Baby’s first doctor’s visit

Thursday, June 28, 2018

In New Zealand, babies get their first series of vaccinations from six weeks of age. In France this is at eight weeks, so it must be different for different countries. 

Here are a few tips for when you and your baby go to the doctor’s, probably for the first time. 

An hour before leaving the house:

  • Feed the baby, so the baby is content, at least while on the way to the clinic, if not during the visit 
  • Burp the baby, so the baby hopefully doesn’t spit up on the still new pram
  • Put on a new nappy, we want to avoid having to change the baby if possible
  • Bundle the baby up with appropriate clothes, it’s winter in NZ at the moment, so hat and blanket are essential
  • Nappy bag, spare clothes for mummy could come in handy!
  • Snacks and drink for mummy, you want to be as comfortable as the baby as possible!

Find the lifts:

First time taking the baby on the train today, so we went out of the house extra early. We needed more time to locate the lifts in the stations, which I have never used before. 

Treat yourself before the appointment:

Turns out we came out way earlier than we needed to. A good thing in the end, because I got quite hungry by this time. Never leave the house without some mummy snack and drink bottle, I often forget! I took this opportunity as an excuse to try out a new café though, so all good. Got a baguette sandwich and coffee to go, the necessary fuel for the doctor’s visit ahead. Look pointedly at the barista so they will come out and open the door for you and the pram. 

At the doctor’s:

You may need to fill out some paperwork to enrol the baby into the system. First, a nurse took the baby’s measurements - weight, height, head circumference. Why are babies always asleep when they need to be stripped to be measured? Of course she cried in protest. Then, when placed back in my arms, we heard a long prooouuuuut. Followed by a warm runny sensation on my crotch and belly. We’ve got a poonami! With the leak staining my jeans and top... Great, thanks, sweetie! Lucky we picked up lunch beforehand, we are definitely going home straight afterwards. Spare clothes for the mum as well as baby in the nappy bag could be smart, especially on longer trips. I just covered the yellow blotches with my jacket today. 

The doctor checked the baby’s eyes, heartbeat, bum, and reflexes, and declared everything was normal. Good. Back to the nurse for the actual vaccines. 

There are three things administered to your baby during the six week vaccination visit. The rotavirus vaccine given orally is the one that may cause the baby a fever and maybe even some diarrhoea. Some babies spit the liquid up but our one did fine. In case of any fever in the next 24 hours, we were prescribed some Pamol, paracetamol for children, also to be given orally with a syringe. The next two vaccines are injected to each of your baby’s thighs. Avoid your mother instincts and rub the thighs afterwards, the nurse’s orders.

The same three vaccines are repeated at the three months vaccine visit. 

Breastfeed before leaving:

The baby can now finally get dressed again. I asked if I could also feed the baby in the nurse’s room before leaving. The nurse took the Pamol prescription to the pharmacy next door while I nursed and calmed the baby down. Made sure the baby was carefully wrapped in case she has another episode on the way home, too. 

Munching on the sandwich on the way home, we are greeted with a short hail spell. Quick, cover the pram with the rain cover, walk faster!

Finally back at home: 

Take the soiled clothes off, gulp down a glass of water, a quick toilet break and make sure to wash your hands well, we don’t want any germs getting at the little one. Keep the baby sleeping in its pram for as long as possible, rocking it gently whenever she stirs. 

Apparently the babies get either very restless or sleepy after their vaccinations. Hopefully she will be the latter and let us sleep in peace tonight! But of course she didn’t... Instead, we had an unhappy baby who wouldn’t sleep, wanting cuddles all night, and a bit of a temperature. Eek. Thankfully she was a lot better the next morning. 

We will be better prepared for the next vaccination visit!

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