Recommended Well Checks for Babies

By Prev Info - February 22, 2022

Well-checks for your baby are an important part of his development.

Well-checks are a regular part of your baby’s first two years of life. These visits offer a chance for you and your pediatrician to see how your little one is growing, get recommended vaccinations, check for developmental milestones and answer any questions you might have about development or behavior. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 10 well-visits during the first two years of your baby’s life, although this might vary slightly depending on your pediatrician.

Recommended Well Checks for Babies

0 to 6 Months

The first well-baby check happens when your newborn is just 3 to 5 days old. You'll also see your pediatrician at 1, 2, 4 and 6 months. Your baby’s height, weight and head circumference are checked at every well-baby visit for the first two years. These measurements help your pediatrician keep track of your baby’s growth. The doctor checks the soft spots of your baby’s head, his ears, eyes, mouth, skin, heart and lungs, abdomen, hips and legs, and genital area during well-baby checks.

At least one vaccine, if not more, is given at almost every visit during the first two years. Your doctor also wants to ensure that your baby is on track developmentally. Though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies receive only formula or breast milk until 6 months of age, your pediatrician may suggest that you offer your baby solid foods somewhere between 4 and 6 months.

9 Months

At 9 months, talk to your doctor about your baby’s eating and sleeping habits. The AAP recommends continuing breastfeeding or formula until 12 months of age with a combination of solid foods beginning at 6 months. At this age, your baby should still take at least two naps a day. Your pediatrician may suggest wiping your baby’s teeth with a washcloth or toothbrush twice a day with water or fluoride toothpaste once teeth emerge. Developmentally, your pediatrician checks your baby’s mobility, how well she is able to grasp small objects and her verbal communication.

12 Months

At your 12-month well-baby check, your pediatrician is likely to talk about transitioning your child to whole milk rather than formula or breast milk. Your little one might start using a cup and spoon at this point. Your doctor checks to make sure your baby is on track developmentally, including waving bye-bye, imitating sounds and words, and following simple directions.

15 Months

At 15 months, expect to talk about your baby’s eating and sleeping again. Five to six small meals a day and healthy snacks are not unusual at this age. Your baby probably sleeps 10 to 12 hours at night and one to three hours during the day. Developmentally, your pediatrician might ask if your little one partially feeds himself, says a few words, can stand alone and walk, can pick up a toy and roll a ball.

18 Months

At 18 months, in addition to inquiring about your baby’s eating and sleeping, your doctor may have you fill out an M-CHAT or Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers. The questionnaire is a series of yes-or-no questions to determine if your child has any early signs of autism. Developmentally, your pediatrician checks that your child’s vocabulary is growing, she can walk up stairs while you hold her hand and can point to some body parts.

24 Months

At 24 months, your pediatrician checks to make sure your baby is drinking enough milk, eating healthy foods and feeding himself. She may check that he can run, walk up and down stairs, kick a ball, stack blocks, help you dress himself and draw lines and circular shapes. You might talk about potty training your little one and discuss discipline and development through play.