How to Prepare for a Well-Baby Visit if Baby is Premature
Well-baby visits are important check-ups with baby’s healthcare provider to make sure they are developing on track and to answer any questions you may have.
If baby is premature, there may be a few extra things to consider for baby’s appointment! Here are some ways to prepare for a well-baby visit (or any appointment with baby’s provider) if baby is premature:
- Track baby’s milestones. It’s important to know if baby is staying on track. An easy way to follow baby’s milestones is to download our FREE Pathways.org app! When you enter baby’s age and due date, we’ll give you baby’s milestones (and automatically adjust for prematurity). You can check out baby’s milestones on the app, watch videos of the milestone in action, and play recommend activities to promote development. Remember, if baby is premature, their milestones should be adjusted until their second birthday.
- Write down any questions you may have. Prepare to ask about anything that may be concerning to you or that you aren’t sure about. Take photos and video of things baby does or doesn’t do that you want to ask about. Check out our age pages to see what’s going on at baby’s age.
- If baby was in the hospital, bring their discharge paperwork with you. Baby may have stayed in the NICU after being born. Bring any discharge paperwork with you in case questions come up about their hospital stay.
Now that you’re prepared for baby’s visit, what can you expect to do at the appointment? Here is what you can do during the well-baby visit if baby is premature:
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid, ask away! It’s important to understand your baby’s development, and asking questions helps you learn as a parent. Even if it’s something you feel like you should know, it’s better to ask to be sure!
- Take notes. These appointments typically go quickly, and there is a lot covered. So bring a way to take notes so you remember any important topics.
- Ask if baby needs any specialized care. You may be referred to specialized providers that can help baby with their particular needs, especially someone who has experience with babies who are premature. Healthcare providers may also have resources to provide to help with baby’s health and development.
- Find out what’s next. Ask when baby should have a follow-up appointment. Also, healthcare providers may have a way that they prefer to communicate with patients between appointments (for example, if a question comes up before baby’s next appointment, some may prefer you call their office, while others use message portals). If you don’t know how to reach out to them between appointments, ask the best way to do so.
Remember, it’s always ok to reach out for a second opinion! Trust your instincts as a parent. If you don’t feel satisfied with baby’s care, look into other healthcare providers to get their thoughts and recommendations.