The four-month visit

It's time for another checkup. You're already somewhat of an expert and probably have a pretty good idea of how the pediatrician's office is run and what your doctor will be looking for at this visit. But as “routine” as this checkup may be, it will still be fun to see how much your baby has grown. And here are a few things that you can expect at this visit.

History

The pediatrician will discuss and review any happenings since the last visit. If the doctor did not see the baby in the hospital or has not seen the baby before, a full history of the pregnancy, labor, and hospital course will be taken. It is a good idea to have previous records sent either to you or to the doctor's office prior to visiting. If this is not possible, at least have the date of any immunizations your baby has received. The family history will also be discussed for any pertinent diseases or conditions that might affect the baby.

Measurements

Your baby's height, weight, and head circumference (the distance around the head) will be measured. Why is the head measured? The head circumference is an indirect measure of brain growth. If growth slows abnormally it may indicate a problem, which the doctor would need to investigate.

The doctor will show you where your baby's measurements land on the standard growth curves. The trend in growth is much more important than what your baby’s weight or height are at any given moment. This holds true for every checkup.

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