The Doctor Visit Schedule for Your Infant’s Checkup
As a parent, you want to give your baby the best possible care. An important part of keeping your baby healthy is regular visits to the doctor. As you navigate a work-life balance, scheduling baby doctor visits ahead of time can help manage time and plan ahead. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about baby and infant checkup schedules.
What is the typical baby checkup schedule?
As a first-time parent, there are so many questions pertaining to your infant's health and well-being. Being a responsible parent, you’ll want to make sure that you keep up with important doctor visits according to the age of your newborn. Infant checkup schedules start at birth and continue from there. You’ll be back at the doctor’s office 3-5 days after delivery for a checkup and again for the following milestones at a minimum; 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 24 months.
What occurs during the 1-month checkup doctor visit?
Every month your tiny human will be growing and developing at a rapid pace. It’s important to make sure you and your physician schedule appointments for baby checkups to monitor development. For your 1-month baby check-up, your doctor should take measurements and perform a physical exam, developmental surveillance, and a behavioral assessment. Your baby may also get a Tuberculosis test. It’s important to make sure your baby is free and clear of anything that can harm them. With discussion, your physician can start to give your newborn vaccinations. The hepatitis B vaccine may occur during your baby’s first-month or second-month checkup.
What occurs during the 6-month checkup doctor visit?
It's been 6 months, and your tiny human is developing so fast! Their little personality is starting to shine through. As you watch them start to smile, giggle, roll around, and maybe even start sitting up and down on their own, you’ll fall more in love daily. You and your baby have reached a new milestone, your baby’s half birthday! During a 6-month checkup, your baby’s exam should include all the usual stuff, such as:
- Development assessment
- Second and third round of vaccinations
- Up to this point, your tiny human has begun the vaccination process to help protect them from unwanted diseases and should continue to receive these shots during their 6-month baby checkup. Vaccinations include:
- Rotavirus vaccine (RV)
- Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib)
- Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV)
- Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV)
Vaccinations may have side effects which your physician should go over so you know what to expect. Some side effects may interrupt much-needed sleep. If you hit any sleeping obstacles, try a weighted swaddle or blanket to calm and comfort your baby.
What occurs during the 9-month checkup doctor visit?
You’ve reached the 9-month milestone, and you’re exhausted from chasing a crawling baby all day. A 9-month-old is more mobile and adventurous as they discover new foods, facial expressions, and start to connect with the world around them more. To make sure your baby is developing accordingly, you and your physician should discuss your baby’s development. Through a series of questions your doctor can find out what they need to know about their growth and behavior. As a parent, record milestones so you can provide the most accurate information for your doctor. At your 9-month checkup your doctor may have you play with your bundle of joy to see how they behave and how they are able to move around. The physician wants to see if your baby is developing at a normal rate. The idea of this is to see if your baby should receive more testing for any possible developmental delays. If there are developmental delays, your baby may receive more of these screenings to see if they are at a higher risk for developmental problems because of preterm birth, low birth weight, or a sibling who is on the autism spectrum disorder.
What occurs during the 1-year checkup doctor visit?
Congratulations, your baby is celebrating its 1st birthday! Such a huge milestone! Your baby is now a toddler. They are learning to talk, listen to commands, and even walk. During your 1-year physician visit, your baby should undergo regular measurement taking, behavior tests, and a physical exam. In addition, the vaccination process will continue. Expect your baby to get their final dose of Hep B, Hib, their fourth dose of PCV, third dose of IPV, the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and one dose of Hep A. Your baby may also get a lead screening test, TB test, and an oral health examination.
What occurs during the 18-month checkup doctor visit?
At 18 months, it’s time for another milestone checkup. A routine physical and mental developmental exam should be performed. In addition, an Autism screening test should be done. At 18 months a toddler's reaction to certain things is more heavily examined. As a parent, the doctor will have plenty of questions for you as well. While we all hope our child is perfectly normal, it’s critical to bring up any concerns you may have. By 18 months, developmental delays should be easier to identify.
The sooner any problems are diagnosed, the better chance the child will have at possibly overcoming any challenges. At an 18-month checkup your toddler should also receive more vaccines including Hep B, DTaP, IPV, and Hep A, if they have not received them in prior baby checkups. Other tests your toddler may receive are hematocrit or hemoglobin test to check for anemia, a lead screening test, TB test, and possibly an oral health examination.
What occurs during the 2-year checkup doctor visit?
Happy 2nd birthday! This 2-year checkup is like most of the checkups that your baby has gone to. The usual developmental surveillance, psychosocial/behavioral assessment, autism screening, and measurements are to be expected. Your baby will still be receiving vaccines which include the quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4). This vaccine is in two doses and is given 8 weeks apart.
What baby checkup appointments are the most important?
All baby checkups are equally important. Your baby develops so fast that it’s important to monitor their health and developmental progress every step of the way. Staying on top of any health issues that may arise can help protect your baby’s health and well-being.
Are baby checkups mandatory?
Baby checkups are not mandatory nor required by law, but they are critical to your baby's health and development. Falling behind on your infant’s checkup schedule could lead to you and your physician missing certain health and/or developmental problems.
How should you prepare for baby checkups?
Preparing for checkups is an ongoing activity. In between the time you leave your last checkup and return for your next, track any developmental milestones or concerns. Having an accurate timeline and helping your doctor identify any issues can aid in proper development. Before heading to the doctor, dress your baby or toddler in clothes that are easy to take on and off. Bringing a diaper bag with the following items can also be helpful:
- Change of clothes
- Diapers, wipes, and burp cloths
- A blanket to cover the exam table
- A toy for distraction
- A pacifier or a bottle
- A List of questions and concerns for your physician
- A list of your skills thus far
- Record of sleep
- Diaper changes and feeding schedules
- And finally, make sure you have your insurance information.
Sleep is essential for proper development. From birth to toddlerhood, your baby may fight sleep, thus exhausting both of you. The secret to getting your baby to sleep faster and keeping them asleep longer is Dreamland.