Top Ten Vaccines
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Learning about immunizations and the top ten vaccines for babies can help protect them against certain diseases. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: What's MORE confusing than trying to figure out WHICH vaccinations your baby needs and when? In the first...
What's MORE confusing than trying to figure out WHICH vaccinations your baby needs and when? In the first year alone, your baby will probably get ten different vaccines to protect against fourteen diseases! First up: The Hepatitis B vaccine, a shot that protects your child from the highly contagious Hep B virus, known to cause liver disease or even death. Your baby will get three rounds of the Hep B vaccine at birth, between the first and second month, and between the 6th and 18th months. The Hepatitis A vaccine works similarly and will protect your baby against the liver-infections that the Hep A virus can cause. Between your baby's first and second year, your pediatrician will schedule two shots of Hep A, at least six months apart. Another vaccine, DTaP, protects against three illnesses: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Diphtheria is a contagious bacterial infection characterized by sore throat, low fever, and a sticky membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity that can make it hard to swallow and can result in suffocation. Tetanus, also called lockjaw, isn't contagious, but this bacterial infection CAN lead to seizures, permanent paralysis, and death. Finally, pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis; it derived its name from the characteristic severe hacking cough followed by intake of breath that sounds like "whoop." The DTaP vaccine comes in five parts - typically administered at two, four, and six months, as well as between 16 and 18 months and finally between four and six years of age. A fourth vaccine, HIB, protects your baby from the virus known as haemophilus influenza type B, which can cause pneumonia and meningitis. The HIB vaccine comes in four parts and is administered at two, four, six, and between 12 and 15 months. Polio, or IPV, is another vaccine that guards against the poliovirus, which can cause paralysis. The IPV vaccine is given at two months, four months, between 6 and 18 months, and again at 4 to 6 years. Next up is PCV, a vaccine that protects against a contagious bacterium that can cause meningitis, brain damage or death. PCV is administered to your child at two, four, six, and between 12 and 15 months. You'll also want to get your little one protected against rotavirus, the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea in infants and young children. Several months later, your doctor will recommend that your infant get an MMR, or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. While rubella, is slightly less serious, measles could lead to seizures, brain damage, or death. Mumps, meanwhile, is a viral infection that causes painful swelling of the salivary glands, and which can also cause meningitis or deafness in more severe cases. These days, the shot also comes as an MMRV, which offers additional protection against the chicken-pox causing varicella virus. MMR or MMRV is given twice at the 12 to 15 month marker, and again between four and six years. Many doctors also recommend an annual flu shot for your child after six months of age. It can be a lot to keep track of, but these vaccinations can help keep your child safe from some serious diseases!More »
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New parents should know when a baby is okay and when to call the pediatrician. Watch this video to get the facts.
Transcript: If you have a newborn, you've probably programmed her doctor's number on your speed dial. But how do...
If you have a newborn, you've probably programmed her doctor's number on your speed dial. But how do you know when to push that button? Surprisingly, some of the worrisome habits of newborns are really just normal parts of development. For example, most newborn babies have very soft or even liquid bowel movements, which is typical and is usually NOT a cause for concern. Similarly, a newborn's spit-up may contain trace amounts of blood during her early weeks. If you're breastfeeding, this blood is very likely yours, as your cracked nipples adjust to nursing. Occasionally, your baby may also spit up forcefully enough to tear a tiny blood vessel at the base of her esophagus. This sounds scarier than it is, and it usually heals quickly on its own. Still, some health symptoms in newborns ARE cause for concern, and require you to use that speed dial. Watch out for a rectal temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which could indicate an infection. If your baby is wetting fewer than five diapers a day, or is not shedding tears when she cries, she may be dehydrated and need medical attention. Yellow skin or eyes are signs of jaundice, and require a call to the doctor. Bloody stool, greenish mucus in spit-up, and an infected-looking umbilical stump or circumcised penis also warrant check-ups. Other indications of a doctor-worthy problem may be less obvious, such as changes in your baby's temperament or cries. A once active baby who is suddenly lethargic, or who loses interest in feeding, may very well be sick. And if your baby is crying in a way that is unfamiliar to you, or if she refuses to be comforted, a call to your doctor IS warranted. Remember that you are the ultimate expert on your baby. If something feels "off," it very likely is - so check in with the doctor.More »
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If your infant has a fever, runny nose, and feels sick, do you need a doctor? Should you get your newborn a flu shot? Watch this for details on your baby and the flu.
Transcript: Your infant will generally make it clear if she's sick-but how do you know if she has the FLU? One great...
Your infant will generally make it clear if she's sick-but how do you know if she has the FLU? One great indicator of influenza is symptoms that crop up quickly and often severely. A baby who has the flu will demonstrate fever, a lethargic attitude, appear fatigued, and may have less interest in nursing. Generally, chills and respiratory symptoms-like a runny nose and dry cough-also accompany the flu virus. Many infants suffering from the flu will experience vomiting, diarrhea, and a fever above 101 degrees. Another tip-off that the flu is at play is if your baby gets sick during flu season; generally from October to March. If you've done your research and feel that your child DOES have influenza, the best treatment is rest and PLENTY of fluids. For a baby younger than four months, that just means regular nursing or bottle feeding, while an older infant can also have a little water. And if your baby is over six months old, you can introduce her to a little fruit juice. You may find that giving your baby child acetaminophen relieves some discomfort. For babies older than 6 months, ibuprofen is also effective. Of course, you should ALWAYS check in with the doctor before you give your baby medication, although you don't necessarily need to visit his or her office. Because there is NO medicine that kills the influenza virus, and because treatment is simple, a doctor may suggest that you wait. A. There are medications that can shorten the duration and severity of flu symptoms, B. but you have to be seen by a doctor to obtain this. If, however, your baby has a fever ABOVE 101 degrees, or if a fever lasts longer than three days, it's important to contact your pediatrician. Similarly, call the doctor if your baby doesn't start to feel at least a little better in three to five days. This is important because-while most bouts of flu heal harmlessly-the virus CAN lead to serious consequences, like pneumonia. In the future, help prevent the flu by keeping both your infant's and your own hands clean. Of course, you should also keep your baby away from someone you know is sick. But because contagious adults may not show any symptoms, exposure to the flu virus is still possible! For this reason, consider taking your infant to the doctor for a flu shot. In fact, the CDC recommends an annual flu shot for ALL healthy people over six months, so fight the flu by getting the whole family vaccinated!More »
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As babies develop their motor skills, they are more prone to cuts, bumps and bruises. Watch our video on first aid for babies to help you take care of your little one.
Transcript: Cuts and bruises and bumps, oh my! When your baby suffers a mild injury, you'll want to be prepared to...
Cuts and bruises and bumps, oh my! When your baby suffers a mild injury, you'll want to be prepared to help. One of the most common baby "ouchies" is a standard cut or scrape, often acquired during a mild run-in with the ground. If your baby is bleeding from such an injury, use a clean towel and apply firm pressure to the area for a few minutes. At this point, you'll want to check for dirt, glass, or other debris that may be embedded in the cut. Remove such objects by flushing the area with cool running water, or by gently using tweezers. Now, wash the wound with warm water and soap and finish up by patting it dry. Small cuts and scrapes heal best with exposure to the air, so if your baby's injury is mild, it's not necessary to bandage. If a cut is deeper, apply an antiseptic ointment, then use an ordinary adhesive bandage to gently pull the edges of skin together. Change your baby's bandage daily-or whenever it gets wet-until a scab has formed on the wound. While cuts like this are common, babies are just as likely to be bothered by bruises-blame their active lifestyles and exploring personalities! Most black and blue marks are not painful and will heal on their own within a week or two. If you suspect that your baby is bothered by a bruise, wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to the area for 5-10 minutes. Your baby may resist this treatment, so try icing the area during a relaxing activity, like nursing. If a tumble results in a more serious injury, like a "goose egg" on the head, the ice pack treatment is also effective. But because a blow to the head can be serious, do a thorough check for injuries, and then keep a watchful eye on your baby for the next 24 hours. It is probably a good idea just to give the pediatrician a call whenever there is a head injury. If you notice signs of a serious problem, like: A large, soft area on the scalp, blood showing in the whites of the eyes, vomiting, unusual eye movement, or prolonged crying or a change in mental status... call your pediatrician, then take your infant immediately to the emergency room. Meanwhile, the pain of a more mild injury may be eased at home by offering your baby infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Talk to your doctor before you try this treatment, and also make an immediate appointment if your baby has a wound that will not stop bleeding, or one that looks very deep and jagged. A doctor's appointment is also necessary if a bruise doesn't fade in two weeks, or doesn't stop hurting in a few DAYS. Acting immediately and cautiously like this is vital, and may well prevent any long-term damage to your child.More »
Last Modified: 2014-04-24 | Tags »
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Baby ear infections, or acute otisis media, might be common, but they are a pain! Learn how to spot the signs, and what you can do to help.
Transcript: Listen up! Ear infections are LITERALLY a pain, and they're also the most common illness among infants....
Listen up! Ear infections are LITERALLY a pain, and they're also the most common illness among infants. If your baby is suffering from acute otisis media, more commonly known as an ear infection, he or she won't be shy about letting you know it! You may notice that your little one has suddenly become irritable, or is perhaps not as interested in eating. And sometimes, a mild fever or diarrhea may accompany an infection. So, if your baby is also tugging at those little ears, or if you notice a yellowish fluid draining from them, an ear infection is likely the cause. Painful infections like this occur when fluid builds up behind your baby's eardrum. Usually, fluid in this area is removed by the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the nose and throat. But when a child's Eustachian tube is blocked-often because of a cold or sinus infection-the fluid remains, and can become infected with bacteria. If you suspect that your child has an ear infection, schedule an appointment with the pediatrician, who will assess the severity of the infection, and may suggest putting your child on an antibiotic. But keep in mind that some 80% of ear infections clear up WITHOUT treatment, so your pediatrician may also recommend a "wait and see" approach. Whatever course of action you follow, you can help ease the pain of an earache by offering a dose of infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Applying a warm compass or ear drops to the infected ear may help, too. Remember that ear infections are rarely serious, but they CAN lead to complications like a ruptured eardrum or long-term hearing loss. Therefore, ALWAYS follow-up with your child's pediatrician post-infection-he or she will be "all ears" to any new developments!More »
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Even newborn babies can grow small pimples and show signs of acne. No need to worry, though-- it's not serious condition. Watch this video to learn about baby acne and it treatment.
Transcript: If you assumed your child wouldn't experience acne for AT LEAST another decade, then you might be surprised...
If you assumed your child wouldn't experience acne for AT LEAST another decade, then you might be surprised if pimples appear on your newborn's skin! In fact, baby acne is a common condition, affecting about 20% of newborns. It can often crop up within several weeks of birth; traditionally manifesting around 3 weeks of age. And male babies are more often affected than female babies. Just like adult acne, the baby variety is usually centered on the face-namely the cheeks, chin and forehead. And, like its grown-up counterpart, baby acne tends to APPEAR as small whiteheads surrounded by reddish, irritated-looking skin. Generally, an infant's "acne" looks much worse when he of she is crying or fussy, due to increased blood flow to the skin. But WHY do infants get acne? Babies usually develop neonatal acne because of stimulation of the baby's oil glands by lingering maternal hormones post-delivery. These hormones cross the placenta INTO your baby and after delivery, they cause the oil glands on the skin to form bumps that look like pimples. If, however, your baby's skin looks less pimply and more rashy or scaly, the condition may NOT be acne at all. Instead your baby may have another skin condition like cradle cap or eczema. And if your baby was born with tiny white bumps on his or her face, you're not necessarily dealing with acne, either. Those white bumps are most likely milia, a condition that occurs when dead skin gets trapped in miniscule pockets on your baby's skin. Like acne, milia is harmless, and will usually clear up on its own. But milia aside, if your infant has acne, a doctor's visit isn't usually necessary. Instead, patience is key, as the problem generally clears up WITHOUT treatment in just a few weeks. Knowing this, it's important NOT to put lotions or oils on your baby's acne, which can further irritate the condition. Instead, wash your baby's face once a day with warm water, and gently pat it dry. With this type of TLC, your little one should be looking forward to clearer skin in the very near future!More »
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Visiting the pediatrician in month 1 is an important part of making sure your baby is growing at a health pace. Learn more in this video.
Transcript: Dont worry, this wont hurt a bit! Your babys first doctors visit should be relatively painless for BOTH...
Dont worry, this wont hurt a bit! Your babys first doctors visit should be relatively painless for BOTH of you. At your infants one-month appointment, the pediatrician will measure and weigh your baby to ensure that he or she is growing at a healthy pace. Expect the doctor to check your babys hearing and vision at this time, too. Because your baby is still so new, your doctor will want to verify that the umbilical cord stump has fallen off, and that the belly button is healing. If youre the parent of a circumcised boy, expect the doctor to check the healing process there, too. After the formalities are out of the way, your babys pediatrician will ask you some basic questions about your little ones development. Be prepared to tell the doctor how your infant is sleeping. Most newborns are snoozing in two or three hour stretches at this point, totaling some 15 hours of sleep in a 24-hour day. Youll also want to mention whether your baby is eating formula or breast milk, and how often you are doing feedings. Generally, a one-month-old eats every two to three hours. If your baby is exclusively breastfed the doctor will want you to discuss future supplementation with vitamin d, which can be obtained by drops over the counter. Because what goes in must come out, your pediatrician will also ask about your babys bowel movements. Loose, soft stool is best, as hard, infrequent poops may be a sign of dehydration or constipation. The doctor will also want to know if your baby tries to hold her head up when placed on her tummy, an important milestone that should be happening by now. Finally, the doctor will ask about your babys disposition. Infants should have slightly longer periods of being awake and alert by four weeks of age, although they tend to get crankier at night. If you have any other concerns about your babys body or development, dont be shy about voicing them now. And definitely dont worry that youre overreacting to a potential problem. Being smart and safe means that you wont be sorry!More »
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Visiting the pediatrician in month 2 lets your discuss your baby's milestones with the doctor and may be when you choose to start vaccinations. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: By the time your baby's two-month checkup rolls around, you'll have your fair share of new milestones...
By the time your baby's two-month checkup rolls around, you'll have your fair share of new milestones to discuss with the pediatrician! You'll recall that your doctor began your last appointment by recording your infant's weight and length. To ensure that your baby continues to grow at a healthy rate, your doctor will repeat these measurements. Once again, your doctor will do a physical exam, and will ask if you've noticed any problems. Because diaper rash, baby acne, and cradle cap are all common in babies of this age, the doctor will look for these skin irritations and suggest treatments, if necessary. This appointment will likely take a prickly turn, at the end of your first visit, as your pediatrician provides your baby with the first big round of immunizations, if you have chosen to follow the standard vaccination route. If so, expect your child to receive the following vaccines : hepatitis B, polio, pneumococcus, hib, rotavirus, and DTaP-which stands for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Keep in mind that hepatitis b may have already been given at one month of age. Your doctor will also want to know about your baby's sleeping, eating, and pooping habits. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, your doctor will talk to you about vitamin d supplements. Most two-month olds are still eating every three hours or so, and the majority continue to sleep for 15 hours a day. Your doctor will also ask about your baby's head control, an important part of infant development. By now, your baby should definitely be lifting her head when she's on her stomach. Your infant should also be relaxing a bit when you lay him on his back, a clear switch from his initial preference for the fetal position. Similarly, the doctor will want to know that your baby is pushing up on his or her forearms, an important first step to eventually sitting up. The pediatrician will also want details about your baby's temperament. At eight weeks, when you talk to your baby, you should get a response, in the form of coos, eye contact, or voluntary smiles. Assuming everything is healthy and normal at your second appointment you can relax a bit-you two aren't due back at the doctor's for another two months!More »
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Has your baby turned one? See your pediatrician! During your baby’s one year checkup, you and your doctor will learn exactly how he's developing. To know more, watch this video.
Transcript: Your crawling, babbling, active baby is really growing quickly! Ensure that this growth is on target...
Your crawling, babbling, active baby is really growing quickly! Ensure that this growth is on target by checking in with your pediatrician this month. You know the drill by now: your pediatrician will weigh, measure length and head circumference and do a physical exam. . If your baby did not receive the third and final hepatitis b vaccine at the last visit, expect it this time. With that out of the way, your doctor will likely want to discuss childproofing with you. From car seat safety to cooking with care, the pediatrician will make sure you've looked at the world from your baby's point of view, and may offer tips on effective childproofing products-like baby gates and bumpers-and smart actions-like constant supervision-that will benefit you and baby both. After all, your infant should be crawling-or at least be getting around independently somehow-at this time. Doing so is an important step in normal development, as are other motor skills the doctor will ask about. Nine-month-olds should be learning to use a thumb and forefinger to lift objects in what is known as a pincer grasp. It's likely that your baby will be using this more precise grasp to pick up pieces of the solid food he or she is now eating. Your doctor will want to ensure that this process is going well, and will also check to be sure that your baby can use a cup, or is trying to. If your baby hasn't started to already, your doctor will mention that your little one will soon point at objects, which is a physical way of communicating with you. And speaking of communication, the pediatrician will want to know if your baby is stringing sounds together and babbling "baby talk." Similarly, your infant should understand some of the things you say, from recognizing his or her own name, to the words for simple objects. Assuming all goes well at the nine-month checkup, you two won't need to make the trek back to the pediatrician until your infant's first birthday!More »
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Is your baby coughing or sneezing? She may have a cold. Here's help for treating a baby's cold with traditional medicines and easy home remedies.
Transcript: Most children average between five and ten colds a year, so it's smart to learn how to spot and soothe...
Most children average between five and ten colds a year, so it's smart to learn how to spot and soothe one! Often, an infant with a cold will get sick gradually, experiencing one new sickly symptom at a time. Cold symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose with mucous ranging from thin and clear to thick and yellow. While a low-grade fever may accompany a cold, this symptom is usually short-lasting, and resolves on its own. To speed up the healing process, allow your child to get plenty of rest and lots of fluids. For infants younger than four months, this means breast milk or formula, while an infant over six months can also have juice. In addition to these remedies, cold-related congestion may be eased by putting a humidifier or vaporizer in your baby's room. Cool mist is best. A congested baby may also find relief if you elevate her head slightly while she sleeps. To do it, place a few towels or a slim pillow between the mattress and the crib springs. And because an infant can't blow her nose, you may want to use a rubber bulb syringe to clear out her nasal passages. This technique involves gently squirting saline drops up your baby's nostrils to loosen mucous... then with the bulb squeezed, re-insert it slightly into the nostril and let go of the bulb to aspirate all the mucous and saline. The syringe method is particularly effective if your baby is too stuffed-up to breathe comfortably or to nurse. While all of this can ease cold symptoms, one thing that DOESN'T help is cold medicine. Not only are these medications ineffective in children younger than six, they may make symptoms WORSE, and in fact, are considered potentially dangerous when used as combined symptom preparations. If you feel you MUST give your baby medicine, talk to her doctor about babyacetaminophen or ibuprofen. Still, a doctor's visit probably isn't necessary unless your baby has a fever above 101 degrees or hasn't improved within a week. While there is no foolproof way to cut out colds in the future, it CAN help to ask people to wash their hands before playing with your baby, and to remember to wash your hands as well! Additionally, while this might sound obvious, try to avoid contact with sick people. And breastfeed! Breastfed babies get sick less often than their formula fed peers because of the antibodies passed from you to your infant.More »
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Jaundice in babies can affect the color of newborns' skin and usually clears up within several weeks. Get the details on jaundice in this video.
Transcript: Is your newborn baby looking a little yellow? When a baby's skin, eyes, or gums takes on a yellowish...
Is your newborn baby looking a little yellow? When a baby's skin, eyes, or gums takes on a yellowish cast after birth, this is known as jaundice. Jaundice occurs when a baby has high levels of a pigment called bilirubin in his blood. Bilirbuin is a byproduct of the process whereby old red blood cells which are usually destroyed in the body. People of every age have bilirubin in their blood, but it's USUALLY broken down by the liver and eliminated with stool. In a baby with jaundice, however, bilirubin builds up faster than the liver can remove it, in turn causing that yellowish hue. This happens for a variety of reasons in newborns, the most common being that a baby's liver is still adjusting to this new task. Known as normal, or physiological, jaundice, this form of bilirubin build-up is also common in premature babies. Luckily, physiological jaundice is almost always harmless and tends to clear up within several weeks. Another reason this condition can occur is that your breastfed baby is not getting enough milk from you. In cases like this, lack of sufficient fluids makes it hard for your newborn to eliminate excess bilirubin through his stools. Breastfeeding jaundice can be treated by supplementing breast milk with formula, or with more frequent nursing. It's important to note that in very rare cases, however, breast milk can actually cause jaundice. Known as breast milk jaundice, this occurs when substances in your milk interfere with your newborn's ability to eliminate bilirubin. In this case, your baby's doctor may recommend that you take a few days off nursing to allow you're your baby's liver time to adjust. Finally, jaundice can occur when you have an incompatible blood type with your baby. This rare condition causes you to produce antibodies that prevent your infant's liver from working efficiently. If this is the case, your doctor may suggest a blood transplant to remove old bilirubin and give your baby a fresh supply of blood. Whatever the cause, excess bilirubin is rarely harmful. Still, delayed development, deafness and even cerebral palsy can occasionally result from severe jaundice. For this reason, you should always report signs of yellow skin, gums or eyes to your baby's doctor. Your pediatrician will recommend carefully watching the condition, or adjusting your breastfeeding habits as necessary. On a rare occasion, several doses of phototherapy, which is exposure to controlled doses of ultraviolet light, will be necessary to combat jaundice. Phototherapy works by changing bilirubin to a substance more easily broken down by your baby's liver. The good news is that once your baby's bilirubin levels drop, it's unlikely that jaundice-or your worries!-will return.More »
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Visiting the pediatrician in month 6 helps parents continue to track their baby's growth and discuss their eating and sleeping schedule with their doctor. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Celebrate your baby's sixth month-by going to the pediatrician! After your infant's pediatrician measures...
Celebrate your baby's sixth month-by going to the pediatrician! After your infant's pediatrician measures your baby's weight, length, and head circumference, make sure to address any basic health concerns you may have. Colds and diarrhea are common in babies of this age, and treatments are fairly straightforward. During this visit, your baby will likely receive a third round of immunizations, including those for pneumococcus, DTaP, and perhaps hib and the final hepatitis b. The BIG things you'll discuss at this appointment are your infant's sleeping and eating patterns, both of which are gearing up for change. If your infant isn't eating solid food yet-and many aren't-your doctor will offer tips on starting this transition. As you add solids to your baby's belly, expect your child's poop to adjust accordingly. It will become slightly harder and smell, well, worse. In terms of shut-eye, your baby may be starting to sleep on a schedule! Most six-month-olds are snoozing about 11 hours per night, and taking daytime naps in the three hour range. As a result of less time spent sleeping, your baby will have more time for exploring, and your doctor will want to know about these developing motor skills. Your little one should be able to roll over by now, and might be able to sit unsupported. When you hold your infant up, you'll probably notice that he or she is now bearing weight on those little feet. The pediatrician will want to know if your baby is using those hands to reach for things, or to sweep objects toward him. Six-month-olds should generally be eager and able to bang, throw, drop and chew on their toys. Finally, the doctor will want to know about your baby's communication skills. Your baby's likely not talking yet, but you should notice a plethora of happy, curious sounds coming from that little mouth. Most infants of this age will also make identifiable noises, including the much-awaited "ma" and "da." There will also be a lot of squealing and laughter. Once your baby's pediatrician is satisfied that all is well with your infant, you'll make an appointment to return in three months time.More »
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