Newborn Infant Physical Examination

Within 72 hours of the birth of your baby, your baby will have a top to toe physical examination. In particular you will be offered screening tests to find out if your baby has a problem with their eyes, heart, and hips and in boys the testes to see if there would be a benefit from early investigation and possible treatment.

Eyes - to check the appearance and movement of the eyes, as well as looking for cataracts, a clouding of the eye lens affecting about two or three babies in 10,000. This examination does not tell you how well your baby can see.

Heart - listening to the heart with a stethoscope for a ‘murmur’. Heart murmurs are common and mostly resolve on their own, but about one in 200 babies will need to be investigated further in case treatment is required.

Hips - to check that the hip joint has formed properly. About one or two in 1,000 babies will need to be referred for further investigation and possible treatment to prevent problems with mobility, for example walking with a limp.

Testes - to check that the testes are in the right place. About one in 100 boys have undescended testes that may need treatment to prevent complications later in life, for example reduced fertility.


The results of the tests are given to you straight away and recorded in your baby’s personal child health record book (red book).

If any concerns are identified, this will be explained to you and a referral made to a specialist for follow up tests.

Please keep your red book safe for recording future examinations.

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