Newborn Baby’s Check-ups and Tests
After your baby is born there will be various checks which need to be carried out to ensure your newborn’s health. Being well informed about the various tests and checkups your baby will have can help to relieve any anxieties you may feel at the prospect of such tests and enable you to be prepared with questions or concerns you are likely to have at the time.
Baby‘s tests after birth
Your baby will undergo several tests after he/she is born. Such tests are discussed below:
- The Apgar test – This is the very first test your baby will have after birth. Your midwife will look at the colour of your baby, their breathing and overall movement. Your midwife will also check how your baby is behaving and will be able to inform you if there are any problems which require further examination. Most of the time babies pass the Agpar test just fine and your midwife can inform you of the results immediately.
- Measuring test – Your midwife will measure your baby’s weight and the circumference of their head. These measurements may be recorded in your baby’s development book which is normally a red book given to you by your midwife after the birth.
- Heel Prick test – The heel prick test is a blood test given to your baby before they are one week old. A small prick on your baby’s heel will help to identify any blood deficiencies. Heel prick test are also used to check for sickle cell disease, thyroid and cystic fibrosis.
- Full newborn examination – This is where your baby is tested from head to toe; it normally takes place between 4 to 48 hours after birth. The newborn examination is given by your midwife or doctor. You will have the chance to ask any questions regarding your newborn baby’s development if any problem is identified.
The full newborn examination
Your baby will be tested in different areas to check for any problems which can be sorted as early as possible. The full newborn examination ranges from tests on the head, ears, eyes, mouth, heart, lungs to their genitals. Other areas that will be tested are your baby’s skin, hands, feet, reflexes, spine and hips.
Examination of the: Head
Your doctor or midwife will examine the shape of your baby’s head and assess if there are any marks or bruises from the birth. Sometimes your baby’s head may appear to be squashed and this normally occurs when you have had an assisted birth through forceps or ventouse. If your baby’s head does appear to be squashed it should sort itself out on its own. In the event that your baby’s head is still affected you can seek further assistance from your doctor who will be able to further advise you.
Examination of the: Mouth
In order to test your baby’s mouth your doctor will place his or her hand onto your baby’s tongue to see if the palate is full. If your doctor finds a gap in the palate may require surgery. Your baby will also be tested on his tongue to check for a condition called tongue tie which could make it difficult for your baby to move his mouth.
Examination of the: Eyes
Your baby’s eyes will be checked and a light will be shone on your baby’s eyes in order to identify any red refluxes. The midwife or doctor will be able to further advise you if they find a problem with your baby’s eyesight.
Examination of the: Ears
Many hospitals offer hearing screening tests for babies to identify any hearing problems. The hearing test is offered to all babies and you may be visited by a health visitor regarding the hearing test before you are discharged from the ward.
Examination of the: Heart and Lungs
Your baby’s heart rate will be checked to ensure the presence of a pulse. Your baby has to make more effort to breathe independently now that is in the outside world and their heart rate needs to be checked accordingly to ensure everything is okay; your baby’s lungs will also be checked. A stethoscope will likely be used by the doctor to listen to your baby’s breathing.
Examination of the: Genitals and Skin
Your baby’s genitals will be checked where your doctor will look for abnormal swelling or genitals which appear discoloured or darker. Boy’s genital checks include checking the testes and penis to ensure it is not facing the underside. Parents may be questioned about their baby’s urine and stools. Your baby’s skin may also be checked for pigmentation and birth marks.
Examination of the: Hands and Feet
Your baby’ hands and feet will be counted and your baby’s hands examined to identify palmer creases. Your doctor will inform you if any abnormalities are found and move forward accordingly.
Examination of the: Hips
Your baby’s hips will be checked to identify any clicks in the joints. The doctor may extend your baby’s legs to detect whether there are any potential problems, and further tests may be arranged if your baby has clicking hips.
Examination of the: Spine
Your baby’s spine will be examined to determine the structure and whether or not it is formed correctly. The doctor may need to arrange further tests if any abnormalities are found.
Checking your baby’s reflexes
Your doctor will check your newborn baby’s reflexes including their ability to grasp and suck. The doctor will also be able to identify if there are any problems with the way your baby’s reflexes.
Mother, Baby and Beyond
- Pregnancy & Birth Guide
- Mother, Baby and Beyond
- Baby calendar
- Newborn Baby’s Check-ups and Tests
- Newborn Babies’ Appearance
- Bonding with Your Baby
- A Guide to Sleeping for Mother and Baby
- Coping with a Crying Baby
- Sibling Bonding
- The Father’s Role
- Postnatal Health
- Baby Predicaments
- Sex after Childbirth
- Weaning and Moving onto Solid Foods
- Travelling with a Newborn Baby
- Losing Baby Weight
- Baby Health Concerns
- Caring for your child
- Looking after Twins
- Baby vaccinations
- Caring for your newborn
- Mother and Baby Myths
- Mother and baby development FAQ
- Pregnancy & Birth Guide
- Guide to Getting Pregnant
- Guide to Pregnancy
- Guide to Giving Birth
- Guide to Pregnancy Tests
- Mother, Baby & Beyond Guide
- Guide to Pain Relief in Labour
- Guide to pregnancy scans
- Pregnancy calendar guide
- Baby calendar guide
- Child development calendar guide
- Guide to miscarriage
- Guide to breastfeeding
- Guide to sleeping for mother & baby
- Guide to birth defects
- Guide to Post Natal depression