You know as an adult you need to see your doctor once a year. However, for babies the rules are different. How often does your newborn need to see the pediatrician anyway?
Dr. Amit Reenu Paliwal at Indus Healthcare in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, has all the answers you need. He provides regular well-child visits to pediatric patients, and helps you plan a schedule that works for you and your baby during their first few years of life.
Well-child visit basics
What’s a well-child visit? Basically, it’s a regular appointment with your child’s pediatrician to make sure your baby is hitting developmental milestones. There will be at least six of these visits during your child’s first year, starting at 2-4 weeks after birth.
At each visit, Dr. Paliwal performs a complete physical exam on your newborn. He looks at their eyes and ears, listens to their heart and breathing, and checks their reflexes. He also makes sure your newborn is on track with their shots according to a carefully spaced vaccination schedule designed to protect your baby against preventable diseases, and asks you some questions about what your child can do.
The questions help Dr. Paliwal determine if your child is developing properly. Every child is unique, so don’t panic if your newborn doesn’t do things exactly on the “development checklist” schedule below. It’s just a rough idea of when around 75% of babies start being able to manage certain things.
- 1 month: Moves head from side to side, may try to focus on faces
- 2 months: Holds head up when on tummy, watches things move back and forth
- 4 months: Makes ooh and aah noises, opens mouth when they see breast or bottle
- 6 months: Rolls from tummy to back, can sit up with support, laughs
- 9 months: Can switch things from hand to hand, shows a range of facial expressions
- 12 months: Stands or walks, can say and understand several words, waves “bye”
After the first six visits, your child will have two more visits at 15 months and 18 months, then switch to a biannual schedule until they’re three years old. After that, we’ll see your child every year unless something happens and they need an extra visit.
Does your newborn need to see the doctor now?
Other times you should call and schedule an appointment are if your newborn has a high fever, a bad cough, ongoing diarrhea, or apparent pain in their ear, if they refuse to eat, or any other time you feel something is wrong. We want your baby to be and stay healthy, and for you to have peace of mind.
If you want your newborn to see Dr. Paliwal, call the location closest to you, or schedule an appointment online today.