The first year of your baby’s life is a time of rapid advancements in development. Well baby visits provide opportunities to learn about your baby’s changing needs, check that he is growing well, discuss concerns and receive parenting advice.
What are well baby visits?
Well baby visits are when a newborn, infant, toddler, or young child has a routine check-up at a doctor's office or child health clinic. The goal of well baby visits is to promote the health of children and provide preventative health care; both of which support a positive future for children.
In the US well baby visits are provided by pediatricians. In other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK and Sweden, the majority of well baby visits are provided by nurses who have undergone extensive training to provide this specialized service.
What happens at well baby visits
Your child's doctor or nurse practitioner will ask to see your child at regular intervals in order to...
- monitor your baby's growth and development;
- promote your baby's health by providing you with information on healthy growth, normal development, diet, general care and immunizations;
- detect any problems early so that treatment can be commenced and complications prevented;
- assess your baby's hearing and vision;
- provide routine immunizations to protect your baby against specific childhood illnesses;
- enable opportunities for you to ask questions relating to parenting problems or concerns; and
- provide an opportunity to discuss how you are feeling or problems you may be experiencing postpartum.
When should I take my baby to well baby visits?
Many countries provide guidelines for new parents on the recommended ages for well baby visits (these can vary from country to country). Most will recommend a visit at...
- 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
- 3 years
Of course, visits and telephone calls to your baby's doctor or nurse practitioner can be made anytime you are concerned about your baby's health, or at times you feel that you need professional information or advice regarding any parenting problems related to the care of your baby or child.
Written by Rowena Bennett