Wellness & Prevention for Infants and Toddlers
Infants and toddlers lives are filled with important milestones that begin in their first few months and carryon for years. That’s why Provida Family Medicine, we want to make sure they reach those key development milestones and grow up healthy. Whether you’re a new parent or a seasoned one, our board certified providers work with you to help ensure your newborns and toddlers receive the best medical care.
Wellness and prevention are at the cornerstone to your child’s health. Our approach to comprehensive pediatric medicine includes regular health evaluations, vaccinations, and support services. This way, we can monitor the growth of your child, advise you on additional resources or things you can do to help them develop and thrive.
We also encourage parents to schedule an appointment for a prenatal care. This helps to you receive the support and resources you need even before your baby is born. We look forward to caring for you and your new baby!
What to Expect at Your First Visit
At Provida Family Medicine, we encourage new parents to schedule their baby’s first visit at the same time Mom’s postpartum visit is scheduled. Better still, we’d like to see baby about two to three days after birth and/or discharge from a hospital. All Mom or Dad need to do, is call our office 847-548-2200 to a scheduled appointment.
During this first visit, our highly trained medical team will check your baby’s weight, height (length) and test their blood with a simple heel stick blood test. This blood test allows for early detection of illnesses and/or genetic disorders that aid us in developing an effective treatment plan.
During your baby’s first year, we like to see them for regular check-ups (e.g. 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, and 30 months are encouraged to help us monitor your child’s growth, weight gain, and make sure that your child is hitting all of their growth milestones).
The health of your newborn or toddler is of the utmost importance to us at Provida Family Medicine. As they grow, your child will develop and change, so making sure they are receiving proper nutrition, sleep, and play is crucial to keeping them healthy.
Your child will need frequent checkups at this stage of their life to start them on the right foot, and it’s during these early years that your child should also be vaccinated to help protect them from potentially life-threatening illnesses while their immune systems develop.
Provida Family Medicine also offers parents a medication review, which is an examination of the patient’s medication with the goal of coming to an agreement of what is the best treatment to maximize the positive effects of the medication and minimizing waste.
The side effects of each medication are also discussed and factored into the treatment and care plan and medication review. Parents are encouraged to keep track of any changes they see in their infants or toddlers and voice any concerns they have with their medicine.
Provida also offers medication reconciliation, which is a process of maintaining an accurate and up-to-date list of a patient’s medicine across multiple disciplines of healthcare through treatment and prescription reviews.
The best source of nutrition for babies is breastfeeding, however this is not always an option for every parent. If breastfeeding is not an option, please speak with your doctor at Provida Family Medicine about alternative sources of nutrition and formulas as not all types of formulas are ideal for every baby.
Solid foods can be introduced to your child’s diet when they reach approximately five months of age, but if your child is not ready, there is no need to hurry into feeding them solid foods. As a parent, you are always encouraged to bring up any questions or concerns you have with your Provida Family Medicine doctor.
The safest way for an infant to sleep for the first six months of life is in a crib and on their back in the same room as their parents or caregivers. There should be no toys, blankets, pillows or bumpers in the crib during this time as it decreases the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
As a rule of thumb, babies and toddlers need a lot of sleep. Babies need about twelve to fifteen hours of sleep each day, and toddlers need about ten to thirteen hours to develop properly. If your child is not sleeping or is sleeping too much, or you cannot get them to stay on a set sleep schedule, please speak to your doctor at Provida Family Medicine.
The fastest development of your baby’s brain will happen in the first one thousand days of their life. During this developmental stage, it is important to talk to your baby while making eye contact, read to them, and sing to them. These interactions lay the ground work for proper brain development, and although this stage can be exhausting for the parents, being responsive to an infants needs is essential for healthy brain development.
The connections they learn and form during this time will help them continue to grow throughout their lives, so make sure to take advantage of this time and give your baby a strong start!
Babies play in all sorts of ways. Holding, speaking, and singing to your baby are all ways that you can play with them, and this will prompt them to respond with cooing, babbling, and smiling while matching your eye contact.
As babies become toddlers, they will exploring the world around them, so safety will become very important. Child-proofing your home and child’s play area is the best way a parent can protect your toddler, as they will not know what is good and bad for them.
Provida Family Medicine recommends keeping a first-aid kit ready and having a plan in place for emergencies.
The National Poison Control Center is available 24/7 at 800-222-1222.
When to Bring in Your Child
Regular wellness visits are incredibly important to the health of your child. However, these regular visits are not the only reason to bring your child in to see a doctor at Provida Family Medicine. There’s a lot of different parent advice out there, so parents may have a lot of questions, and they should never feel guilty about voicing these concerns with their doctor.
Babies and toddlers don’t know when something is wrong, so it’s up to the parents to help them when there is a problem. If your newborn or toddler is experiencing any symptoms of illness, such as coughing, diarrhea, or a high fever, or is acting unusual, please call Provida Family Medicine at 847-548-2200 to speak with a provider or schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome.