PHYSICAL CHECKS ON YOUR BABY
Your baby will have been given a complete physical check during his first 72 hours. Many of these checks are repeated again at the 6-8 week check to make sure that all is well with your baby’s development.
Your healthcare professional will explain what the checks are for and will tell you if there is any cause for concern. Your baby will have the following checked:
- Head circumference and length
- Fontanelle (soft spots on the head)
- Mouth and palate
- Heart and lung sounds
- Groin pulses
- Abdominal organs and belly button
- Genitals (in boys to make sure the testicles have descended)
- Feet, spine and hips
- Ears and eyes
By 4-5 weeks old, your baby’s hearing should have been checked. Sometimes this happens before you leave hospital, otherwise the test should be given no later than five weeks after the birth.
If for any reason your baby hasn’t had a hearing test you should ask for an appointment for one now.
You should have your postnatal check 6 to 8 weeks after your baby’s birth to make sure you feel well and are recovering properly. The baby checks are carried out by our GPs when the baby is 8 weeks old, we usually book this appointment just before your baby has their first 8 week immunisations, so you can do this all on the same day. The GP will also carry out a post natal check for the mother after the baby check.
From the time he’s born your baby will be offered a number of health checks, designed to monitor your child’s health and development.
The first health check is normally within 72 hours of the birth which is followed by a further check at between six and eight weeks of age.
Your baby may be examined at the same appointment as the mothers postnatal check/ when the baby has their first immunisations.
When you go, remember to take your Personal Child Health Record (also known as the ‘Red Book’) with you as your healthcare professional will need it.
If you have concerns about your baby at any time you should always contact your health visitor or GP.