Newborn Care

Newborn Health Screenings & Documentation

Before your baby leaves the hospital, they will undergo several tests to check for various conditions and diseases that can’t be seen on observation but may cause health problems. If identified and treated early, serious issues can often be prevented.

In New York State, all babies are required to be tested for more than 45 metabolic and genetic disorders, even if the baby seems healthy and has no symptoms or health problems. Please note that these requirements frequently change—consult a medical professional for the most up-to-date health information.

Types of Screenings for Newborns

Types of Screenings

Newborn hearing screening

New York State requires all babies to have their hearing checked before going home. This screening aims to check your newborn’s ability to hear and help identify babies who might require further testing. Since good hearing is essential for developing speech and language skills, identifying and managing hearing impairment must be done as early as possible.

Newborn metabolic testing

A metabolic disorder is a disruption to the way your body turns food into energy. Some of these disorders affect how your body absorbs nutrients and handles enzymes, while some affect the breakdown of amino acids, carbohydrates, or lipids.

To test for metabolic disorders, a tiny amount of blood is taken from the baby’s heel, collected on special paper, and sent to the Department of Health for analysis. The baby’s heel may have some redness at the puncture site and some bruising that usually goes away in a few days.

This entire process is sometimes referred to as “PKU screening” or a “PKU test.” This is a misnomer, as newborn metabolic screening consists of tests for dozens of disorders and the Phenylketonuria (PKU) test is only one of them. Some other conditions screened for are galactosemia, sickle cell disease, and cystic fibrosis. If your baby receives a positive test result for one of these disorders, your doctor will contact you to arrange follow-up testing.

Baby vaccinations and immunizations

Vaccines are the safest way to protect you and your child from potentially life-threatening illnesses. Vaccines teach the immune system to recognize infections to fight them off in the future.

The New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend you keep your child up-to-date with the recommended newborn vaccination schedule.

VaccineBirth1  month2  months4  months6  months9  months12  months15  months
Hepatitis BDose 1Dose 2 Dose 3
Rotavirus  Dose 1Dose 2    
Diphtheria, Tetanus, and
acellular Pertussis (DTaP)
  Dose 1Dose 2Dose 3  Dose 4
Haemophilus influenza
type b
  Dose 1Dose 2  Dose 3 and 4
Pneumococcal conjugate  Dose 1Dose 2Dose 3 Dose 4
Inactive poliovirus  Dose 1Dose 2Dose 3
Influenza    Annually 1 or 2 doses
Measles, Mumps,
and Rubella (MMR)
      Dose 1
Varicella (chicken pox)      Dose 1
Hepatitis A      2 Doses

COVID-19 vaccines are also available for children ages six months and older. Getting children vaccinated against COVID-19 can help keep them from getting seriously sick if they get COVID-19. Vaccinating children can also help relieve the strain on families by providing greater confidence in children participating in childcare, school, and other activities.

For the latest information regarding the latest recommended baby vaccine schedule, visit the CDC website. Please note that these schedules often change. Please consult a medical professional for the most up-to-date vaccine schedule.

Birth Certificate & Social Security Card

Birth Certificate & Social Security Card

Following delivery, you will be given a form that needs to be completed to issue your child a birth certificate and Social Security number. If you are naming a co-parent on your baby’s birth certificate, they must be present. You will also need to provide a copy of a marriage certificate or complete a paternity acknowledgment form.

You should receive your child’s birth certificate and Social Security card approximately four to six weeks following delivery. You can find resources regarding your baby’s New York State birth certificate on the website.

Acknowledgement of paternity

Unmarried parents will be given an acknowledgment of paternity form. This document establishes the child’s legal father. Both parents must sign it voluntarily. You cannot sign the form if:

  • The mother was married at any time during the pregnancy or when the child was born
  • The mother is unmarried, but more than one man could be the child’s father; or
  • The child has not been born
Get Care

Trust NewYork-Presbyterian with Your Child’s Health

At NewYork-Presbyterian, our team of pediatric doctors can help guide you through comprehensive testing for your newborn, answer your questions, and walk you through any next steps. We’re here to support the well-being of your baby through birth and all stages of life.

For more information, please consult with your doctor’s office.