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Well Child Visit At 4 Months
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A well child visit is when your child sees a healthcare provider to prevent health problems. It is a different type of visit than when your child sees a healthcare provider because he is sick. Well child visits are used to track your child's growth and development. It is also a time for you to ask questions and to get information on how to keep your child safe. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them. Your child should have regular well child visits from birth to 17 years.
Where do I take my child for well child visits?
It is best to find a medical home for your child. A medical home is a doctor's office or clinic where your child sees the same healthcare providers every time. A medical home will also keep your child's health records. The healthcare providers will get to know your child and your family so they can give him the best care. They will also make sure he receives vaccines on the recommended immunization schedule to protect him from diseases.
What happens during a well child visit at 4 months:
Your baby's healthcare provider may do the following:
- Chart your baby's head growth, and check his head shape and fontanelles (soft spots)
- Check your baby's vision and hearing
- Chart your baby's weight and length
- Ask how often your baby breastfeeds or drinks formula, and remind you not to put your baby down with a bottle
- Check your baby's teeth and talk to you about how to handle teething and pacifier use
- Ask how well your baby sleeps, and review safe ways to lay him on his back to sleep
- Ask how long your baby cries, and help you find safe ways to comfort him
- Remind you never to shake a baby if he will not stop crying
- Review home safety and childproofing, and water safety, such as not leaving your child alone in the tub
- Tell you never to put your baby in a walker because they are not safe for babies, and tell you to limit bouncer chair or swing time
- Make sure you have a rear-facing infant safety seat in every car, and that it is installed properly in the back seat
- Help you decide when your baby is ready for solid food and what to feed him
- Ask how often your baby urinates and has bowel movements
- Talk to you about protecting your baby's skin when he is in the sun to prevent skin cancer
- Ask about your baby's behavior and who takes care of him
- Give your baby any vaccines he needs (rotavirus, DTaP, HiB, pneumococcal, and polio), and any catch-up doses of previous vaccines
Milestones of development your baby may reach by 4 months:
Each baby develops at his own pace. Your baby might have already reached the following milestones, or he may reach them later:
- Smile and laugh
- Coo in response to someone cooing at him
- Bring his hands together in front of him
- Reach for objects and grasp them, and then let them go
- Bring toys to his mouth
- Control his head when he is placed in a seated position
- Hold his head and chest up and support himself on his arms when he is placed on his tummy
- Roll from front to back
What you need to know about your baby's next well child visit:
Your baby's healthcare provider will tell you when to bring your baby in again. The next well child visit is usually at 6 months. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about his health or care before the next visit. Your baby may need the following vaccines at his next visit: hepatitis B, rotavirus, diphtheria, DTaP, HiB, pneumococcal, and polio.
Changes that may happen before the next well child visit:
- Your baby may start to babble (make noises that sound like he is trying to say words).
- Your baby may reach for objects or pass an object from one hand to the other.
- You may start seeing your baby roll from back to front and from front to back. He may be able to start sitting with support.
- You may start to see teeth come in. Remember that the appearance of teeth does not mean your baby is ready for all solid foods. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can offer solid foods to your baby. Do not offer any new foods until his healthcare provider says it is okay.
- Your baby's healthcare provider may review the importance of breastfeeding for the first year of your baby's life. Talk to him about any problems with or concerns about breastfeeding. Also talk to him before you give your baby formula. He can help you choose a formula that contains iron. He may recommend that you breastfeed for a certain period of time before you offer your child a bottle or pacifier.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.