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The period from birth to the sixth month of life of an infant is the key time for a child's development. It is during this time, just after giving birth and thereafter, that your baby undergoes a series of important tests. She would never be under such close scrutiny later. What tests await the newborn?

The Apgar Scaleis Virginia Apgar's 1953 assessment ofbabyin the first moments afterchildbirth. According to it, each of the parameters is scored in points (from 0 to 2) at fixed intervals. The sum of points determines the toddler's condition.

  • The result from 7 to 10 points means that the little one started screaming and breathing right after birth, the skin was the right shade, the heart was beating steadily. Such a child does not require additional observation.
  • A score of 3 to 6 means that the baby was hypoxic, had a poor response to stimuli, the heart was beating too slowly, the skin was bluish, and the muscles were flaccid. In such a situation, doctors carefully degumming the baby's airways and after a few minutes re-assess his condition. The neonatologist may order additional tests and prescribe medication.
  • 3 points or less is a life-threatening condition caused by hypoxia or trauma to the fetus during childbirth. The newborn baby is then resuscitated by a neonatologist or anesthesiologist, and then goes to the incubator. He will not be discharged from the hospital until the doctor decides that his condition does not raise any objections.


0 points

1 point

2 points




loud voice

Heart rate


under 100 / min

over 100 / min

Skin appearance

sina, pale

sine limbs

pink all over the body

Reflex to insert the nasal catheter


slight grimace

cough, sneeze

Muscle tension in limbs


weak movements

strong, energetic

Newborn examination - baby weight and length

A newborn has a he althy weight of 3,000 to 4,000 grams and a length of 47 to 57 cm.

Examination of reflexes

Aims to find out if the central nervous system of the newborn is working properly. The tested person is:

  • Grasping reflex - the pediatrician puts a finger on the baby's hand, the toddler's fingers should tighten. The doctor will also tickle the baby's foot to see if he is doubling up on his toes.
  • Sucking reflex - is assessed by inserting a finger into the child's mouth.
  • Seeking reflex - the child, after rubbing his cheek with a finger, turns his head towards him.
  • Moro reflex - the doctor will pick up the baby in his arms, letting the head drop slightly backwards. The newborn should suddenly spread his arms and legs, then bend them.
  • Crawling reflex - the toddler placed on his stomach should throw his legs backwards as if he was crawling.
  • Walking reflex - a baby held by his hands is shifting his feet.

Eye examination

The doctor examines the baby's eyesight with a lantern, checking the pupils' reaction to light. Only premature babies are tested for retinopathy and other visual impairments.

Hearing test

The test is performed on the second day of life - with a probe inserted into the ear. If the result is incorrect, the test is resumed the next day.

Newborn assessment

In the first 24 hours of life, the neonatologist will also assess whether the little person is he althy, has everything in its place.

  • Head - its circumference should be 1-2 cm larger than the circumference of the chest. The doctor will also examine the size of the fontanell.
  • Abdomen - the neonatologist will assess whether the palpable organs (liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder) are the right size and where they should be.
  • Spine - the spine is checked for nodules or dimples, which indicate an incorrect structure.
  • Muscles - the child lying on the back will be pulled by the doctor by the handles to a sitting position (the head should not fly backwards), and then he will check whether the baby, lying on his tummy, can lift his head for a few seconds.
  • Legs and feet - the doctor will assess whether the legs bend correctly at the knees and the feet are not too turned inwards.
  • The palate - it is checked that it is not split and that the baby can move his tongue freely.
  • Sex organs - in a girl, the doctor checks the size of the clitoris and the opening of the vagina, in a boy - if the opening of the urethra is at the end of the glans, and both testicles are in the scrotum.
  • Heart and circulation - the neonatologist will listen to the heart (it should beat at a rate of 100 to 160 beats per minute), and thentouches the groin to see if blood is flowing through the arteries.
  • Hip joint - it is assessed whether the baby has a congenital dislocation of the hip joint. In some hospitals, ultrasound is done, in others the doctor spreads the baby's legs to the sides.

Bilirubin test

If your jaundice is severe, you will need to have your blood tested for bilirubin (a pigment that causes the skin to turn yellow). If it turns out to be too tall, the toddler will be exposed to a lamp, the light of which will accelerate the decomposition of bilirubin.

Testing for phenylketonuria and hypothyroidism

A baby in a hospital is also screened. Phenylketonuria is a severe congenital disease. As a result of an abnormal metabolism, toxins are produced and accumulated that cause mental retardation. Only a diet that eliminates products containing the amino acid phenylalanine ensures the proper development of the child. In turn, hypothyroidism is congenital hypothyroidism. The lack or deficiency of thyroid hormones results in mental retardation and growth failure. Every newborn on the second day of life has tests that allow for quick detection of both diseases. The toddler's blood is drawn on a special tissue paper, which allows to determine the presence of enzymes and metabolites of metabolism and to detect hormone deficiencies. Tests are performed in specialized laboratories. If the result is incorrect or inconclusive, you will be notified by letter, so when completing your hospital documents, please provide the address where you will live (not your registered address).

Blood group, Rh factor

They are mainly made in children who may experience a serological conflict. The test is also carried out when the baby has anemia, severe jaundice or serious congenital diseases in the first hours of life. The test should be repeated when the child is older.

First immunization

In the hospital, the child will be vaccinated against tuberculosis and hepatitis B. He will also receive a prophylactic dose of vitamin K intramuscularly.

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