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Well Child Visit at 6 Months
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
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 6 months:
Your baby's healthcare provider may do the following:
- Chart your baby's head growth, and check his head shape and fontanelles (soft spots)
- Chart your baby's weight and length
- Check your baby's vision and hearing
- Ask how often your baby breastfeeds or drinks formula, and remind you not to put your baby down with a bottle
- Check your baby's teeth or tell you to take him to a dentist, and talk to you about how to handle teething and pacifier use
- Talk to you about the importance of reading to your baby every day
- Help you decide when your baby is ready for solid food and what to feed him
- Ask how often your baby urinates and has bowel movements
- Talk to you about putting sunscreen on your baby to prevent skin cancer
- Review home safety and childproofing, and water safety, such as not leaving your baby alone in the tub
- Tell you never to put your baby in a walker because they are not safe for babies, and tell you to limit bouncer chair or swing time
- Make sure you have a rear-facing child safety seat in every car, and that it is installed properly in the back seat
- Ask how well your baby sleeps, and review safe ways to lay him on his back to sleep
- Ask how long your baby cries, and help you find safe ways to handle the crying or comfort him
- Remind you never to shake a baby if he will not stop crying
- Give him any vaccines he needs (hepatitis B, rotavirus, DTaP, HiB, pneumococcal, and polio), and may talk to you about a yearly flu vaccine
Milestones of development your baby may reach by 6 months:
Each baby develops at his own pace. Your baby might have already reached the following milestones, or he may reach them later:
- Babble (make sounds like he is trying to say words)
- Reach for objects and grasp them, or use his fingers to rake an object and pick it up
- Understand that a dropped object did not disappear
- Pass objects from one hand to the other
- Roll from back to front and front to back
- Sit if he is supported or in a high chair
- Start getting teeth
- Sleep for 6 to 8 hours every night
- Crawl, or move around by lying on his stomach and pulling with his forearms
What you need to know about your baby's next well child visit:
Your baby's healthcare provider will tell you when to bring your baby in again. The next well child visit is usually at 9 months. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about his health or care before the next visit. Your baby may get the hepatitis B and polio vaccines at his next visit. He may also need catch-up doses of DTaP, HiB, and pneumococcal.
Changes that may happen before the next well child visit:
- Your baby's healthcare provider may review the importance of breastfeeding for the first year of your baby's life. Talk to him about any problems with or concerns about breastfeeding. Also talk to him before you give your baby formula. He can help you choose a formula that contains iron. He may recommend that you breastfeed for a certain period of time before you offer your child a bottle or pacifier.
- Your baby may start to say mama and dada, and understand the word no.
- He may sit without support or start pulling himself up on furniture or people. His ability to crawl may get better and faster.
- He may start using his thumb and pointer finger to grasp objects. He may also start playing peek-a-boo and wave goodbye.
- Your baby may begin to fear strangers or feel anxious when familiar people leave.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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