As a parent, you want your child to have a healthy start in life. That’s why it’s important to spend some time at your child’s doctor’s office—even when your child isn’t sick.
A well-child visit is more than just an appointment for vaccinations. It’s your opportunity to learn what to expect as your child grows and to get guidance if you have any concerns. Aside from your child’s physical health, a well-child checkup can include developmental and behavioral assessments.
To prepare for your visit, talk to any caregivers to see if they’ve noticed any concerns. It’s also a good idea to write down your questions beforehand, so you get the most out of your visit. Remember, you can ask the doctor anything about your child’s health or behavior—from nutrition to toilet training to car seats.
Here's when you should take your child in for a checkup, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. For an easy-to-read guide, download and print our schedule of well-child visits and vaccines.
When your child gets older, well-child visits will include vision and hearing screenings. If your child needs a sports physical, the doctor may assess fitness level or risk of injury. In the teenage years, checkups will include one-on-one time with the doctor, so that your teen can begin to take charge of their own health.
Well-child checkups and most immunizations are covered 100% when you use an in-network doctor. To make sure you go to an in-network provider, use our Find a Doctor tool. Sign in first, so your search results are based on your health plan.
Vaccinations are safe and effective—they can protect your child from serious diseases, such as measles, polio and whooping cough. Your child’s school district may require that your child be up to date on recommended immunizations. To help you stay on top of them, ask your doctor for a record of your child’s shots.
As they grow older, your child will need additional doses of certain vaccines to ensure they’re fully protected. A few immunizations are specifically given to children between the ages of 11 and 17. See the preventive care list to find out which vaccines are covered at 100%.
Here’s a list of recommended vaccinations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
2 to 5 days old
HepB (Hepatitis B)—First dose
HepB—Second dose (if not given earlier)
RV (Rotavirus)—First dose
DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis/whooping cough)—First dose
Hib (Haemophilus influenza b)—First dose
PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate)—First dose
IPV (Inactivated poliovirus)—First dose
RV—Third dose (if originally given three-dose series)
Hib—Third dose (if originally given three-dose series)
Flu short (influenza)
MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella); not before first birthday
HepA (Hepititis A); not before first birthday
Chickenpox (Varicella); not before first birthday
Hib—Fourth dose (if originally given a four-dose series)
15 to 18 months
Any 12-month immunization not already given
24 months (2 years)
MCV (Meningococcal disease)
HPV (Human papillomavirus)—First dose
Chickenpox blood test