What is a Well-Child Visit?

It’s important to take your kids to the pediatrician when they’re sick. Or when they need a physical exam for sports. But routine well-child visits are also a critical part of health and wellness for children up to age 21.

Think of these appointments as check-ins to ensure your child is – and remains – on a healthy track. And not just physically. Your child’s pediatrician or care provider will look at how your child is developing emotionally and socially as well.

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What to Expect at a Well-Child Visit

illustrated mother and young child with doctor The ultimate goal of well-child visits is to make sure your child is reaching age-appropriate milestones while staying as healthy as possible. This check-in with your pediatrician or family health provider includes:

  • Physical exam
  • Tracking growth and development
  • Finding underlying health concerns before they become serious
  • Recommendations for immunizations and screenings
  • Nutrition and exercise advice
  • Exploring important health and safety issues
  • Discussing how to manage emergencies and illnesses

Parents and caretakers play a key role during well-child visits. You’ll have the opportunity to share information about how your child is doing at home. Go ahead and brag about the big milestones – and open up about any concerns you have.

Concerns? We’re Here for You

Are you worried about your child’s behavior? Difficulty with school work? Struggles with friends and socializing? Your Munson Healthcare provider is here for you and your family with helpful advice on any challenges your child may be experiencing, such as:

  • Behavioral concerns
  • Learning difficulties
  • Emotional issues
  • Family challenges
  • Socialization problems
  • Puberty and concerns about teenage years

There is no handbook for parenting. And for parents of kids ages 0-21, the internet can leave you with more questions than answers. Remember that your child’s health provider is an expert resource for any concerns you may have.

How often should you schedule well-child visits?

Your child's healthcare provider will give you a schedule based on age and other factors. Generally, The American Academy of Pediatrics advises the following:






Young Adult

48 - 72 hours*

15 - 18 months old

3 years old

6 years old

12 years old

19 years old

3 - 5 days old**

24 months old

4 years old

7 years old

13 years old

20 years old

2 weeks old


5 years old

8 years old

14 years old

21 years old

2 months old



9 years old

15 years old


4 months old



10 years old

16 years old


6 months old



11 years old

17 years old


9 months old




18 years old


12 months old






*Typically before discharge from hospital

**Only if issues are seen in the nursery

Promoting Lifelong Health

Waddles the penguin helps keep us safe! Learn more about Waddles

Well-child visits provide an opportunity for your child’s doctor to get to know them when they feel well. In time, this helps your child feel comfortable with essential checkups and screenings. As they grow older, this can lead to more trusted talks with their doctor about concerns related to their health, even if it’s an uncomfortable subject.

Likewise, having a strong relationship with their doctor means your child will be more likely to seek care when needed as a young adult and beyond.

Schedule a Well-Child Checkup

If your child is due for a checkup – even if your well-child visit schedule has gotten off track – there’s no better time than now to schedule this essential visit. If you don’t have a pediatrician or family health provider, our team is here to help you find a qualified pediatrician, close to home.

Find a Pediatrician

Meet Waddles!

Meet Waddles

Waddles is our Munson Healthcare safety penguin. He offers up safety tips for all ages through all seasons, including how to keep our youngest community members healthy. 

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Questions about your child’s symptoms or other health concerns?

Ask-A-Nurse is here to help! Our registered nurses are answering health questions 24 hours a day at no charge to you and can even connect you to a provider for a virtual visit if recommended.

Learn more about recommended vaccines for kids of all ages.

A well-child visit is the perfect time to ask about important immunizations and booster shots to help protect against or manage diseases like polio, measles, COVID-19, and more. Learn more by clicking below.