Your baby's vaccines

Your baby will need various vaccines at well-baby visits. During each injection, the doctor will instruct you on how to hold your baby and help keep him or her still. Afterward, hold your baby, talk, sing, breast-feed or offer your baby a bottle to help soothe him or her.

Time to talk

During the appointment, your baby's doctor will likely ask how things are going. Be ready to describe a typical day with your baby. For example:

  • How many hours does your baby sleep during the day? At night?
  • How often do you feed your baby? If you're breast-feeding, are you having any trouble?
  • How many diapers does your baby wet and soil in a day?
  • How active is your baby?
  • Are you including tummy time in your baby's activities?
  • How is your baby's temperament?

In addition, your baby's doctor might ask questions about your family's home life and medical history. The doctor might also discuss safety issues, such as placing your baby to sleep on his or her back and using a rear-facing infant car seat. Although breast milk or formula will be the main part of your baby's diet throughout the first year, you'll also talk about when to introduce solid foods.

Undoubtedly, you'll have questions, too. Ask away! Consider writing down your questions beforehand so you don't forget them in the moment. If you and your partner can't both attend the visit, ask a relative or friend to come with you to help care for your baby while you talk to the doctor.

Also remember your own health. If you're feeling depressed, stressed out or run-down, describe what's happening. Your baby's doctor is there to help you, too.

Heading home

Make sure you know when to schedule your baby's next appointment — and how to reach the doctor in the meantime. Ask if the doctor's office or clinic offers a 24-hour nurse information service. Knowing help is available when you need it can offer peace of mind.

July 09, 2015 See more In-depth