Baby & Child Mental Health
As kids get older they need fewer checkups. But it is still important to schedule well-child appointments regularly. Regular checkups and vaccines can prevent many childhood health problems.
9 months is when your baby is due for their general developmental screening, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask your baby’s doctor about your baby’s developmental screening.
18 months is when your baby is due for their general developmental screening and an autism screening, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask your baby’s doctor about your baby’s developmental screening.
2 years is when your child is due for an autism screening, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask your child's doctor about your child's developmental screening.
30 months is when your child is due for general development screening, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask your child's doctor about your child's developmental screening.
Your child’s doctor will check soft spots and measure your child’s head size. It is normal for your child to have flat open soft spots on the front and back of their head. These soft spots typically close by 18 months.
The doctor will look into both ears for signs of infection. It is common for babies to get ear infections.
The doctor will look into your child’s eyes with a bright object or flashlight to track your baby’s eye movement.
The doctor will check teething progress and signs of infection. If your baby’s first teeth have come in, the doctor may recommend you see a dentist.
Your child’s doctor will place a stethoscope on the front and back of your child’s chest to check for any signs of asthma and abnormal heart sounds.
The doctor will check to make sure all internal organs feel normal by gently placing a hand on your child’s abdomen and pressing down.
The doctor will check if your child’s hips and legs are normal by moving their legs up and down in a gentle circular motion.
At each checkup, the doctor will measure your child’s weight and height and compare it to a chart that shows the average for children of the same age and biological sex.
You will soon know your baby’s regular eating, sleeping, and bowel habits and levels of activity and fussiness. If your baby is acting or looking different, it may be time to schedule a doctor’s visit.
The book What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick, found in the New Parent Kit, can also help you decide if you should take your child to see a doctor.
Regular checkups are very important for children with ongoing illnesses like asthma and diabetes. If your child is diagnosed with an ongoing illness, ask your child’s doctor for the right treatments for your child to stay as healthy as possible.
Teeth decay can occur as soon as your child’s first tooth comes in. Frequent and prolonged exposure to liquids that contain sugar such as fruit juice, milk, or formula can damage your child’s teeth. This is sometimes called baby bottle tooth decay or nursing mouth syndrome.
To prevent nursing tooth decay, do not put your baby to bed with a bottle. Instead, make sure your child finishes their naptime or bedtime bottle before going to bed.