Well-child visits are a child’s regular doctor visits. Well-child visits provide the opportunity to your child’s doctor to detect and prevent any health problem that might occur to your child. A typical well-baby visit will provide information about child’s development, diet, general health condition, immunizations, infectious diseases, and other important advice and information for parents.
Young children are recommended to have more well-child visits because they change fast and develop rapidly during these years. The child’s height, weight, and other vital information are recorded. Hearing, vision, and other screening tests will also be part of some visits.
Even if your child is healthy, well-child visits are a good time to focus on your child’s wellness. Talking about ways to improve care and prevent problems helps keep your child healthy.
At your well-child visits, doctors will provide information and advice on the following topics:
- Childhood diseases
- What to expect as your child grows
Your child’s doctor will pay special attention to your child’s growth compared to normal developmental milestones. The child’s height, weight, and head circumference are recorded on a growth chart. This chart remains part of the child’s medical record.
Each well-child visit includes a complete physical exam. The doctor will check the following things during the physical exam:
- Auscultation (listening to heart, breath, and stomach sounds)
- Heart sounds
- Infantile reflexes and deep tendon reflexes as the child gets older
- Neonatal jaundice (first few visits only)
- Standard ophthalmic exam
- Temperature measurement
Well-Child Visits Schedule
A visit with a doctor before the baby is born can be useful for first-time parents and parents with a high-risk pregnancy. You can use this visit to ask and get answers to your questions and concerns about various issues, such as feeding, circumcision, and general child health issues.
After the baby is born, the next visit should be 2 to 3 days after bringing the baby home (for breastfed babies) or when the baby is 2 to 4 days old (for all babies who are released from a hospital before they are 2 days old).
After the initial 2 visits, doctors recommend that well-child visits should be planned and scheduled at the following ages:
- 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
- 2 1/2 years
- 3 years
- Each year after that until age 21
You should call or visit your child’s doctor any time your baby or child seems ill or whenever you are worried about your baby’s health or development.
Immunization (Vaccination) Information
Vaccinations are important to keep your child healthy. During the first well-child visit after birth of your baby, the doctor will explain you about various vaccines and their importance and will fix a vaccination schedule for your child.
The vaccinations include:
- Diphtheria immunization (vaccine)
- DPT immunization (vaccine)
- Hepatitis A immunization (vaccine)
- Hepatitis B immunization (vaccine)
- Hib immunization (vaccine)
- Human papilloma virus (vaccine)
- Influenza immunization (vaccine)
- Meningococcal (meningitis) immunization (vaccine)
- MMR immunization (vaccine)
- Pertussis immunization (vaccine)
- Pneumococcal immunization (vaccine)
- Polio immunization (vaccine)
- Rotavirus immunization (vaccine)
- Tetanus immunization (vaccine)
- TdaP immunization (vaccine)
- Varicella (chickenpox) immunization (vaccine)