(MedlinePlus-NIH) Childhood is a time of rapid growth and change. Your child will have more pediatric well-child visits when they are younger and developing the fastest.
Each visit includes a complete physical examination. At this exam, the health care provider will check the infant or child’s growth and development in order to find or prevent problems.
The health care provider will record your child’s height, weight, and other important information. Hearing, vision, and other screening tests will be part of some visits.
Even if your child is healthy, well-child visits are important because it is good time to focus on your child’s wellness. This means talking about what is being done well and how it can be improved. Preventive care is important to keep children healthy.
Special attention is paid to whether the child is meeting normal developmental milestones. The height, weight, and head circumference are recorded on a growth chart, which the health care provider keeps with the child’s medical record. This can be a great start for a discussion about your child’s health.
Ask your doctor about the body mass index (BMI) curve, which is the most important tool for identifying and preventing obesity.
Your provider will also talk about other wellness topics such as family relationship issues, school, and access to community services.
There are several schedules for routine well-child visits. One schedule, recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is given below.
A visit with a health care provider 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.
After that, it is recommended that visits occur at the following ages (your provider may have you add or skip visits depending on your child’s health or your parenting experience):
In addition to these visits, call and visit a health care provider any time your baby or child seems ill or whenever you are worried about your baby’s health or development.
Choosing Your Pediatrician – BabyCenter.com
Pediatrician Downloadable Questionnaire – BabyCenter.com
10 Tips For Your Pediatric Visit – CNN
Printable Questionnaire For Your Pediatric Visit
What are your hours,
Do you have night/weekend hours?
If I need to reach a nurse or doctor after hours,
Will someone answer the phone right away or will I leave a message,
If it’s a message, how long will it be before someone calls back?
When you meet with the doctor, go with a gut feeling. Do you feel comfortable with him/her?
How do they feel about antibiotics with common infections (example: ear infections)?
Is the practice large? How experienced are they? Are the doctors, nurses, and physicians assistants young? Do they have their own children?
Do you have same day sick appointments? How quickly do they fill?
How soon after the birth will they see the child?
How long have they been practicing? Are they adding any other doctors to the practice?
Also, you may decide to go with a family doctor (someone who cares for all ages). Some people really like this option because the doctor can care for all family members (baby, mom, dad, siblings, etc.)