The physicians at Welcome Pediatrics recommend the following guidelines as to when your child should see a pediatrician. For more information on this subject, please visit the following link to Wonder Time Magazine.
Each child and family is unique; therefore, these Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care are designed for the care of children who are receiving competent parenting, have no manifestations of any important health problems, and are growing and developing in satisfactory fashion. Additional visits may become necessary if circumstances suggest variations from normal.
Developmental, psychosocial, and chronic disease issues for children and adolescents may require frequent counseling and treatment visits separate from preventive care visits.
These guidelines represent a consensus by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Bright Futures. The AAP continues to emphasize the great importance of continuity of care in comprehensive health supervision and the need to avoid fragmentation of care .
Hover on the provided to the right for the complete visitation guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics above.
1 to 3 months
Most healthy babies at this age simply need attention in feeding, changing, and frequent cuddling and caressing in order to thrive. That’s not to say, however, that routine pediatrician visits aren’t required to maintain your baby’s health.
Regular well-baby visits are (and will continue to be) essential for getting immunizations and monitoring your child’s growth and development, as well as allowing you to discuss any questions or concerns you might have.
Parents who are following the recommended immunization schedule should get their babies a set of shots at the 2 month well-baby check-up visit. Although the schedule of shots does change from time to time, all health care providers are required by law to provide you with up-to-date information sheets about each shot your child is scheduled to receive before giving them.
3 to 9 months
The current recommendation is for babies to go for well check-ups at 4, 6, and 9 months of age. Not only will your baby’s doctor be able to check your baby’s growth and development, ask about his eating and sleeping habits, and answer questions you might have, but you should expect to be given information sheets about the immunizations that your baby is due to get at each of these visits.
While it is standard for just about all infants to get shots at the 6-month visit, there is enough variation in vaccine recommendations that your baby may or may not get any shots at 9 months.
She may be tested for anemia at 9 months.
If you have questions about how your baby is doing, don’t hesitate to ask your pediatrician during these visits. Unless your child has a specific need for earlier follow-up, most babies won’t be scheduled for another doctor visit until they celebrate their first birthdays.
9 to 12 months
Babies generally go for well check-ups at both 9 months and a year.
If your baby is on schedule with his shots, he shouldn’t need any at the 9-month visit. You should be sure to schedule his one-year check-up no sooner than his actual birthday, since some of the 1-year-old shots must be given after a child turns 1.
If your child wasn’t tested for anemia at his 9-month visit, he is likely to be at a year.
Unless your child has a specific need for sooner follow-up, his next visit will most likely be at 15 months of age.
12 to 18 months
Toddlers generally go for well-child check-ups every three months at this age (in other words, at 12, 15, and 18 months).
If your child has received all her immunizations as recommended, then the 18-month visit will mark the last check-up at which she’ll need shots for a couple of years; the next shots, commonly referred to as kindergarten shots, will be given at 4 to 6 years of age.
Unless your child has a specific need for a sooner follow-up, her next visit will be when she turns 2 years old.
Pediatricians generally schedule well-child check-ups once a year around the second and third birthdays. During these visits, pediatricians commonly weigh and measure, as well as check for age-appropriate developmental milestones — use of sentences, the ability to climb stairs, and the early interest in scribbling, for example.
Preschoolers should continue to see the pediatrician annually, even though no immunizations are typically given until 4 to 6 years (unless your child is behind on her shots). During the three-year check-up, the doctor will weigh and measure your child, perform a physical examination, and most likely check blood pressure, hearing, and vision.
Once children reach preschool age, they should continue to see a pediatrician annually, even though no immunizations are typically required until the start of kindergarten.
The next set of recommended shots can, however, be given anywhere between 4 and 6 years. Some parents and children opt to get them done at the four-year visit, either because the child will be going to kindergarten before his next check-up or simply to get them over with.
During the visit, the doctor will certainly weigh and measure your child and perform a physical examination. A check of blood pressure, hearing, and vision is also fairly routine at 4 years.
5 to 6 years
Five and 6-year-old check-ups are recommended for all children, not just for entry into kindergarten, but also so that your doctor can find out about your child’s physical, social, and learning accomplishments over the past year.
At a typical well-child visit, the pediatrician will do a physical exam and record height and weight measurements, as well as check urine, blood, and blood pressure.