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Well Child Visit at 18 Months


A well child visit is when your child sees a healthcare provider to prevent health problems. It is a different type of visit than when your child sees a healthcare provider because he is sick. Well child visits are used to track your child's growth and development. It is also a time for you to ask questions and to get information on how to keep your child safe. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them. Your child should have regular well child visits from birth to 17 years.


Where to take your child for well child visits:

It is best to find a medical home for your child. A medical home is a doctor's office or clinic where your child sees the same healthcare providers every time. A medical home will also keep your child's health records. The healthcare providers will get to know your child and your family so they can give him the best care. They will also make sure he receives vaccines on the recommended immunization schedule to protect him from diseases.

What happens during a well child visit at 18 months:

Your child's healthcare provider may do the following:

  • Chart your child's head growth, weight, and height
  • Check your child's vision and hearing
  • Help you decide what to feed your child
  • Ask how well your child sleeps, and review safe ways to lay him down to sleep
  • Check your child's teeth or tell you take him to a dentist, and ask about your child's tooth care routine
  • Ask how often your child urinates and has bowel movements
  • Check your child's speech
  • Talk to you about putting sunscreen on your child to prevent skin cancer
  • Ask about your child's behavior and who takes care of him
  • Ask how often you read to your child, and remind you to read text your child sees outside the home, such as street signs
  • Review home safety and childproofing, and water safety, such as not leaving your child alone in the tub and not allowing him to swim alone
  • Make sure you have a rear-facing child safety seat in every car, and that it is installed properly in the back seat
  • Give your child any vaccines he needs (hepatitis B, hepatitis A, DTaP, polio), and any catch-up doses of previous vaccines

Milestones of development your child may reach by 18 months:

Each child develops at his own pace. Your child might have already reached the following milestones, or he may reach them later:

  • Say up to 20 words
  • Point to more body parts, such as his ears and nose
  • Climb stairs if someone holds his hand
  • Run for short distances
  • Throw a ball or play with another person
  • Take off more clothes, such as his shirt
  • Feed himself with a spoon, and use a cup

What you need to know about your child's next well child visit:

Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when to bring him in again. The next well child visit is usually at 2 years (24 months). Contact your child's healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about his health or care before the next visit. Your child may need the hepatitis A vaccine at his next visit. He may need catch-up doses of the hepatitis B, DTaP, HiB, pneumococcal, polio, MMR, or chickenpox vaccine. Remember to take your child in for a yearly flu vaccine.

Changes that may happen before the next well child visit:

  • Ask your healthcare provider about new foods you can offer to your child. Do not give your child foods that can cause choking. Examples include hotdogs, raw vegetables, nuts, and whole grapes. Children younger than 4 years should not eat these foods. You may notice that your child wants to eat the same food every day. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about offering a variety of foods even if your child will only eat some of what you offer.
  • Your child's healthcare provider may make changes to your child's tooth care routine.
  • Your child may also start getting ready for potty training before his next well child visit. Ask your healthcare provider for ways you can help your child start getting ready for potty training.
  • Tantrums may continue or worsen in the months before the next well child visit. Ask for safe ways to handle temper tantrums.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.