The nine-month visit

Suddenly your little baby is becoming so big, and some of you are feeling the pressure from relatives to have that "next one." And it is once again time for another checkup. Time again to get your questions answered about sleep, development, and anything else concerning the health of your child. For certain, you will have a list of specific questions you want answered, and to help out, here are a few other things you can expect at this visit.

History

The pediatrician will discuss and review any happenings since the last visit. If the doctor has not seen your child previously, a history of the pregnancy, birth, and any other health issues will be done. It is a good idea to have previous records sent either to you or to the doctor’s office prior to visiting so that they may be reviewed while you are there. If this is not possible, at least have the dates of the immunizations your baby received previously. The family history will also be discussed for any pertinent diseases or conditions that might affect the baby.

Measurements

The height, weight, and head circumference (the distance around the head) will be done, and the doctor should show where these measurements land on the standard growth curves. The head circumference is an indirect measure of brain growth. As the brain grows, so does the skull. Thus, if the head circumference growth abnormally slows, it may indicate a problem with the brain or skull which the doctor would need to investigate. It is important to remember that where your baby falls on the growth curve is not nearly as important as how much your baby has grown since the last check. In other words, the trend in growth is much more important than what your baby’s weight or height are at any given moment.

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