Choices are important for baby development. Your baby develops thinking skills as he looks at two toys and makes a choice of which one to grasp. He exercises muscles as he reaches for a toy. He remembers and develops preferences for certain objects. He begins to explore independence as he acts on those preferences. As he makes choices, he is beginning to develop decision-making skills and confidence in his abilities.
Comment on what he chose: “You chose the red ball.” As he grows, offer more opportunities for him to make choices. In the future, your child will face many decisions. He will hear lots of ideas and beliefs. The ability to make tough decisions and develop spiritual convictions is rooted in these first choices.
Well-baby visits are frequent checkups to monitor your baby’s growth and development. The pediatrician will check the following:
- Measurements. Your baby’s length, weight, and head circumference are measured and recorded on a growth chart to observe steady growth over time.
- Head. The doctor will check the fontanels (the soft spots) of your baby’s head, as well as any flat spots.
- Ears. The doctor will observe your baby’s hearing and check for fluid or infection in her ears.
- Eyes. The doctor will track your baby’s eye movements, as well as look for blocked tear ducts and eye discharge.
- Mouth. The doctor will examine your baby’s mouth for thrush, a common yeast infection. As your baby grows and starts teething, the doctor will examine her incoming teeth.
- Heart/lungs. The doctor will listen to your baby’s heart and lungs to ensure that breathing and heart rhythms are normal.
- Abdomen. The doctor will check for hernias and enlarged organs.
- Hips/legs. The doctor will move your baby’s legs to detect any dislocation.
- Genitalia. The doctor will check for tenderness, lumps, and infection.
Do you dread or look forward to well-baby visits? I feel like I didn’t mind them until my toddler was underweight … now I feel like I’m being reprimanded every time!