Well Baby Visits are routine medical checkups for children from birth to two years old. These checkups serve to follow your child's development, identify any medical problems he or she may have, and are the venue for administering childhood vaccines. What can you expect from these visits with your baby's pediatrician?
What happens at a Well Baby Visit?
During your regular doctor's appointments, a few different things generally happen. Your baby's growth will be charted, and a general, top-to-bottom physical examination is carried out. Immunizations will be a regular part of many of these visits, and blood tests (most notably for anemia) can be recommended occasionally. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you have about your baby's health or baby care, and there may be a discussion about infant nutrition and breastfeeding.
When do Well Baby Visits take place?
During the first six months of your baby's life, these visits are scheduled to be most frequent every two months. After that, the schedule may be designed around the vaccination schedule. Of course, you will be able to plan this together with your baby's pediatrician.
Are Well Baby Visits compulsory?
No, but they are a useful way to practice preventative medicine in the early years. We should probably all have regular doctor's visits, but at least our babies can have the benefit of regular visits that can identify problems early. If you are not happy with your baby's doctor for any reason, you will obviously be more than entitled to change doctors. You can also take copies of your baby's medical records after every visit, something that can be handy to have available if you need to go to the ER or to easily change doctors. And of course, you can call the doctor between regularly scheduled Well Baby checks if your baby has a fever or other medical problem.