What Things Should I Expect—or Be Concerned About—From My Baby?
June 10, 2015
As a parent, it’s normal to worry. In fact, most seasoned parents will tell you that worry is a constant in parenthood, and you’ll worry in one way or another about your child, even when he or she is an adult and no longer living under your roof. We’re giving you tips today to help you determine what to expect, what you should be concerned about and what resources are available.
You’ll find that comparisons happen, where you look at your baby and look at what he or she is (or isn’t) doing compared to another baby. Do your best to avoid comparisons. Every baby develops at his or her own timeline, and every child is an individual. That’s why there are ranges for just about everything—how many diapers a baby will soil every day, at what age your baby will roll over, etc.
In your baby’s first year of life, some milestones to watch for include:
- Smiling (be prepared for your heart to melt at the sight of your little one smiling at you!)
- Rolling over
- Sitting up unassisted
- Eating solid foods
- Saying their first word
You will have well-child checkups with your baby and his or her pediatrician regularly during your baby’s first 12 months of life. These checkups are great opportunities to ask your doctor any questions regarding your concerns, as well as speak with your pediatrician to see if your baby is on track or if there is anything he or she is concerned about.
These checkups most commonly occur at two weeks, two months, four months, six months, nine months and 12 months (Tip: These well-child, or preventive, visits are covered 100% by health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.). In these checkups, along with measuring weight, height and head circumference, your doctor will conduct a developmental exam where they physically exam the baby as well as ask you questions to complete the developmental checklist.
Some of the questions your pediatrician may ask in the earlier well-child checkups include:
- Does your baby roll over or attempt to roll over?
- How much tummy time does baby get each day?
- How well is baby able to control his or her head and neck?
Well-child checkups aren’t the only time you can speak to your pediatrician about developmental concerns. Always feel free to call your doctor or nurse and ask questions or express your concerns. This is part of their job, and they really care about the wellbeing of your baby. Based on your concerns and the symptoms you describe, your doctor may request that you come in for a check up to look further into it.
When Baby Gets Ill
A sick baby is a tough experience for any parent. All you want is a healthy, happy baby. It is normal for a healthy baby to get sick over the course of his or her first year, especially as their immune system is developing and strengthening.
Some symptoms to watch for that may necessitate a call to or visit with your pediatrician or another medical professional:
- High fever (any fever in a baby under three months, or a fever of 102 or higher in older babies, according to the Mayo Clinic)
- Especially watery or loose bowel movements
- Colds that affect the baby’s ability to breath comfortably
- Lack of interest in eating or other lethargic behavior
If you are unsure whether the illness requires medical treatment, or believe that treatment needs to be sought, your doctor is only a phone call away. Additionally, 24-hour medical services are always available. Trust your instincts and go with your gut. It’s better to be cautious and rule things out.
Be sure to make notes on the symptoms, such as when they started, as well as any details on the symptoms, like frequency of vomiting, consistency of stool, etc. This is helpful to track the illness to see if it is worsening, as well as to share with your doctor if you take your baby in for an appointment. This information is helpful in diagnosing an illness.
Worry is almost like an unofficial “welcome” to parenthood. Take advantage of available resources, like your child’s pediatrician and other local health services (e.g., the health department’s baby program), to answer questions, get advice and help ease your worries.
What helps you deal with your worries and concerns about baby?
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