The Importance of Health Checks for your baby

As a new parent or caregiver, you might be having some questions in regards to your baby’s growth and development. Whatever you do or wherever you are, it is necessary to keep a record of your baby’s progress and health status; something that you can share with health practitioners on request.

There are several resources that can enable you to monitor the general development of your baby. Here’s a guideline you could follow:

  • Healthy Eating – This is important to a child’s development and growth in terms of nutritional value.
  • Immunizations – Having your child vaccinated is one of the best ways to prevent infections and diseases that may cause prolonged or chronic damage to a child’s health.
  • Sleep – Your baby should be provided with a safe place to sleep to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SID).
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome – a routine check up on signs and symptoms gotten from shaking the baby is helpful. It helps to monitor any injuries that might have occurred from shaking.

How Babies Develop During Their First Year

At their own pace, each baby will gain and grow their skills. This means that your baby can speak faster than others her age, and walk later than them. Here are other development milestone to watch out for:

  • Language development – What you speak to your child influences how quickly they learn the language
  • Physical development – Babies dramatically grow bigger and taller during their first year.
  • Emotional and social development – Emotionally and socially, a baby will start demonstrating how they feel towards certain things or people
  • Sensory and motor development – Some babies will either stand, sit or take bold steps during the first year.

How Encourage your Baby’s Development

  • Connect with your baby – Help the baby to develop a language and motor skills by engaging in direct contact. For instance, you can hold the baby close to you and sing or talk together.
  • Excite the senses – Allow the baby to touch areas or things that are rough, warm, cold, or smooth. Also, let the baby experience areas with different smells and sights.
  • Tummy Time – Allow the baby to make use of her tummy time as this helps to develop a strong body movement such as trunk control and the head.
  • Use toys to enhance activities – When the baby is able to sit or grasp things, introduce toys that will interactively facilitate baby growth. These include pop up and colourful toys.

Children’s growth and development should be checked at:

  •          Birth
  •          1-4 weeks
  •          6-8 weeks
  •          6-9 weeks
  •          18 months
  •          2 years
  •          3 years
  •          4 years

Why Routine checks are Necessary For The Baby

It is necessary to have a routine check-up after every 2 or 3 months from birth until the baby attains the age of 1 year. The check is important because it helps to check for ailments or problems making sure that the baby is developing and growing as expected.

Below is what will be checked:

  • Physical examinations
  • Reviewing of the baby’s immunization record
  • Measuring and weighing the baby to see the comparison to the average baby of the same age. See growth chart for development here



#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: pregnancybirthbaby, pregnancybirthbaby

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