The Newborn Examination

Clinical Rotations for Students

This introduction is not intended to be comprehensive, but is instead designed to cover the main components of the newborn examination. During your time in the nursery, we trust that you will become comfortable with the essential elements of the exam and be able to identify many of the common physical findings.

Before even touching the infant, notice the following: colorposture/toneactivitysizematurity, and quality of cry.

This infant has a normal pink color, normal flexed posture and strength, good activity and resposiveness to the exam, relatively large size (over 9 pounds), physical findings consistent with term gestational age (skin, ears, etc), and a nice strong cry.


photo by Janelle Aby, MD



The Newborn Examination

For more detailed information on the examination of the newborn, click on the links below. These excellent articles were published in the American Family Physician in 2002. The video is from the University of British Columbia's "Learn Pediatrics" website.

The Newborn Examination: Part 1  

Emergencies and Common Abnormalities Involving the Skin, Head, Neck, Chest, and Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems


The Newborn Examination: Part 2  

Emergencies and Common Abnormalities Involving the Abdomen, Pelvis, Extremities, Genitalia, and Spine


The Newborn Examination: Video