Preventive Health Care Visits
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child visit his or her pediatrician or nurse practitioner for regularly scheduled checkups. These checkups, usually called "well baby" or "well child" visits, give the pediatrician a chance to observe and assess your child's health and development. (See sidebar for more information.)
At Northeast Cincinnati Pediatric Associates, we recommend the following schedule:
Before your baby arrives
A visit to tour the pediatrician's office 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. Please call our office to schedule your new parent visit.
After your child is born
For healthy, full term infants, their first visit to the pediatrician or nurse practitioner should be 2-3 days after arriving home (for breast-fed babies) or when they are 2-4 days old (for all babies discharged from a hospital before 2 days of life), unless otherwise directed by the hospital physician.
For preterm infants or those with diagnosed medical conditions in the hospital, please follow the instructions of the hospital pediatrician for when you should schedule your first visit with us.
After your baby's initial checkup, you should schedule well child visits according to this schedule:
- By 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 1 year
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
- Each year after that until age 21
To see which immunizations we administer at which checkup, please visit our Immunization Schedule page.
Of course, we encourage you to call us any time your baby or child seems ill or whenever you are concerned about your child’s health or development.
Why Do I Need Well Child Visits?
Childhood is a time of rapid growth and change. We schedule well child visits most frequently when your child is developing most rapidly.
Each visit includes a complete physical examination. This will assess your baby or young child's growth and development and help identify problems early. Height, weight, and other important information is recorded and considered. Hearing, vision, and other tests will be a part of some visits. Such preventive care is important for raising healthy children.
Well child visits are also key times for communication. Our doctors or nurse practitioners will give you information about normal development, nutrition, sleep, safety, infectious diseases that are "going around," and other important information for your consideration.
For infants, we pay special attention to whether or not your baby has met normal developmental milestones. We record your child's height, weight and head circumference on a graph, which is kept with your child's chart.
Since well child visits are generally made when your child has no specific health issues, these visits are a great time for you to discuss your child's growth and development in general. You will find that you can make the most of these visits by writing down questions and concerns as you think of them before the visit and bring them with you.
Adapted from The National Library of Medicine's Medical Encyclopedia