Within 24 to 48 hours of bringing a baby home from the hospital, most doctor’s would like to see the newborn back in their office for an appointment. Be prepared to tell the hospital who your new pediatrician is before you leave the hospital. It is a good idea to call the pediatrician’s office during pregnancy to make sure they are accepting new patients.
Since your newborn is brand new, this doctor’s visit is most likely the first trip out into the new world. A tip for the appointment, put the baby in clothes that are easy to remove, because the doctor will want to look at the baby in only a dry diaper. Zippered foot pajamas are good in this situation because they are easy to get on and off and you don’t have to worry about socks going missing. Also bring an extra diaper or three, for anything unexpected.
The doctor will check your baby’s weight gain or loss. Most babies lose a little bit of weight after birth, the doctor will check to make sure your baby isn’t losing too much weight. If the doctor is concerned, he or she may have you come back a few days later to check the weight again. Your baby will also be inspected for a healthy skin color. A jaundiced look may indicate a problem with bilirubin levels, and the doctor may have some tips on improving those levels.
Remember, just because you went to one doctor’s appointment doesn’t mean that has to be your baby’s doctor for life. If you didn’t like their bedside manner with your newborn, go ahead and choose another doctor, you’ll be glad you did.