Ivy Children's Clinic

Child Growth & Development

Well Child Checks

Well Child Checks – Birth to 2 Years

Your infant should be examined by a health care provider regularly because growth and development occur so quickly in the first 2 years of life.

Your child's first exam will occur shortly after birth. Your pediatric health care 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 this:

  • 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 health care 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.

Well-child visits are key times for communication. Ideally, both parents should attend these early visits to the health care 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.

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 health care provider keeps with the child's medical record. This can be a great start for a discussion about your child's health.

In addition to taking part in these scheduled well-child visits, call and visit a health care provider any time your infant seems ill or if you are worried about his or her health or development.

Importance of Immunizations

Immunization, also called vaccination or shots, is an important way to protect an infant's health. Vaccinations can prevent more than a dozen serious diseases. Failure to vaccinate may mean putting children at risk for serious and sometimes fatal diseases.1

Infants are particularly vulnerable to infections; that is why it is so important to protect them with immunization. Immunizations help prevent the spread of disease and protect infants and toddlers against dangerous complications. 

Reference: National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development