Japan : the 4 month check-up

A few weeks ago we received a letter in the mail addressed to Aiden. It was from Higashi Osaka City, requesting Aiden`s presence at the 4 month health check. Enclosed we also found several sheets of paper with questions to answer, boxes to tick and some information about the BCG vaccination.

So, today Aiden went to the city office (with all the other 4 month old babies who live nearby) for his 4 month check up. This is the first time that Aiden has seen a doctor or nurse since his 1 month check up (at which time he didn`t receive any vaccinations, just had his measurements taken and a quick hearing / sight check).

We (me, Aiden and Yoshi`s sister-in-law) arrived at about 1:30pm and were told to take Aiden`s temperature using a thermometer provided. After 3 failed attempts (error messages on each of the first 3 we tried), we finally got a reading of 37.3 degrees which was acceptable.

We (and all the other mums and babies) then had to listen to a quick lecture about when to start feeding our babies solid foods, and then waited our turn for the height, weight, hearing and basic developmental check. It was quite funny to see all the babies in their diapers, but reassuring to see not only that Aiden was about average size, he seemed to be sitting much straighter and holding his neck up more than the others!

After that, Aiden had his BCG injection. It is a strange looking apparatus with 9 needles inside and is stamped onto the baby`s upper arm. Here is a pic I took about 1 hour after the shot... ouch!

The doctor uses quite a lot of force to stamp the arm and Aiden cried for about 20 seconds before smiling and laughing at the nurses. After waiting for the injection site to dry off (10 mins) we then had a little one-on-one chat with a nurse who asked how often Aiden feeds, how long he sleeps, and how often he poos... and of course how long I have lived in Japan (pretty standard questions). We were then free to go.

In comparison to the Japanese experience, I have recently read about the 4 month check up in the US. From what I read, this is the second round of vaccinations for American babies, and this time they get DTap, Hib and IPV. That check up also includes a weight and height check, head measurement, and a discussion on sleep methods, child care and any other concerns new parents might have.

According to this weight chart (which is from the Pampers US website), Aiden should weigh between 12 and 18 pounds (about 5.4 - 8.16kg) at this time. In fact he now weighs 7.5kg.

According the length chart (also from Pampers), Aiden should be between 22 and 26 inches (55.88cm - 66cm) and in fact he measured 64cm today.


  1. He's perfect!! Nobody commented on the size of his big kiwi head? I still get nurses doing two and three measurements of the kids heads each time - and Marina is 3 now and has grown into her big head quite well now. The BCG is a bit hideous isn't it. It will probably get a little bit worse before it gets better.


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