Ongoing health care for normal babies. The goal is to detect potential problems early and to give advice on prevention of accidents and illness. Your child's first well-baby exam will take place about 1 to 2 weeks after delivery. Additional visits and exams should also occur at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. During the first exam, the doctor or nurse practitioner will ask about the baby's sleeping and eating; measure the weight, length, and head circumference; check vision and hearing; and perform a general physical exam. The doctor will check the heart with a stethoscope, abdomen, hips, arms, feet, spine, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat, thyroid and lymph glands, soft spots on the baby's head, breathing and lung function, skin, genitalia, reflexes, and behavior. Immunizations are usually given at many of these routine visits.
Later visits may also include immunizations, discussions of normal childcare issues, and a brief physical exam. This is your chance to ask questions about your child's health and development. If you have concerns, they should be mentioned at this time. It is a good idea to take notes and ask questions so you can share what you learn with other family members.