences while another may be able to throw a ball over the fence. So try not to compare and realize age ranges exist and we will be sure to assess where your child stands. And as with every visit, growth charts (AKA the rainbow charts) are often enjoyed as its an opportunity to reflect over the past two years. Although vaccines to be given may differ (pending missed opportunities at earlier visits), the Hepatitis A vaccine is routinely given and we will also perform a lead test via a finger prick as well as another VEP test.