Keeping your baby health and feeling well is the top priority of any parent. At NCHS, we know how it goes. Whether it’s your firstborn or you’ve already had a child before, there’s going to be unexpected challenges as you try to keep your baby as healthy as possible while they grow up.

With a well-baby clinic, like the facility at NCHS, you can get a well child exam to ensure that your child is staying healthy in his or her earliest moments. A well child exam helps you and your doctor to spot any warning signs

Well Child Care

A well child exam is a very important component to anyone with a newborn. Typically, doctors will ask that you return one to three days after your child was born to get his or her first child wellness exam. After you have visited a well-baby clinic for the first time and your baby has had the first exam, follow-up well exams are recommended once every two to three months for at least the first year.

What to Expect During Your Baby’s Wellness Exam

When visiting a well-baby clinic for your child’s wellness exams, staff will be looking at a series of measurements and examinations that answer a series of questions for the doctor, such as the following:

  • How much does the baby weigh and how long is your baby?
  • How well is your baby feeding?
  • How well is your baby sleeping?
  • Any concerns regarding urinating and stooling?
  • Questions regarding your child’s development (i.e. head control, imitation of sounds and facial expressions, rolling over, grabbing at objects, etc.)

There are a lot of questions that doctors must ask, in the form of tests and measurements, some of which are more important at different stages of their newborn life.

Well Child Care

Measurements of the Newborn

Measuring the newborn is an important part of the examination process. Not only do you want to know how much your newborn weighs and how tall they are, but by taking these measurements every time you visit, you can see how fast he or she is growing throughout the earliest stages of their life.

Head-to-Toe Physical Examination

This portion of the examination process checks on specific details about the child that help to determine the level of growth and healthiness of the child. The doctor will be examining the following areas whenever you visit for a wellness exam.

  • Head
  • Mouth
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Skin
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Abdomen
  • Hips
  • Legs
  • Genitalia
  • And more

Wellness Visits for Older Children

Although you’ll frequent the pediatrician quite often in your baby’s first year, you should continue to schedule and attend wellness visits for your toddlers, school-aged children, and teens. Wellness care is extremely important for children and adolescents because they grow so quickly and can often experience sudden changes in their bodies that need to be addressed. Additionally, as they attend school and get involved in athletic activities, they will need regular physicals and wellness exams at our baby and child clinic. Staying up-to-date on wellness exams will help when your child is sick or injured too, as their pediatrician will have a baseline of health to go off of when determining a proper diagnosis or best treatment for their condition. 

Frequency of Wellness Visits for Babies and Children

When you go to your first appointment at an NCHS baby and child clinic, it will be recommended that you schedule your child’s next exam before you leave. While it can seem overwhelming to continuously schedule wellness checks for your child, it will help you prioritize their health care and ensure that you attend each visit since it will be scheduled so far out.

Many parents ask how frequently their child needs to go to a well baby clinic, and that simply depends on the child’s age. Generally speaking, babies will be seen right after birth, at 1 month, at 2 months, at 4 months, at 6 months, at 9 months, and at 12 months. Then they will likely be seen again at 15 months, 18 months, and 2 years. After they turn 2, children are generally seen once per year, right around their birthday. As your child gets older, he or she may not need to need to be seen at a baby and child clinic quite as frequently, but that depends on their overall health, what their school and sports organizations require for physicals, and so on.

What Does Well-Child Care Mean?

Well-child care is all about monitoring the growth, development, and overall health of a child. It’s about assessing the child’s ability to meet important age-appropriate milestones, both in terms of physical growth and development. Parents often take children to the doctor when they are sick or have experienced an injury, but it can be hard to determine the overall health of a child in those instances. It is ideal that your child goes to a well-child visit with his or her regular pediatrician once per year so that the pediatrician has a baseline from which to determine his or her health when sick. It’s important to have that baseline so that a pediatrician can compare information between well-child and sick-child visits to determine the severity of a sickness and offer guidelines for a course of action for treatment. Consider well-child care a preventative measure that not only tracks your child’s health and growth, but also gives insight into how to keep your child as healthy as possible. 

What Is a Well-Child Visit?

A well-child visit is about observing a child’s growth and identifying any potential concerns in the health of that child. Many childhood issues are preventative, and well-child visits can help to get ahead of potential problems before they begin, leading to better overall health in a child. Additionally, some problems may not be completely preventable, but taking action quickly can help lessen the severity and improve outcomes. This is the case in things like autism, vision or hearing problems, obesity, asthma, and more. Well-child visits can give you insight into early intervention for problems, and they can help you monitor the overall health, wellness, and development of your child so you can be aware of changes that need to be made to help them thrive.  

Are Well-Child Visits Covered by Insurance?

Almost all insurance plans cover well-child visits fully. The number of visits they cover during infancy and toddlerhood may vary, but once a child turns 3 years old, insurance typically covers one visit per year until the child is 18 years old. Bear in mind that most insurance companies require you to schedule a well-child visit after the child’s birthday, ensuring that your child only goes to one wellness visit per year. If you schedule the appointment before his or her birthday, the visit may not be covered by insurance. Additionally, if a child is experiencing other issues that do not fall under the category of preventative or wellness care, those aspects of the appointment may not be covered. Check with your insurance provider and your pediatrician to get more information about well-child coverage.

Additional Wellness Services at Our Baby and Child Clinics

A wellness exam for a baby or young child will be generally the same. The pediatrician will examine their entire body and discuss developmental milestones, along with any concerns you may have. Our baby and child clinics can do far more than just general exams, however. Our pediatric services are far-reaching and can cover a variety of issues and general health-related topics to ensure your child is as healthy as possible. We can provide screenings for asthma, obesity, hearing, vision, and disability. We can help with the management of all of those issues, as well as provide dental services, immunizations, and more.

Pediatric Physician Locations

Below you’ll find the list of locations within our NCHS network that can serve your pediatric needs.

  • Perris: Adult Medicine and Pediatric Care
  • San Marcos: Adult Medicine, Behavioral Health, Dental, Lab and X-Ray, Pediatric Care, Pharmacy and Women’s Health
  • Ramona: Adult Medicine, Pediatric Care, Dental Care and Women’s Health
  • Mission Mesa: Specialization for Pediatric Care
  • Oceanside: Adult Medicine, Pediatric Care and Pharmacy
  • La Mision: Adult Medicine and Pediatric Care
  • Encinitas: Adult Medicine, Pediatric Care and Women’s Health
  • Carlsbad: Adult Medicine and Pediatric Care

Contact us today at NCHS to find the best well baby care you can find locally! Our sick child care centers and well child care will help you keep your newborn healthy throughout all of the stages of their earlier weeks, months, and years!