Baby Checks

Dr Watkin would be delighted to conduct your baby’s baby checks in Cayman. She is passionate about the importance of this and has undertaken thousands of checks over her career. Whilst in University College London Hospital, Dr Watkin led the introduction of baby checks to the private wards too.

Baby checks will probably be raised by your obstetrician too – they’ll reinforce the importance of them and that you need to find a paediatrician to undertake them. Dr Watkin undertakes a great number here in Grand Cayman and works with all of the island’s private obstetricians.

Dr Watkin likes to discuss baby checks antenatally, so you know what will happen when. If you have had a baby before, you’ll know how that works and may just want to book her. If this is your first delivery, please do come and meet her and explain all about them.

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Why Dr Sara Watkin for Baby Checks?

It’s a special moment and it needs to be a safe one, one handled with compassion and sensitivity and one when your wishes are fully respected. Dr Watkin absolutely LOVES being in delivery and has now attended more than 500 in Cayman so far!


30 Years Experience


Tertiary Trained & Experienced


Calm & Reassuring


True Consultant Neonatologist


Current Resuscitation Skills


Available 24/7 Quickly


Former NICU Chief of Service


Newborn Emergencies


Neonatal care from 24 Weeks

Understanding Baby Checks

Generally, within 48 – 72 hours of birth, we undertake what are called baby checks, a thorough physical examination for your baby including some specific screening tests to find out if your baby has any problems with their eyes, heart, hips and, in boys, the testicles (testes). This examination is almost always carried out in hospital before you go home.

Our aim is to spot any problems early so treatment can be started as soon as possible or advisable. Usually though, nothing of concern is found, which then provides you with reasurance at what is a nervous time for any parent, especially new ones. If we do find a possible problem, we may refer your baby for more tests or arrange follow up.

Preferably, both parents should be there when the examination is done and Dr Watkin tends to explain what it involves and what she is doing. Some parts of the examination may be a little uncomfortable for your baby, but it won’t cause them any pain.

Follow on Checks

You will be offered another physical examination for your baby at about six to eight weeks, as some of the conditions we look for can take a little while to develop. This is usually done within my clinic room. We’ll agree a schedule early, so you know exactly what to expect when.

Does my baby have to have Baby Checks?

They are not obligatory but they are strongly advised. In the UK, a handful of babies do not have them out of over 700,000 births per year and so that tells you something about how much importance is placed upon them. All paediatricians strongly recommend Baby Checks because of the enormous value to picking up easily addressed issues early. You won’t find a paediatrician who would not want baby checks for their own children!

When will you get the results?

Dr Watkin should be able to give you the outcome of the exmaination there and then. Sometimes, usually when we find something that needs following, we might need to conduct further tests or wait for a period of time for that aspect of the examination. We’ll be able to explain this clearly at the time and what the follow up plan is.

How are Baby Checks Done?

We will give your baby a thorough physical examination, whilst also asking you questions about how your baby is feeding, how alert they are, and about their general wellbeing. Your baby will need to be undressed for part of the examination.

During the examination, Dr Watkin will want to:

  • Look into your baby’s eyes with a special torch called an ophthalmoscope to check how their eyes look and move
  • Listen to your baby’s heart to check their heart sounds
  • Examine their hips to check the joints
  • Examine baby boys to see if their testicles are in the right place

What does the newborn physical examination check for?

The examination includes an overall physical check plus a number of specific different screening tests.


We will check the appearance and movement of your baby’s eyes. We are looking for certain conditions like cataracts, a clouding of the transparent lens inside the eye, and other conditions.

About 2 or 3 in 10,000 babies are born with problems with their eyes that require treatment. The examination is not a test of how well your baby can see, purely a way of spotting complications or certain conditions.


A few newborn babies have hip joints that are not formed properly, known as developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). If this is left untreated, it can cause a limp or joint problems later on. About 1 or 2 in 1,000 babies have DDH that needs treating.


We will examine your baby’s heart. We’ll do this by observing your baby, feeling your baby’s pulses, and listening to their heart with a stethoscope. Sometimes we find heart murmurs, where the heartbeat has an extra or unusual sound caused by a disturbed blood flow through the heart.

Heart murmurs are quite common in babies. The heart is normal in almost all cases where a murmur is heard but about 1 in 200 babies have a heart problem that needs treatment. If we find a heart murmur, we’ll want to follow up with you and your baby to ensure that there is not a problem that requires treatment.


Baby boys are checked to make sure their testicles are in the right place. During pregnancy, the testicles form inside the baby’s body. Sometimes they do not drop down into the scrotum until a few months after birth. In about 1 in 100 baby boys, the testicles descend only partially or not at all, which requires treating to prevent possible problems later in life, such as reduced fertility. If we find these issues, again we’ll want to follow up to ensure that everything happens in the way that it should or provide treatment as necessary.

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