When you become a parent, it seems like there are a million new things that need to be done. The baby needs to eat, be changed, get enough sleep, have some tummy time, get adequate amounts of vitamin D ... the list goes on and on.
One thing parents can do that can help them through this period is to make sure they are on schedule for their child’s health checkups. Yes, it is really important to have regular health checkups for your baby!
Newborn checkups are imperative for the baby’s health. They help ensure that your child is growing and developing appropriately, mentally and physically. These checkups can also catch any issues early on which can mean a better opportunity for early intervention and treatment of the problem.
But the most important thing a new baby’s health checkup can give the parents is piece of mind.
During a health checkup for a baby (and subsequently during all well child visits) parents have the chance to ask their doctor for advice on anything and everything having to do with the baby.
In the first few months, it helps to have questions written down ahead of time, because lack of sleep and a crying baby can easily distract you from remembering those burning questions you wanted to ask.
Typically during the first year, your baby will have seven well child health checkups.
- 3-5 days old
- 1 month old
- 2 months old
- 4 months old
- 6 months old
- 9 months old
- 12 months old
Individual doctors might do things a bit differently so be sure to ask the pediatrician you’re working with about their well child visit schedule.
When there are problems, children may have to be brought in to the doctor’s office outside of these well child health checkups too, so parents tend to see a lot of their family’s pediatrician the first year after having a baby.
During the health checkup, doctors will record the height, weight, and head circumference of the child. These measurements are plotted on a graph and let parents see how their child compares to other children at the same age.