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BABY'S SIX WEEK CHECK-UP

The six-week check-up is the first of the major development checks for a new baby. Your doctor or local baby clinic will perform the check in a friendly, informal atmosphere.

General assessment:

The doctor discusses baby's general wellbeing and demeanour with mother. She wakes baby and talks to her to assess how she responds to the stimulus of new face. The doctor is looking for that magiccal early smile, a sure sign that baby is developlng a normal sociable personalitv. She checks baby's sight by moving a rattle accross her field of vision. Baby follows it with both eyes, demonstrating healthy eye sight with no sign of squint.

Limbs and muscle tone:

The doctor undresses baby herself, so she can observe her muscle tone and how she moves her limbs.

Control of head:

The doctor holds baby in the air to see that she holds her head in line with her body. Then she watches as she pulls baby into a sitting position.

Grasp reflex:

A baby at birth can grasp hold of a finger put into her palm and hold on strongly. By six weeks it's normal for her birth reflexes to have faded, as baby's have.

Head circumference:

Baby has her head measured, to check for normal growth.Her head is now 38cm (15in).

A Heartbeat

The doctor listens to Amy's heart with a stethoscope: about 120 beats a minute is normal for the first year.

lnternal organs:

A good feel round baby's tummy reassures the doctor that her liver, stomach and spleen are all growing normally, and none is too big or the wrong shape.

Hip check:

Hip dislocation is still a possibility, so the doctor tests the action of the joints with her middle fingers, as she manipulates baby's legs.

Weighing:

Baby has been weighed in her nappy at weekly intervals up to now, and she will be weighed at every visit to the baby clinic, or whenever mother requests. Normal weight gain usually means a healthy baby. Baby's weight chart will be an important record for years to come.


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