Know the importance of well-child visits

Well child visits are an important way for your pediatrician to monitor your child’s health and to assess his or her health needs. Your child’s doctor will check for the physical, emotional and developmental progress and status of your child as she grows.

Well-child visits are also a great time for parents to talk to their child’s doctor about any concerns or to find out if their child is on track developmentally. It is a good idea to come prepared for your visit with the pediatrician by writing down any questions or concerns that you may have before the visit. Parents can also prepare for appointments by being ready to answer questions about:

Sleep patterns– how much sleep does your child get at night? Does your child take naps regularly?

Eating habits– how many bottles or feedings does your infant complete in a day? What kinds of food are safe to start a teething child on? What kinds of snacks do you feed your toddler? Does your preschool or school age child eat a healthy breakfast in the morning?

Developmental Milestones– Does your 3 month old coo and babble? Does your 5 month old respond to the sound of his name? Does your 1 year old crawl or try to “cruse” along the furniture? Do you read to your child at night?

Health and disease prevention– Is your child up to date on scheduled vaccinations? Do you discuss hand washing procedures with your child? Does your big kid know how to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze?

Don’t forget, well-child visits are also a time for parents to discuss their parenting needs and to ask questions about their child’s growth and development. Your pediatrician may have some very important information to share with you, so don’t be afraid to ask! Some questions to ask your child’s doctor include:

Sports physical form release

Reading and age appropriate book recommendations

Developmental progress such as talking, crawling, walking and food readiness

Social service resources and local agencies