Health Care Basics

Your baby's first two years

Right after your baby is born, a doctor will check him. The hospital staff will make sure he’s healthy. Then, you will need to see your baby’s doctor two to five days after you bring your baby home for a follow-up. Your doctory may give your baby a Hepatitis B shot if she did not receive one in the hospital. This is also a good time for you to ask questions.

Your baby must see his doctor for checkups many times the first year of life. This is because babies grow and change so much during their first year.

At these visits, the doctor will weigh your baby. She will measure his length and head size, and check him head to toe. These visits are important because a doctor can sometimes find problems you cannot see. Early care can keep many problems from becoming worse. During many of these visits, your baby also will get immunizations (shots).

Keep this list of well-child - same as Early and Periodic Screening and Diagnostic Treatment (EPSDT) - visits that occur during your baby’s first two years:

Well-child (same as EPSDT) visits: 0-2 years of age

Age

2 to 5 days

2 to 4 weeks

2 months

4 months

6 months

9 months

12 months (1 year)

15 months

18 months

24 months (2 years)

Well-child (EPSDT) visits needed

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Shots needed

No

Check with doctor

Yes

Yes

Yes

No (if child is up-to-date)

Yes

Check with doctor

Yes

No (if child is up-to-date)

Vaccines (shots) can protect your child from many diseases. After some shots, your baby may be fussy or have a low fever for a few days. But if your baby’s fever goes above 103 degrees, call your doctor. Check with your baby’s doctor to see if you should give your baby any medicine after shots.

If your baby misses a well-child visit (this is the same as an EPSDT visit) it is important to reschedule your appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. The well-child visits are important because your baby's doctor needs to examine your baby and give your baby shots. Shots will not make your child sick. And they can be given even if your baby has a cold, fever, watery poops (diarrhea) or is taking antibiotics shots.

Be sure to take your baby’s shot record with you to every checkup. Keep it in a safe place, and be sure not to lose it. When he’s older, your child will need to show this record every year to start school.

There is always a risk of lead poisoning for your child. Please read the Lead Poisoning flier for more information: English | Español | العربية