Caring for a baby means creating routines. Feeding, diapering, sleeping and bathing fill the days and nights of new parents. With so many daily caregiving tasks, it’s important not to overlook establishing one important routine – finding a healthcare provider for your baby and bringing your little one for regular check-ups.
Taking your child in for regular medical check-ups, even if they’re not sick, is important for their healthy development. Also called well-child visits, check-ups and recommended immunizations can prevent many childhood health problems. They’re also your chance to ask questions and understand how your child is developing.
Whether you go to a doctor’s office or a community health clinic, try to go to the same healthcare provider each time. It helps them get to know your child and their medical history, and your child will feel more comfortable in a familiar place.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers information to help parents learn the recommended schedule for well-child visits and what to expect at each visit. It also provides pre-visit questionnaires that you can print and fill out before each visit. Each is based on the age of your child and has questions about developmental milestones, nutrition and other important things you’ll want to share with your healthcare provider.
Keeping to the recommended schedule of well-child visits can help you make sure that your child gets the attention and immunizations needed for their healthy development, so do your best to make every check-up a priority.
Joe Fu is senior director of children’s health at First Things First. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org .