Parents and Kids

When Is My Child’s Next Well Visit and Why Are These Visits Important?

Routine check-ups for children play an important role in their overall health and safety. Discover why they are so crucial and when you should take your child in.

Jun. 15, 2023 5   min read

A Black pediatrician meets with a young Black girl

Summer is just about to get started. Swimming, warmth & sunshine, and making new memories are on everyone’s minds.

Before the new school year begins in September, Rochester Regional Health Pediatric and Family Medicine providers are encouraging families to schedule their well child visits.

Calendars fill up quickly – for families and doctor’s offices alike – so putting that appointment on the schedule early will lessen the stress on children, parents, and providers.

Steven Schulz, MD, is the Rochester Regional Health Primary Care Institute Pediatric Medical Director, and shares about the benefits of well visits for children, and how often to schedule well visits as they grow up.

Why well visits matter for children

As routine check-ups, child well visits play a crucial role in safeguarding the health and well-being of your child.

During a well visit, your child’s healthcare provider is able to assess their overall health and development through physical examinations, growth measurements, and developmental screenings. This helps to identify any potential concerns or issues at an early stage.

Immunizations protect children against potentially harmful diseases, and receiving them at the recommended age helps to keep your child safe – as well as those around them. Well child visits help to keep children on track for those vaccines.

Regular check-ups allow healthcare providers to monitor growth, identify developmental delays, and detect early signs of any underlying health conditions for a child. If a potential intervention can happen earlier for a child, the chances of better outcomes and interventions are higher for the child.

“Every child is different in so many ways,” Dr. Schulz said. “Being able to ask specific questions about your child’s physical, emotional, or social health and development is invaluable for the development and safety of your child.”

Recommended schedule for child visits

From the day a child is born until they become an adult, the number of times they have check-ups with healthcare providers each year varies. It can get confusing trying to remember how many appointments a child might have in a given year, especially with multiple children.

Birth-1 year

Babies usually visit their pediatrician six times before their first birthday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The first visit is about 3-5 days old to make sure they are progressing well. After that initial appointment, well visits are scheduled for the following ages:

  • 2-4 weeks
  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months

1-4 years

Since the bodies and minds of young children are developing so rapidly, seeing a pediatrician is important to ensure they are meeting all of the appropriate cognitive, social, emotional, behavioral, and speech development milestones.

The ages for these well visit appointments are:

  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 2 years
  • 2.5 years
  • 3 years
  • 4 years

The CDC lists the most common developmental milestones and the ages at which they are likely to happen.

RELATED: Recognizing Early Signs of Developmental Delays -->

5-17 years

Once a child reaches the age of 5, they are typically seen once a year for a well visit until they reach adulthood. These visits are a good check-in with the child’s pediatrician and a chance to discuss any important health topics and receive guidance from professionals.

Parents can ask about a wide range of issues or concerns, such as nutrition, emotional health and well-being, behavior management, sleep, screen time, and more. Since pediatricians see your child grow and develop over the years, they have a unique perspective about your child's specific age and developmental stages.

“Especially ahead of the upcoming school year, we want to make sure both families and healthcare providers aren’t waiting until the last minute to set up a well visit,” Dr. Schulz said. “Contact your pediatrician’s office and make sure your child’s next visit is already on the calendar.”

NEXT STEPS Set Up a Primary Care Appointment

At Rochester Regional Health, our providers are constantly keeping your best health in mind. With primary care locations close to you and compassionate doctors who listen to your concerns, we are here to care for your well-being.

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Steven A. Schulz, MD
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