In addition to those inevitable sick visits, well-child visits to your child's provider are an important part of keeping your growing baby healthy and ensuring he or she are on track physically, nutritionally and developmentally.

It's also a great opportunity to get tips from a trusted source about any concerns about breast- or bottle-feeding, tummy troubles, sleep progression, etc.

All well visits typically include:

  • Head-to-toe physical examination
  • Growth check and charting
  • Development examination and discussion
  • Nutrition discussion
  • Vaccinations if applicable (more on those below)

When should you call the doctor with concerns?

Call your baby's doctor in the event of the following symptoms or circumstances:

  • Rectal temperature higher than 100.4 degrees F or 100 under the arm
  • Trouble breathing, rapid breathing (more than 60 breaths per minute), blue lips or finger nails, and/or wheezing, grunting or whistling while breathing
  • Diarrhea, including stools that are looser, foul smelling, contain blood or mucous and/or occur more frequently and are more watery than your baby's usual bowel movements
  • No bowel movements in the first 48 hours at home
  • Lack of bowel movements
  • Vomiting (more than spit up) 2 to 3 times a day
  • Refuses feedings or nurses poorly
  • No wet diapers in the first 24 hours at home
  • Fewer than four wet diapers in 24 hours
  • Yellow colored skin or whites of the eyes, especially if worsens three days after birth
  • Red skin or pus at umbilical cord stump base
  • Bleeding at circumcision site, especially with stains larger than a grape
  • Nosebleeds
  • Persistent cough
  • Unusually sleepy or difficult to wake up
  • Floppiness, lethargy or jitters
  • Crying more than usual and more difficult to console
  • A problem, illness, unusual behavior or anything that concerns you

Here's a handy timeline of baby's checkups and vaccinations for the first 18 months.

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