If your are currently expecting or have a newborn baby, during the first two to three years of your child’s life several well baby check ups every few months. Well check-ups are very important and they should not be skipped. The reason that your child’s pediatrician or doctor schedules well check helps prevent as many illnesses as possible and they monitor your child’s growth and development. Well child visits are considered preventative medicine and the check ups can catch potential developmental issues, monitor special needs, and to make sure that your child remains as healthy as possible.
A few weeks ago, I took my youngest son for his three year old check up. It seems like just a few weeks ago that he was a tiny baby. Time has flown by so quickly. While I was at the doctors office, I came up with some tips to help parents get the most out of their child’s well-baby or well-child check up.
Disclosure: The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them. I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.
Well-Child Visit Schedule
As you can see from the schedule below, you will notice that your child will see the doctor frequently during the first three years of their life. Remember that this schedule is not set in stone, your child’s doctor may want to see your child more frequently for well child visits especially if they have special needs or health concerns. Here is a well baby exam chart that is provided by Medline Plus:
- 2-4 days after leaving the hospital
- By 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 1 year
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
- 2 1/2 years
- 3 years
- 4 years
- 5 years
- 6 years
- 8 years
- 10 years
- Each year after that until age 21
Most insurance companies are now required to pay for well baby exams and preventative care under Obamacare and you shouldn’t be required to pay anything out of pocket for these expenses. Be sure to check your policy and plan for more information about preventative care costs.
Comprehensive Health Exam
Your child’s doctor will perform an through health exam at each well-baby or well-child visit. At each visit they will record your child’s height and weight, then they will be placed in their growth chart. The growth chart simply represents the average rate at which a child usually grows and it is represented by a percentage. Your child will fall into one of these percentages: 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 90%, and 95%. Just remember that each child grows differently and this is just a scale that doctors use to determine if your baby is growing consistently even if they are in the upper or lower percentages. Doctors generally start worrying when your child has crossed at least two growth lines either excessively or insufficiently. At that point, your doctor will determine a course of action depending on your child’s specific needs.
Your doctor will conduct a through exam from head to toe to make sure that your baby is healthy.