U3 investigation: time, process and meaning

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.

The U3 investigation is often the baby’s first checkup, which takes place at the pediatrician and not in the hospital. Her doctor checks whether the child has developed normally in the first weeks after birth. Read here when U3 tests take place, how they work and which vaccinations are recommended.

What is the U3 exam?

The U3 investigation is a of twelve checkups for children. It is carried out between the 3rd and 8th week of life. The health insurance company bears the costs. The child should be vaccinated for the first time during the U3 examination.

What is done at the U3?

Since it is often the first time that the pediatrician sees the infant, he first gets an overview of the general condition of the child. He listens to the heart and lungs as well as the bowel sounds, feels the abdominal wall and examines the navel. It is also important to check whether the child is already responding to speech or movements. The pediatrician also checks for innate reflexes, for example the grasping reflex or the suction reflex.

Now the baby’s hearing is also being tested for the first time, for example with a rattle. Other playful tests are used to check the child’s interaction, such as whether it follows an object with the eyes. A special, but harmless and completely painless examination during the U3 examination is the ultrasound of the hip joint. It allows malformations and malpositions of the hip joint to be detected. As with all other checkups, the child is also weighed and measured.

U3: vaccination

The pediatrician will advise the parents of the first vaccinations during the U3 examination: First, at the age of six weeks, vaccination against rotavirus is carried out according to the recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO). However, the baby is not given an injection because it is a swallowing vaccine. In the second month of life, vaccinations against:

These can now be given as a combination vaccination in a syringe in the thigh, what for the child Naturally is gentler. In addition, there is another vaccination against pneumococci and the second swallow vaccination against rotavirus.

What is the significance of the U3 investigation?

The U3 examination is of particular importance: With it, the treating pediatrician gets an impression of the child in the doctor’s office for the first time. Therefore, the U3 is often a little more extensive. The child will not only be examined physically, but the doctor will also ask the parents about the child’s behavior: is it sleeping well? Does it cry a lot? What is the diet like? At the beginning there may be many questions, but they all help the doctor to look after the child optimally. If necessary, the pediatrician can also give recommendations for dealing with the child during the U3 examination.

If at the U3 investigation if a malformation of the hip (congenital hip dysplasia) should be found, this can often be successfully treated by wide wrapping or special spreading pants. Consequential damage is usually not expected.


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Christina Cherry
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