2 Week Old Check-up

(Children 2 – 8 Weeks Old) 

Feeding: Breast milk or formula is the only nutrition your child needs for now. Until 4-6 months old, infants have difficulty digesting the larger sugars in solid foods, and often have a hard time swallowing solids. Your baby does not need extra water or juice at this age. They get the water they need in their formula or breast milk. If you are exclusively breastfeeding or supplementing with less than 17 ounces of formula per day, your baby will need to start a vitamin D supplement. He/she needs 400 IU of Vitamin D a day.  There are several over the counter baby vitamins that meet this recommendation.

Sleeping: Your baby may still wake up at least twice a night to eat. Continue to place your baby on his/her back to sleep. This has been shown to reduce the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You should not put any pillows or blankets in your infant’s bed to maintain this sleep position.

Bowel Movements: Breast fed babies may have stools each time they feed, but they may have one stool every 2-3 days. Formula-fed babies average a stool every third day to 3-6 per day. Almost all babies turn red and grunt and strain when pooping. This doesn’t always mean that they are constipated. If baby’s stools are hard and painful, talk to your doctor.

Development: As a newborn baby begins to have longer waking periods, it is normal for his “fussy” periods to increase as well. Normal fussiness peaks at 6 weeks of age and may total up to 3 to 4 hours of crying time per day. Some babies cry more than others. Just because your baby cries more does not mean that you are doing anything wrong. If your baby is eating well, does not have a fever, quiets down between fussy episodes , and is having wet and dirty diapers, the fussy periods are probably normal. Some babies will start to smile at this age.

Bathing: Make sure that your hot water heater is turned down to 120°F or to the setting marked “low”. Never leave your baby alone in the tub.

Illness: In babies less than 2 months, any illness with fever needs a call and a visit to the doctor.  The temperature should be taken with a rectal thermometer; other methods of taking temperatures at home are less reliable in newborns. Anything 100.4°F or higher is a fever.  Try not to expose your baby to sick people or groups of people at this age. Most babies will miss a feeding every now and then, but missing 2 in a row is abnormal. If this happens, wake your baby and try to feed. If your baby will not eat, that is abnormal and you should call or seek medical care. Also, if you think your baby is not acting right, you should call your doctor. Parents are often able to pick up on subtle signs of illness before doctors or nurses, because they know their child so well.

Safety: One of the biggest dangers to your child’s life and well being is accidents. Many of these accidents are preventable. Keep your infant in a rear facing car seat at all times when the car is moving. The middle back seat is the safest place to put the baby’s car seat if possible. Babies should not be placed in the passenger seat if there is a passenger side air bag. Please read the instructions on your car seat before using it, and send in the product registration card for your car seat and any other products you buy for your child so you will be notified of any recalls. Assure that you have working smoke detectors in the home.

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Congratulations on surviving the first few weeks with your newborn! This is often an exciting time, but it can be difficult as well. You should be settling into some kind of a routine at home, and hopefully enlisting the help of friends and family members to share some of the responsibility of caring for a newborn. If you are feeling very depressed or overwhelmed with your child, please talk about this with your physician or the pediatrician. Enjoy your baby, and we will see you back for a 2 month check up.

Please note that your baby will need vaccines at 2 months. We feel strongly that these vaccines are important to maintain the health of your baby. Listed below are some good websites to help answer any questions you may have about the vaccines prior to the 2 month check up.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Academy of Pediatrics

Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
World health Organization

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For additional information the American Academy of Pediatrics has a website with general information: www.heathychildren.org

Your next appointment will be at 2 months old.