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Now that your baby is finally here, your pediatrician will become your trusted guide and resource for making sure your little one is hitting milestones and staying healthy.

In addition to vaccines, your doctor will keep a close eye on making sure he or she is gaining weight and hitting developmental milestones on or close to schedule. You can expect a head-to-toe exam during well visits and your pediatrician can answer important questions about everything from sleep patterns to breastfeeding.

Of course, parenting a newborn in the time of COVID is an unusual circumstance, but Dr. Walter David Rosenfeld, chair of the Department of Children’s Health for Goryeb Children’s Hospital and medical director of Children’s Health for Atlantic Health System, says the pandemic shouldn’t keep parents away from the doctor’s office. “Your pediatrician is the person you can trust and rely on,” says Rosenfeld.

Doctors offices and hospitals are taking every precaution to keep patients and staff safe, and you can feel confident about bringing your baby in when needed. In fact, it’s a bad idea to delay or skip important well visits.

“I’m worried that because of COVID, so many children have fallen behind in their immunizations and well visits,” says Rosenfeld. The result could be that diseases we’ve gotten a handle on could start coming back including measles, whooping cough, mumps and HPV.

“We have immunizations for these things,” he says. “It is so important for parents to make sure that schedule is up to date.”

For a full list of milestones and tips on well visits, head to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) website at cdc.gov.

CHECKUP AND VACCINE SCHEDULE

Along with head-to-toe checkups and well visits, your baby will likely follow a schedule of vaccinations and screenings established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Make sure you talk with your doctor about any concerns you have regarding vaccines. With measles on a record-breaking rise in the US, doctors say it’s crucial to make sure your baby stays on schedule with his vaccinations. Given the increase, you should ask your doctor if you need a measles booster, too.

WITHIN THE FIRST WEEK

  • Hepatitis B (HepB), 1st dose of three-dose series, if not given at hospital
  • Hearing test (continues through childhood)
  • Check hips, back, feet, ears, eyes, heart, pulse, umbilical stump, skin (for jaundice), reflexes, circumcision (if done), movement, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels

WITHIN THE FIRST MONTH

  • HepB, 2nd dose (between 1-2 months)
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test

2 MONTHS

  • Rotavirus (RV), 1st of two- or three-dose series
  • Diptheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP), 1st of four-dose series
  • Influenza type B (Hib), 1st of four-dose series
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13), 1st of four-dose series
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV), 1st of three-dose series

4 MONTHS

  • RV, 2nd dose
  • DTaP, 2nd dose
  • Hib, 2nd dose
  • PCV13, 2nd dose
  • IPV, 2nd dose

6 MONTHS

  • HepB, 3rd dose (between 6-18 months)
  • RV, 3rd dose (if given a three-dose series)
  • DTaP, 3rd dose
  • Hib, 3rd dose
  • PCV13, 3rd dose
  • IPV 3rd dose, (between 6-18 months)
  • Influenza IIV (inactivated) annual vaccine, one- to two-dose series through childhood
  • TB test
  • Lead screening (also at 9 months)

12 MONTHS

  • Hib, 4th dose (between 12-15 months)
  • PCV13, 4th dose (between 12-15 months)
  • Mumps, measles and rubella (MMR), 1st of two-dose series (between 12-15 months)
  • Varicella (VAR), 1st of two-dose series (between 12-15 months)
  • Hepatitis A (HepA), 1st of two-dose series (between 12-23 months)
  • Lead screening
  • TB test

15 MONTHS

  • DTaP, 4th dose (between 15-18 months)

18 MONTHS

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screening
  • Blood test
  • Lead screening

24 MONTHS

  • LAIV (live attenuated, nasal spray substitute for Influenza IIV) annual vaccine, one- to two-dose series through childhood
  • ASD screening
  • Lead screening

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

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