What to Expect at a Well Child Checkup

Por: Noaa Spiekermann, MD

14 de junio de 2023

Newborn Baby Boy Having A Throat Exam At The Pediatric Clinic

A well-child checkup is a great opportunity to monitor your child’s growth and development, and it's also a chance to establish a trusting relationship with your child’s pediatrician and have your questions answered.

What to Expect at Each Checkup

At every checkup, a comprehensive physical examination will be conducted to assess your child's growth parameters, including height, weight and head circumference. A developmental assessment will evaluate the progress of your infant or young child in achieving age-appropriate milestones, encompassing language skills, motor development, problem-solving abilities and psycho-social skills.

In addition, your pediatrician will address common concerns such as feeding, sleep patterns, oral health and general infant care. Unless there are specific needs or concerns for your baby, routine laboratory tests are typically unnecessary. Your pediatrician will provide guidance on immunization schedules, post-vaccination expectations and when to seek medical attention.

Furthermore, during each visit, you will receive age-specific guidance to help you anticipate your child's expected growth and development, along with essential safety precautions and illness prevention measures. Your pediatrician will discuss various topics, such as placing your baby to sleep on their back, utilizing rear-facing infant car seats until around age two, maintaining home water thermostats below 120 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring dangerous objects and poisonous substances are out of sight and reach, emphasizing dental health and promoting the use of bike helmets, among other things.

Preparing for Your Visit

It is recommended that, as a parent, you write down any questions beforehand, so you don’t forget them in the moment. Most importantly, feel comfortable asking your pediatrician about anything that might seem unusual, as you are the parent, and you know best! Before leaving the pediatrician’s office, be sure that you fully understand any instructions given to you and ask for clarification if needed.

From your child’s birth through young adulthood, you will be visiting your pediatrician regularly. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides what a regular schedule might look like.

Well-Child Checkup Schedule

  • Two to three days after birth and at one month
  • Two months
  • Four months
  • Six months
  • Nine months
  • One year
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months
  • 30 months
  • Three years, and yearly after
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