Your baby’s first year will likely be accompanied by a flurry of doctor’s visits. New parents can expect at least six visits during their baby’s first year and several more visits during the second. After that, visits become less frequent as your child gets older.
Well-child visits are the heart and soul of pediatric practices. From day one, your pediatrician will focus on growth and development, along with administering essential vaccines to help keep your child healthy and thriving.
Keeping track of doctor’s visits and vaccination schedules can be challenging – especially for new parents. That’s why Loudoun Pediatric Associates has a fantastic resource on our website called the Well-Child Visits page. This page offers appointment guidelines for 21 different ages, with information on what to expect from appointments, recommended vaccines, and important forms. We encourage you to use our Well-Child Visits page as you navigate your baby’s first year and beyond!
Doctor Visits for Your Newborn
When you list Loudoun Pediatric Associates on hospital registration forms, one of our doctors will give your baby her first check-up in the hospital. We’ll check measurements for weight, height and head size and will continue to monitor these as your baby grows. We’ll also make sure that feeding is going well and connect mom with a lactation consultant if there are any nursing concerns. We’ll give your baby her first vaccine, which prevents infants from getting liver disease.
We’ll want to see your baby again in our office 3 to 5 days after birth. We’ll check height and weight and discuss car seat and sleep safety. We’ll also start the first of many checks to see how mom is feeling as we focus on identifying and treating possible postpartum depression.
At two weeks old, we’ll give you information on the importance of Vitamin D and give mom the Edinburgh screening form, which is also designed to catch postpartum depression.
Doctor Visits Up To Six Months Old
Plan to see your pediatrician four times between your baby’s first and sixth month. At your baby’s one month checkup, we’ll give her the second dose of the vaccine she took as a newborn. We’ll focus on feeding (breast or bottle), making sure that your baby is getting the nutrition she needs and is gaining weight appropriately.
We’ll continue to discuss sleeping safety, with a focus on avoiding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You can expect to receive several handouts on SIDS prevention during your baby’s first six months.
At two months old, we’ll begin a series of life-saving, combination vaccines, with boosters at four and six months. We offer combination vaccines so that kids don’t have to get a bunch of separate vaccines with each visit.
Doctor Visits for Your 6-Month-Old
Your baby’s six-month checkup comes at a critical time in her development. In addition to vaccine boosters, your doctor will give you a tuberculosis risk factor survey to make sure your baby isn’t exposed to tuberculosis, a bacterial disease that affects the lungs.
As your baby gets more mobile, your doctor may survey you about potential exposure to lead. This is especially important for families who live in older homes where lead paint may still be present.
Your doctor will go over teething concerns, introducing solid foods and using bottles and sippy cups in a way that won’t hurt your baby’s developing teeth. Your doctor will also discuss developmental milestones such as sitting up and crawling.
Doctor Visits for Your 9 to 12-Month-Old
These are some of the most exciting months you’ll experience as your baby becomes mobile and in some cases begins to talk!
We’ll discuss the many milestones that occur during this time and also go over home safety and baby proofing. We’ll reinforce car seat safety, with a reminder that car seats must stay rear-facing for at least the first year, even if your little one is over 20 pounds. Finally, as your baby’s teeth pop out, we’ll talk about preventing cavities by limiting sugar and correctly using sippy cups.
At your child’s 12-month checkup, we’ll introduce more important vaccines and vaccinate her for chicken pox (also called varicella), along with a pneumonia prevention booster.
Doctor Visits for Your Toddler
As most parents know, the toddler years are incredibly fun and can also be challenging as your baby’s personality begins to shine through.
We’ll talk with you about behavioral issues, along with tooth care and scheduling a dentist visit. We’ll check on milestones related to walking and talking, and at your child’s two-year well visit, we conduct an autism screening.
Doctor Visits for Your Young Child
Beginning at three years old, annual check-ups become the norm, as long as there are no chronic issues. Parents and little ones are also relieved to hear that shots become less frequent as the vaccine schedule tapers off. At four years old, we recommend a few more vaccinations, but after that, most children get a break from immunizations – except for their annual flu shot!
During preschool and elementary years, we turn our focus to the importance of nutrition and physical and mental development, all to help prepare your child for school.
Doctor Visits for Your Tween and Teen
The tween and teen years mean lots of developmental changes, and it’s important to have a good relationship with a trusted pediatrician as your child enters puberty. Your child will also receive a fresh round of new vaccines as she heads into middle school.
With all of our tween and teen patients, mental health and emotional wellness are essential. We encourage our patients to talk with us if they have social or emotional challenges. When your child is a teen, we will survey our patients with the PHQ-9 form – assessing your child’s emotional state with a focus on catching mental health concerns as your child enters adulthood, college, and the workforce.
Caring For Your Child Through All Stages
From infants to teens, Loudoun Pediatric Associates is here to ensure that your child has the best possible start in life. And regular check-ups are the best way we can make sure your child is thriving from birth through the high school. Explore our Well-Child Visit page, and call us today to learn more.