Well visits are a normal part of a child's life, and parents are responsible for taking their children to the pediatrician for these important visits. Well visits are designed for multiple purposes, but there are three main things that will take place during these visits.
Within the first couple years of life, a child will need many vaccinations. Vaccinations are required by law, and they are good for kids, because they protect them from many different types of illnesses and diseases. While some people are against allowing their children to get these, research shows they offer many more benefits than risks.
Your child's pediatrician will tell you when to return with your child for his or her next well visit, and you should make sure you attend all the suggested well visits recommended by your doctor. While vaccinations will not be necessary at every well visit, they will be necessary at most of the well visits your child has during the first 18 months of life.
Growth and Development
A second reason to take your child for well visits is to monitor his or her growth and development. There are multiple ways doctors do this during well visits, and here are some of the ways:
- Measurements – You can expect the clinic to weigh your child and measure his or her length and head size at each appointment during the first couple years. The doctor will track this information and print out charts for you to see. This will help ensure that your child is growing at the right pace.
- Milestones – The doctor will also ask you a series of milestone questions at each visit. These questions are designed to make sure your baby is developing physically and mentally at the right pace. For example, at a six-month appointment, the doctor might ask if your child can sit up and crawl. While all kids develop differently, most kids will develop at approximately the same pace.
These are the main two ways pediatricians monitor the growth and development of a child. If a child is not developing or growing properly, the doctor might keep a close eye on him or her and might even recommend some form of therapy.
The other important purpose of well visits is for parents to have a time to ask questions while face-to-face with the child's doctor. If possible, try to see the same doctor each time. By doing this, your child's doctor might get to know your child more so, and this may make it easier if a problem ever develops.
Before you go for well visits, keep track of questions you may have, and bring the list with you. For example, if your child uses a pacifier, you might want to talk to your doctor about ways to stop using it. You might also want to find out when you should wean your child off the pacifier.
You should ask all the questions you have when you visit the doctor, and always remember that there is no such thing as a dumb question. If you are a parent for the first time, you will probably have a lot of questions to ask, and your doctor expects this. He or she will be happy to spend time talking with you about your questions and concerns, and the doctor will be able to offer a lot of good advice and tips for you.
Well visits are a vital part of every child's life, and you should make sure you do not skip any of them. To learn more about well visits, contact a pediatrician today.