Your New Baby's Well-Child Check-Up Schedule (and What to Expect)
Well-baby visits are a staple of every new parent’s life. From the day they are born throughout their first year, your baby will have several wellness visits to ensure that they are healthy, happy, and reaching developmental milestones.
Well-baby visits are vital for immunizations, healthcare, and support from your pediatrician. At Juno Pediatrics, we love establishing relationships with parents that last throughout their baby’s childhood. From newborn through adulthood, Juno is there for every step along the way.
In this guide, we will explore new-baby visits in-depth, including what to expect, when to schedule them, and how to give your little one the best care possible.
What Are Well-Baby Visits?
Also known as well-child check-ups, these appointments are pivotal points in their development and healthcare. From the day your baby is born, doctor’s visits will become a regular part of your life. A baby’s first year is filled with trips to the pediatrician where parents can ask questions, get advice and address any concerns they may have.
In addition to spotting any issues or developmental warning signs, parents can seek out advice on common concerns, such as how to soothe teething, when to expect their baby to start walking, weaning, and breastfeeding.
Bear in mind that well-child visits are different from additional doctor’s appointments you may need. For example, if your baby falls ill, is injured or you are concerned about something, you can schedule additional evaluations outside of their well-visit schedule.
Well-Baby Visit Schedule
Each baby receives a well-baby check-up at 2-5 days,1 month, 2 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months from their birth date. You can, of course, also schedule additional appointments to address any concerns with your pediatrician.
Remember that well-visits aren’t just for your baby — they are meant to help you, too! There are many parenting milestones you will reach your baby’s first year. From feeding to sleeping, walking to teething, the team at Juno Pediatrics is here to help you nurture your little one every step of the way.
The First Check-Up: 2-5 Days
If your baby is born in a hospital, then it will undergo its first exam shortly after being born. The doctor will examine your child and ensure that they are a healthy weight and well-developed. They should be seen for their first well-child check at the pediatrician 2-3 days after their discharge from the hospital
The first visit is also important to establish a baby’s feeding habits. All babies lose weight after birth, and it is critical to make sure that the baby is within a healthy range of weight loss and maintains adequate hydration while they learn to eat. Sometimes, a newborn needs assistance with latching onto the breast or learning to take a bottle, which the doctor can address and assist with.
Some babies become jaundiced, a condition caused by too much bilirubin in the bloodstream. This is a yellow substance produced by red blood cells as they break down and accumulate in the baby’s skin. This will be closely monitored with physical exams and bloodwork if necessary. If your baby had feeding issues or jaundice at birth, you may have daily visits from birth until their condition improves.
If you have a home birth, then your baby should visit the doctor one to two days after entering the world. This is important because an infant needs vital exams within the first 48 hours of life. Certain tests that were not done at your home birth will be done at this visit, including taking a sample of the baby’s blood for a Newborn Screen. This metabolic screening during this early check-up ensures that your newborn’s body systems are all functioning as they should.
Depending on how your baby is growing and feeding, you will have a weight check between your first and second well-child visits. At this exam, your pediatrician will take your baby’s measurements and start to build their health record. They will address subjects like regular feedings, sleep schedules, and skills like diaper changing and swaddling.
This visit is the perfect time to establish a connection with your baby’s doctor. They are here for you, so don’t hesitate to ask all your questions, share any concerns and be honest about how you’re feeling.
Many new parents struggle in the early days, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed, your pediatrician can help.
The Second Visit: 1 Month
Your baby will grow rapidly throughout its first four weeks of life. You don’t have to schedule this well-visit on the exact 1-month date but aim to make it during the milestone week.
From birth, babies will typically gain 1 ounce every day for the first 30 days. By the time they reach 1-month old, most will have gone through two small but rapid growth periods and gained at least 2 additional pounds.
During their 1-month well-visit, the doctor will begin by checking your baby’s vital signs and taking their measurements. Then, the doctor will check in with you and how you’re feeling. They can offer tips and suggestions on how to nurture your baby’s development through play, tummy time and reading.
Through feeding, playing, cuddling, and rest, your baby will develop according to their own body. If they have a condition that will affect their health and development, the pediatrician will discuss this in detail and give you advice on what to look for.
The Third Check-Up: 2 Months
At the 8-week mark, your baby will be far more alert than when they were born. The average 2-month old is more visually engaged and able to look at an object for several seconds as well as watch you when you move.
At the beginning of this and every visit, your baby’s vital signs measurements will be taken and documented. Your pediatrician will review how they are eating, voiding, stooling, and sleeping. In addition, your pediatrician will review their development and milestone and give you guidance on what to expect for the next two months before their next checkup
This visit is also the time to start immunization. At the 2-month well-visit, your infant will obtain 4 vaccines and be protected against 8 serious bacterial and viral diseases.
The following vaccines are administered at the 2-month visit, and comprises the first set of their primary series:
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
Be sure to voice any concerns or questions you have about vaccines and immunization with your pediatrician. Many parents who never second-guessed immunization can become anxious after they have a baby. They will discuss everything you need to know, listen to how you feel and answer your questions.
At Juno Pediatrics, we are committed to providing the highest level of care and protection, and toward that goal, we ensure that all of our patients are vaccinated on schedule and on time. You can find more on our approach to pediatric vaccines on our website. Your pediatrician will be there to answer any and all questions along the way.
The Fourth Check-Up: 4 Months
Four-month-olds are smiling, cooing babies, reaching for toys and your hair, looking around, and holding their heads up with more stability.
The care assistant will take your baby’s vitals and measurements, as usual, review how the child is doing, answer your questions, and let you know what to expect in the coming two months. Additionally, at this visit, we will start discussing introducing solid foods to your baby, a fun new adventure!
Your infant will also receive his second set of vaccines, the exact same one they received at the 2-month visit. This is the second of three of their primary series vaccines.
The Fifth Check-Up: 6 Months
The half-year mark is a major milestone in a baby’s life. Their personality will have emerged and begun to shine through as they engage more with you, their family, and the world around them. By this age, they may begin to sit on their own, enjoy looking at their reflection in mirrors and show emotional responses to others.
Your pediatrician will take your baby’s vitals and measurements as usual, then discuss some of the 6-month-old milestones to expect. If you are worried about your baby’s development, the doctor will listen intently and offer reassurance and guidance.
If your baby is not mobile, does not sit up or hold things, does not laugh or smile, or does not respond to its caretakers, then make sure you bring these issues up with your doctor.
The final 4 vaccines of the primary series will be administered at this visit by the pediatrician. During flu season, your baby is eligible to receive its first influenza vaccine. This is administered to children in 2 doses roughly 1 month apart.
The Sixth Check-Up: 9 Months
A 9-month-old is curious, adventurous, and always interested in the world around them. They will be eating solid foods 2-3x a day in addition to breast milk and formula and are starting to express their independence. At this stage, most babies are very vocal and have some ability to move.
They will have a range of emotional expressions from deep frowns to big, happy smiles. They can also express anger and frustration more clearly, so it will be easier to differentiate their cries and understand their feelings.
Your pediatrician will ensure the baby’s growth is on par with their sex and age. Then, they will begin to discuss their oral hygiene, as your baby may have a tooth erupted. . If you are concerned about any developmental delays, they can be addressed during this time.
Lack of emotional response, limited eye contact, infrequent mobility, and poor motor skills can indicate an issue that the doctor should know about. They can address these concerns and, if need be, refer you and your baby to a specialist.
Bear in mind that every baby is unique, and some children reach milestones later without having any major conditions.
The Seventh Check-Up: 1 Year
As you celebrate your child’s first year of life, your pediatrician will offer advice on how to nurture them through late infancy into early toddlerhood. Over the next year, they will experience many changes to their cognitive, mental, and emotional development.
Your baby’s personality will emerge even more from this point forward, especially as they become more mobile, taking first steps, and communicative, saying first words and phrases.
The 1-year mark is also time for babies to receive the following vaccines:
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
Their final boosters of DTaP and Hib vaccines will be given at their 15-month check-up, and their final Hepatitis A vaccine and PCV vaccine will be completed at the 18-month visit.
Your Baby’s Health Journey Starts Here
At Juno, we provide comprehensive healthcare for the entire family. Our medical team includes board-certified pediatricians who take the time to listen to your experiences, hear your concerns, and ensure your baby gets the highest quality care. If you are looking for a long-term practice to nurture your baby, schedule an appointment with Juno Pediatrics today.