Your infant should be examined by a healthcare provider regularly because growth and development occur so quickly in the first 2 years after birth.
Your child's first exam will occur shortly after birth. Your pediatric healthcare provider will probably schedule a visit just a few days after the infant is brought home from the hospital. A typical schedule for infants, based on recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, might look like this1:
- By 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 1 year
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
Each visit includes a complete physical examination. The healthcare provider will check the infant's growth and development and will record your child's height, weight, and other important information. Tests for hearing, vision, and other functions will be part of some visits. Immunizations and preventive care are important to keep children healthy.1
Well-child visits are key times for communication. Ideally, both parents should attend these early visits to the healthcare provider. These appointments give you and your pediatrician a chance to get to know each other and exchange questions and answers. Expect to receive information about normal development, nutrition, sleep, safety, diseases that are going around, and other important topics. Sometimes it helps to write down questions and concerns before the visit.1,2
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 healthcare provider keeps with the child's medical record. This can be a great start for a discussion about your child's health.1
In addition to taking part in these scheduled well-child visits, call and visit a healthcare provider any time your infant seems ill or if you are worried about his or her health or development.