Childhood is a time of rapid growth and change. You will have pediatric well-child visits most often when your child is developing the fastest.
Each visit includes a complete physical examination. At this exam, the health care provider will check the growth and development of your child and assess their needs. The healthcare provider will exam your child’s height, weight, hearing, vision, in addition to other vital assessments. Preventive care is essential to keeping children healthy.
Well-child visits are key times for communication. You can expect to be given information about normal development, nutrition, sleep, safety, commonly-spread diseases, and any other important topics. You can make the most of these visits by writing down important questions and concerns prior to your child’s visits. Special attention is paid to whether the child is meeting normal developmental milestones. The height, weight, and head circumference are recorded on a growth chart, which the health care provider keeps with the child’s medical record. This can be a great start for a discussion about your child’s health. Ask your doctor about the body mass index (BMI) curve, which is the most important tool for identifying and preventing obesity. There are several schedules for routine well-child visits. One schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is given below.
A visit with a health care provider before the baby is born is important for first-time parents, those with high-risk pregnancies, and any other parent who wishes to discuss common issues such as feeding, circumcision, and general questions. After the baby is born, the next visit should be 2-3 days after bringing the baby home. Babies born at birthing centers are highly recommended to be seen by their pediatrician the next day. After that, visits should occur at the following ages:
In addition to these visits, call and visit a health care provider any time your baby or child seems ill or whenever you are worried about your baby’s health or development.