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How to Make the Most out of Your Well Visits

Well-visits are an opportunity for parents to ask their doctor about any questions or concerns about their child’s development. In the first year of a baby’s life, they will see a doctor over 12 times. Many new parents may not be aware of when their baby should reach typical milestones, what’s standard, and what’s not. They might not be clear on what eating and bowel movement habits are normal. While there is plenty of information on the internet, it may not be accurate. It is best to get health or developmental questions answered by your doctors. No matter if you’re visiting a pediatrician in San Francisco or a pediatrician in Countryside, well visits are very similar across practices. This guide will help new parents make the most out of their child’s well visits. 

Write a List

Just like it’s simple to forget bay leaves for your pasta dinner at the grocery store without a list, parents can easily forget an important question regarding their child at the pediatrician’s office. No matter how big or small your inquiry is, it’s best to always write it down. A few questions you could ask include: 

  • Is my child hitting the right milestones?
  • What car seat do I need? 
  • What vaccinations are coming up? 
  • Can I have a printout of my child’s shot record? 
  • When should my child start going to the dentist? 
  • Are there any illnesses going around? 
  • When do I need to bring my child back next? 

Know the Appropriate Milestones

Even better than asking your pediatrician about your child’s milestones is to know what they are beforehand. That way, if your baby or toddler is behind, you can ask the appropriate questions during the well-visit. Here is a brief list of the standard milestones for your baby’s first month.

  • Jerky arm movements
  • Tight fists 
  • Your baby will bring his or her hands by his face
  • They move their heads while on their stomachs
  • They prefer faces to shapes
  • They can focus on objects about a foot away
  • They can hear well, especially their parent’s voices

If your baby or toddler is older than 1-month-old, you can look up milestones on the CDC’s website, which will give you a list of where your child should be developmentally at different points in their life. 

Prepare Your Child

If your kid is old enough to understand, you will want to get them ready for their well-visit. If your toddler has to get a vaccine, they may be anxious. You can promise to take them for ice cream after their visit or let them bring their favorite toy with them to their appointment. (Note: Don’t tell your kid a vaccine won’t hurt when it might. This will make them more nervous the next visit because they’ll have lost trust.) Other than planning a reward after the appointment, here are a few other tips to prep your child.

  • Build trust with the doctor
  • Ensure your child you will be with them during the visit
  • Stay calm and relaxed
  • Plan visits in between nap and meal times (Your kid may be more upset if they are tired or hungry during an exam.) 

Avoid Distractions 

If you have issues to discuss with your child’s doctor, you will want to be present during your child’s appointment, especially if you’ve had to travel all the way to see a pediatrician in Barrington. If you have other kids, consider leaving them at home with another parent or family member and turn off your phone so you are not distracted while in the exam room. Keep in mind, sometimes medical information can be difficult to understand for those who do not have any background knowledge in a certain area. To make sure you are following what the pediatrician is saying it’s best to eliminate distractions. This way, you can feel confident you are following the right treatment plan, administering the proper doses of medicine, and other instructions. 

Show Up On Time

A simple way to make the most of your child’s well visit and the time you have at the pediatrician’s office is to show up on time. If you live in the suburbs, but your child is scheduled to see a pediatrician in Denver in the city, make sure you give yourself enough time to get there. Doctors are busy people, and while most of them will want to spend the most amount of time possible with you, if you show up late, they will not be able to. If there is paperwork to fill out before the visit, show up 15 minutes early so you don’t cut into your child’s exam time. If you can fill out medical and insurance papers online, this will be easier than doing so at the office. It is also best to respect the doctor’s time and schedule. 

Follow these tips to make sure your child is getting the proper care they deserve. 

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