Why well-child visits matter

Learn about the importance of these routine appointments and see the recommended schedule of well-child visits and vaccines.

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What is a well-child visit?

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.

Schedule of well-child visits

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.

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Well-baby visits

Most babies should have their first checkup at 3 to 5 days old. Within the first year, they should have visits at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months.

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Early childhood visits

Young children are still developing quickly and should have checkups at 15 months, 18 months, 2 years, 2 1/2 years and 3 years.

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Annual visits

Children of all ages need well-child visits. From age 4 through adolescence, your child should go in for a checkup each year.

What to expect as your child ages

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.

Coverage for well-child visits

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.

Vaccination list

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

2 months

HepBSecond 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

4 months

RVSecond dose

DTapSecond dose

HibSecond dose

PCVSecond dose

IPVSecond dose

6 months

HepBThird dose

RVThird dose (if originally given three-dose series)

DTaPThird dose

HibThird dose (if originally given three-dose series)

PCVThird dose

IPVThird dose

Flu short (influenza)

12 months

MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella); not before first birthday

HepA (Hepititis A); not before first birthday

Chickenpox (Varicella); not before first birthday

HibFourth dose (if originally given a four-dose series)

PCVFourth dose

15 to 18 months


Any 12-month immunization not already given

24 months (2 years)


Flu shot

3 years

Flu shot

4 years





Flu shot

5 years

Flu shot

6 years

Flu shot

7 years

Flu shot

8 years

Flu shot

9 years

Flu shot

10 years

Flu shot

11 years

DTaP booster

MCV (Meningococcal disease)

HPV (Human papillomavirus)First dose

Flu shot

12 years

HPVSecond dose

Flu shot

13 years

Chickenpox blood test

16 years

MCV booster