A soon as your little one enters the world, his growth and development are your utmost concern. Each month, new changes take place in his body. Well-baby checkups are important in helping you keep track of your child’s development. Through these checkups, you and your child’s pediatrician become partners in making sure your baby grows healthy.
Florianne Feliza Valdes, M.D., ambulatory pediatrician from The Medical City in Pasig, explains what well-baby checkups are all about. “These are what we call health supervision visits. Parents should bring their children to the doctor for regular health supervisions visits—even if they are not sick.”
When parents bring their newborn to the pediatrician for the first time, the doctor usually sets a schedule for the child to be brought back again. A well-baby checkup usually begins immediately after birth. About a week or two later, another well-baby checkup is scheduled. “Then monthly thereafter until the first year of life,” says Dr. Valdes, “Usually at the same time as the immunization schedule.” As your child turns a year old, well-baby checkups are scheduled every three months until his second birthday. Other pedia visits must be scheduled at least once or twice a year, at any time between ages four to six years old, 11 to 12 years old, and 14 to 16 years old. Dr. Valdes suggests scheduling these checkups in time with the child’s birthday or his annual scheduled flu vaccine shot.
Mark Reysio-Cruz, M.D., a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City, says, “The reason for these early consults is to make sure your child is growing and developing properly and [that he] has no serious problems.” The well-baby checkup is an essential part of ensuring your child receives the best care possible. It is important that you take each and every doctor’s visit seriously, and use this time wisely. “These are opportunities for the parents to ask their pediatrician medical concerns and general child care issues,” adds Dr. Reysio-Cruz. Consider the well-baby checkup as a time for you and your child’s doctor to come up with a plan on how best to care for your child.