6 Week Check Up for New Baby

6 week check up

 

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE CHECK UP

 
This 6 week new baby check is often a very exciting one for most new parents as the doctor will assess their baby’s general health, physical growth and behavioural development.
 
Special attention will be paid to your baby’s hearing and vision as well as their body control and social responses.
 
During your baby’s health checkup you should expect the doctor to:
 
 
 
 
  • Check their hearing - the doctor will check your baby is startled and responds to sudden noises.
  • Check their vision - they will see if your baby focuses on your face with their eyes and follows you around the room and if they turn towards bright light.
  • Complete a full physical examination - this will include a complete check from head to toe; examining their eyes, ears, mouth, neck, hips, tummy, hands and feet, head control, spine and anus. With a boy the penis and scrotum will also be examined.
  • Take measurements of your baby - this will include weighing them, measuring their length and head circumference. These measurements enable the doctor to plot your baby’s growth on a chart and provide a good indication of their development.
  • Check their reflexes - some reflexes your baby once displayed disappear around the age of 6 weeks such as the grasp reflex i.e. when you stroke a baby’s palm and their hand closes on the finger.
  • Check their muscle tone - this is usually done by moving their arms and legs.

THE BEST TIME FOR AN APPOINTMENT

New Baby

The 6 week baby check-up is an important milestone for you and your baby so it is important both you and your baby feel comfortable for the duration of the visit. The best time to schedule an appointment is when your baby is awake, but not hungry. Usually about an hour after a feed is the optimal time for an appointment but you know how unpredictable babies can be sometimes!
 
Also, make sure you are prepared for your visit. Although the appointment may not be overly long, it is still an outing with your baby so you still need to pack all the usual items such as spare nappies, wipes, spare clothes, feed (if applicable)- anything you usually have in your baby bag and be sure to bring your bag into the appointment with you.

WHAT TO EXPECT

What to expect from your six week old baby at check-up:
  • They begin to control their head a lot more
  • They make gurgling noises and begin to respond to you
  • They will be smiling or starting to smile when they hear your voice
  • They can follow a toy or light which dangles in front of them
  • They will watch you with an intense expression

For a premature baby the rules are slightly different and you have to take into account a baby born 3 months premature, at 6 months of age will often only display the developmental signs of a 3 month old. However, overtime these development skills become less obvious and usually by two years of age a premature baby will display the same developmental signs as a baby born full term.