Routine well visits provide an opportunity for you and your pediatrician to:
- Track your child’s growth and development physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually
- Discuss any questions and concerns specific to your child
- Receive vaccines, as applicable, per the recommended CDC vaccine schedule
Five tips as you prepare for your kiddos well visit appointment:
- Refer to milestone markers and CDC milestone tracker to identify expectations for your child. This will prepare you to participate in your child’s well visit assessment with your pediatrician.
- Write down any questions and/or concerns that you wish to discuss with your pediatrician. Do not doubt or ignore your parenting intuition. Be prepared to ask questions and seek answers. Use our Well Visit Prep Packet to prepare.
- Prepare your child for their appointment. Teach them about what to expect. For example, prepare them to for getting on the scale, measuring height, blood pressure, and temperature. If your child will be getting a vaccine at their appointment, talk with them about what to expect. Incorporate developmentally appropriate learning play as you teach your child about their appointment. Try to help them understand the “why” to each component of their visit. For example, teach them the why behind the vaccine. Vaccines stimulate your immune system to produce antibodies. Antibodies help protect our bodies against yucky infections. Incorporate learning play as you teach your child about their appointment. Utilize our printable coloring pages (linked below). Play with a toy medical kit and your child’s doll or stuffed animal to show your child medical tools that may be at their appointment.
- Encourage your child to bring a security item such as their favorite doll or stuffed animal to their appointment. This promotes a feeling of security for your child. As appropriate, have the doll or stuffed animal experience the office visit with your child. For example, the dolls “heart” can be assessed first. Your child’s doll can pretend to receive a vaccine before your child receives their vaccine, etc. Encourage your child to hold onto their security item through the visit.
- Strive to maintain a calm connection with your child throughout the visit. If you are anxious or distracted, you risk contributing to your child’s office visit insecurities. On the other hand, if you strive to remain calm and connected with your child, you will promote a positive well visit experience. Hold your child, sit close to your child, maintain eye contact, incorporate therapeutic touch, use a calm and soothing tone of voice, as you work to promote a calm connection throughout the office visit. If possible, focus on intentional connection time with your child after their office visit.