Make the Most of Your Baby’s Visit to the Doctor (Ages 0 to 11 Months)

The Basics
Babies need to go to the doctor or nurse for a “well-baby visit” 6 times during their first year.

Take Action!
Make a list of any important changes in your baby’s life since the last doctor’s visit.

Start Today: Small Steps

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The Basics

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Babies need to go to the doctor or nurse for a “well-baby visit” 6 times during their first year.

A well-baby visit is when you take your baby to the doctor for a full checkup to make sure he is healthy and developing normally. This is different from other visits for sickness or injury.

At a well-baby visit, the doctor or nurse can help catch any problems early, when they may be easier to treat. You will also have a chance to ask any questions you have about caring for your baby.

To make the most of your baby’s visit:

What about cost?

Under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010, insurance plans must cover well-baby visits. Depending on your insurance plan, your baby may be able to get well-baby checkups at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to learn more.

How often do I need to take my baby for well-baby visits?

Babies need to see the doctor or nurse 6 times during their first year. Your baby is growing and changing quickly, so regular visits are important.

The first well-baby visit is 2 to 3 days after coming home from the hospital, when the baby is about 2 to 5 days old. After that first visit, babies need to see the doctor or nurse when they are:

If you are worried about your baby’s health, don’t wait until the next scheduled visit – call the doctor or nurse right away.

How do I know if my baby is growing and developing on schedule?

Your baby’s doctor or nurse can help you identify “developmental milestones,” the new skills that children usually develop by a certain age. These include physical, mental, language, and social skills.

Each baby grows and develops differently. For example, some babies will crawl earlier than others.

At each visit, the doctor or nurse will look for some basic developmental milestones to see if your baby is developing on schedule. This is an important part of the well-baby visit. 

By age 1 month, most babies:

By age 2 months, most babies:

See a complete list of developmental milestones for kids age 2 months

By age 4 months, most babies:

See a complete list of developmental milestones for kids age 4 months.

By age 6 months, most babies:

See a complete list of developmental milestones for kids age 6 months

By age 9 months, most babies:

See a complete list of developmental milestones for kids age 9 months

What if I'm worried about my baby's development? 

Remember, each baby develops a little differently. But if you are concerned about your child’s growth and development, talk to your baby’s doctor or nurse. 

Learn more about newborn and infant development.


Take Action!

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Take these steps to help you and your baby get the most out of well-baby visits.

Gather important information.

Take any medical records you have to the appointment, including a record of shots your baby has received and results from newborn screenings.

Make a list of any important changes in your baby’s life since the last doctor’s visit, like:

Use this tool to  keep track of your baby’s family health history.

Make a list of questions to ask the doctor.

Before the well-baby visit, write down 3 to 5 questions you have. Each well-baby visit is a great time to ask the doctor or nurse any questions about:

Here are some questions you may want to ask:

Take a notepad and write down the answers so you can remember them later.

Ask what to do if your baby gets sick.

Make sure you know how to get in touch with a doctor or nurse when the office is closed. Ask how to reach the doctor on call, or if there's a nurse information service you can call at night or on the weekend.

Know what to expect.

During each well-baby visit, the doctor or nurse will ask you about your baby and do a physical exam. The doctor or nurse will then update your baby’s medical history with all of this information.

The doctor or nurse will ask questions about your baby.

The doctor or nurse may ask about:

Your answers to questions like these will help the doctor or nurse make sure your baby is healthy and developing normally.

The doctor or nurse will also check your baby’s body.

To check your baby’s body, the doctor or nurse will:

Read more about what to expect at your baby’s well-baby visit. External Links Disclaimer Logo 

See what else the doctor may ask when your baby is:


Start Today: Small Steps

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