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What to expect
At the 1-month well-baby checkup, your child's doctor will do a physical exam. Once it's complete, the doctor will probably ask you the following questions about your child's health, sleeping, and feeding habits. Jot down your answers on our printable doctor visit worksheet to take with you to the appointment.
How is your baby sleeping?
Normal sleeping patterns are erratic this month, but most babies sleep in two- to three-hour chunks during the day and night for a total of about 15 hours. By now one period of sleep may be a little longer than the others – the first step toward a full night's rest for your baby and you.
What position does your baby sleep in?
To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), put your baby to sleep on her back.
When, how, and how often does your baby eat?
Most 1-month-olds eat every two to three hours. The doctor asks this question to determine whether your baby is getting enough breast milk or formula to thrive, and to find out if you have any concerns about feeding.
What are your baby's bowel movements like?
Soft feces are best, but color can vary. Dry or pellet-like stools are a sign of dehydration, or a sign of constipation in a formula-fed infant. Tell your doctor if you notice this.
Does your baby quiet down, at least briefly, at the sound of your voice?
This behavior tells you and the doctor two things: Your baby is beginning to recognize you, and he sees you as a source of comfort and nurturing.
Is your baby awake for longer periods of time?
There's no right amount of alert time, but a general trend toward longer periods of alertness is a sign that your baby's developing normally.
Does she make soft cooing noises when she's content and alert?
She won't utter her first real words anytime soon, but these happy baby sounds are the first step.
Have you noticed anything unusual about your baby's eyes or the way he looks at things?
At every well-baby visit, the doctor should check the structure and alignment of the eyes and your baby's ability to move them correctly.
Is she a little fussier at the end of the day?
It's normal for 1-month-olds to fuss in the evening, especially between 6 p.m. and midnight. As your baby starts staying awake for longer periods during the day, she'll begin feeling more tired and irritable at night.
Are you giving your baby tummy time when he's awake?
Start tummy time from day one – when your child is awake and you're watching him, of course. Time on the tummy helps babies learn to push up, roll over, and eventually crawl. It also helps them avoid getting a flat spot on the back of the head. If you start it right away, your baby is less likely to resist it.
Does your baby hold her head up when placed on her tummy?
Head control is an important developmental milestone. If your baby can't hold her head up at least briefly by now, tell the doctor.
How are you doing?
Your child's doctor will screen you for signs of postpartum depression and ask questions about stressors on your family and how much of a support network you have.