Well Child Visits

Prenatal

A prenatal visit with the nurse is encouraged but not required. If you do not need further information, just inform the hospital staff that you have chosen NOVA Pediatrics and they will notify us of your baby's birth.

If your baby will be born at a hospital other than Fairfax, Alexandria or Potomac, you will need to call our office. The house pediatrician will take care of your baby until discharge. You should call NOVA Pediatrics for an appointment the day of discharge.
Important things to keep in mind:

  • Install a rear-facing infant car seat in the back of your car, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Set the hot water heater thermostat lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Make sure your crib is safe (slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart).
  • Put your baby to sleep on his/her back.
  • Avoid use of soft bedding or toys.
  • Do not smoke or use drugs or alcohol.
  • Keep your prenatal appointments.
  • Attend childbirth and infant CPR classes.

For more information:

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Newborn

One of the pediatricians in our group will visit the baby within 24 hours of delivery at Fairfax, Alexandria and Potomac Hospitals. The doctor will review the delivery record and examine the baby in the nursery from head to toe.

Once discharged, you will bring the baby to the office the following day for a weight and color check with the nurse. This may include further blood testing. Your baby may also receive an immunization for hepatitis B (if not already done so at the hospital). Questions on lactation and feeding will be answered. Make a list of questions and bring them to the visit.
Important things to keep in mind:

  • If breastfeeding: Hold your baby and get him to latch on properly. Feed on demand 8 - 12 times a day until he seems content. Expect 6 - 8 wet diapers daily.
  • If bottle-feeding: Use iron-fortified formula, and review formula preparation as noted on the formula container.
  • Install a rear-facing infant car seat in the back of your car, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Set the hot water heater thermostat lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Make sure your crib is safe (slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart).
  • Put your baby to sleep on his/her back.
  • Avoid use of soft bedding or toys.
  • Do not smoke or use drugs or alcohol.
  • Keep your prenatal appointments.
  • Attend childbirth and infant CPR classes.

For more information, see:

  • www.kidshealth.org
  • Recommended book by the American Academy of Pediatrics: "Your Baby's First Year", edited by Steven Shelov, M.D.

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Two-Week Visit

At this visit, the doctor will talk to you about your baby's growth and development. Your baby will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. There are no scheduled immunizations or blood work at this visit.
Important things to keep in mind:

  • Learn signs of illness: fever, seizure, skin rash, lethargy, refusal to eat, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, jaundice, and pauses in breathing.
  • Never shake your baby.
  • Do not put the baby to bed with a bottle or prop it in his mouth.
  • Try to console your baby when he/she cries.
  • Hold, cuddle, rock, talk and sing to your baby.
  • Install a rear-facing infant car seat in the back of your car, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Set the hot water heater thermostat lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Make sure your crib is safe (slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart).
  • Put your baby to sleep on his/her back.
  • Avoid use of soft bedding or toys.
  • Do not smoke or use drugs or alcohol.
  • Attend childbirth and infant CPR classes.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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Two-Month Visit

At this visit, the doctor will talk to you about your baby's growth and development. Your baby will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. You baby's hearing may be checked if it wasn't tested earlier. Your baby will receive multiple immunizations today.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Keep small and sharp objects and plastic bags out of reach.
  • Delay giving solid foods until your baby is 4-6 months old.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after diapering and feeding your baby.
  • Learn your baby's temperament.
  • Always keep one hand on your baby, and do not leave him/her alone in the bathtub or in high places.
  • Install a rear-facing infant car seat in the back of your car, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Set the hot water heater thermostat lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Make sure your crib is safe (slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart).
  • Put your baby to sleep on his/her back.
  • Avoid use of soft bedding or toys.
  • Do not smoke or use drugs or alcohol.
  • Attend childbirth and infant CPR classes.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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Four-Month Visit

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Find time for yourself and your partner to go out without your baby; choose a responsible babysitter.
  • Childproof your home. Keep medicines, cleaning aids, small or sharp objects, plastic bags, balloons, cords and guns out of your baby's reach.
  • Do not put your baby in a walker at any age.
  • Introduce solid foods gradually (one per week). Start with iron-fortified baby cereal, then pureed foods (first fruits/vegetables, then meats).
  • Establish a bedtime routine. Most babies will be sleeping through the night at this age.
  • Starting at this age, your child can become spoiled. You do not need to pick him up for every cry.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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Six-Month Visit

At this visit, the doctor will talk to you about your baby's growth and development. Your baby will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. Your baby will receive multiple immunizations today.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Keep track of what foods your child is eating and any reactions to them. Do not give your baby any foods that could cause choking, such as peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs, carrot or celery sticks, whole grapes, raisins, whole beans, hard candy, tough meat or large pieces of food.
  • Ask your dentist about infant fluoride supplements (if you live in an area with non-fluorinated water).
  • Provide opportunities for safe exploration and play games with your baby (peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake).
  • Childproof your home. Keep medicines, cleaning aids, small or sharp objects, plastic bags, balloons, cords and guns out of your baby's reach.
  • Do not put your baby in a walker at any age.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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Nine-Month Visit

At this visit, the doctor will talk to you about your baby's growth and development. Your baby will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. Your baby will receive immunizations today. You may be asked about your baby's possible exposure to lead. Your baby may be checked for anemia with a blood test.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Brush your baby's teeth with a soft toothbrush and water or infant toothpaste only.
  • Keep track of what foods your child is eating and any reactions to them. Do not give your baby any foods that could cause choking, such as peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs, carrot or celery sticks, whole grapes, raisins, whole beans, hard candy, tough meat or large pieces of food.
  • Ask your dentist about infant fluoride supplements (if you live in an area with non-fluorinated water).
  • Provide opportunities for safe exploration and play games with your baby (peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake).
  • Childproof your home. Keep medicines, cleaning aids, small or sharp objects, plastic bags, balloons, cords and guns out of your baby's reach.
  • Do not put your baby in a walker at any age.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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Twelve-Month Visit

At this visit, the doctor will talk to you about your toddler's growth and development. Your toddler will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. Your toddler will receive immunizations today.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • If your toddler weights at least 20 pounds, switch to a forward-facing safety seat and install it in the back seat following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Supervise your toddler constantly near water and empty tubs, buckets and pools.
  • Use safety gates, cabinet locks, and window guards.
  • Have the poison control number near all phones.
  • Limit time spent in the sun and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher).
  • Switch from formula or breast milk to pasteurized whole milk. Encourage weaning from the bottle.
  • Keep a regular bedtime routine.
  • Be consistent with discipline techniques.
  • Choose caregivers carefully and limit the number of people providing care.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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Fifteen-Month Visit

At this visit, the doctor will talk to you about your toddler's growth and development. Your toddler will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. Your toddler will receive immunizations today.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Lower your toddler's crib mattress.
  • Supervise your toddler constantly near water and empty tubs, buckets and pools.
  • Use safety gates, cabinet locks, and window guards.
  • Have the poison control number near all phones.
  • Limit time spent in the sun and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher).
  • Switch from formula or breast milk to pasteurized whole milk. Encourage weaning from the bottle.
  • Keep a regular bedtime routine.
  • Be consistent with discipline techniques. Discourage hitting, biting or aggressive behavior.
  • Choose caregivers carefully and limit the number of people providing care.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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Eighteen-Month Visit

At this visit, the doctor will talk to you about your toddler's growth and development. Your toddler will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. Your toddler will receive immunizations today. Address any behavior or development concerns you may have.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Keep track of your toddler's playmates and communication skills.
  • Allow your toddler to experiment with food, eat with his hands and utensils and drink from a cup.
  • Supervise your toddler constantly near water and empty tubs, buckets and pools.
  • Use safety gates, cabinet locks, and window guards.
  • Have the poison control number near all phones.
  • Limit time spent in the sun and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher).
  • Keep a regular bedtime routine.
  • Be consistent with discipline techniques. Discourage hitting, biting or aggressive behavior. Praise and use "time outs."
  • Choose caregivers carefully and limit the number of people providing care.
  • Start encouraging interest in the toilet.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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Two-Year Visit

At this visit, the doctor will talk to you about your toddler's growth and development. Your toddler will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. Your toddler will receive immunizations today. Address any behavior or development concerns you may have.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Begin toilet training when your child is ready.
  • Give your child healthy foods and allow experimentation, but do not force him to eat.
  • Switch to lower fat milk instead of whole milk.
  • Continue to place your child in a safety seat in the back seat.
  • Expect normal curiosity about body parts.
  • Keep track of illnesses and injuries.
  • Limit time spent in the sun and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher).
  • Keep a regular bedtime routine.
  • Be consistent with discipline techniques. Discourage hitting, biting or aggressive behavior. Praise and use "time outs."
  • Choose caregivers carefully and limit the number of people providing care.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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3-4 Year Visits

Your child should continue to have annual visits. At these visits, the doctor will talk to you about your child's growth and development. Your child will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and address any behavior or development concerns. Immunizations may be given. Blood work for anemia, a urine test, and hearing and vision tests will be done approximately every two years. You will be asked about your family's history of heart disease. Blood pressure will be checked at each visit.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Your child should be toilet trained by this age.
  • Switch to a belt-positioning booster seat if your child weights more than 40 pounds.
  • You should understand the majority of what your child is trying to say.
  • Your child should understand simple rules.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to help with household chores.
  • Reinforce limits.
  • Know where your child is at all times. Teach him not to talk to strangers.
  • Teach your child to brush his teeth with a pea-size among of fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Expect normal curiosity and touching of body parts.
  • Spend individual time with your child. Limit TV and video time.
  • Encourage hand washing to decrease the spread of germs.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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5-12 Year Visits

Your child should continue to have annual visits. At these visits, the doctor will talk to you about your child's growth and development. Your child will have a physical exam. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and address any behavior or development concerns. Immunizations may be given. Blood work for anemia, a urine test, and hearing and vision tests will be done approximately every two years. You will be asked about your family's history of heart disease. Blood pressure will be checked at each visit.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure your child gets enough sleep (7-10 hours each night)
  • Limit TV and video viewing to about 1-2 hours each day. Watch programs with your child and discuss them together.
  • Keep matches, poisons and guns locked up and out of reach.
  • Encourage healthy food choices.
  • Encourage self-discipline and impulse control.
  • Be prepared to discuss sex at your child's level of understanding.
  • Assign household chores and teach personal responsibility.
  • Provide personal space.
  • Know where your child is at all times and provide easy means to keep in touch.
  • Know your child's friends.
  • Make sure your child wears his/her seatbelt at all times.
  • Keep regular dental visits.

For detailed immunization and development information, visit www.kidshealth.org.

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13-18 Year Visits

Your teenager should continue to have annual visits. At these visits, the doctor will talk to you and your teenager alone about his growth and development. Your teenager will have a physical exam. Both you and your teenager will have an opportunity to ask questions and address any adolescent concerns. Immunizations may be given. Blood work for anemia, a urine test, and hearing and vision tests will be done approximately every two years. You will be asked about your family's history of heart disease. Blood pressure will be checked at each visit. All teenagers must be accompanied to the appointment by a parent, but may be in the exam room alone.

Encourage your teenager to:

  • Limit TV time. Be physically active.
  • Limit time spent in sun and use sunscreen. Avoid tanning salons.
  • Always wear a seat belt, follow speed limits and avoid distractions when driving. Do not drink and drive.
  • Learn how to protect himself from physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
  • Eat three nutritious meals a day. Choose healthy snacks. Avoid high sugar and fast foods.
  • Keep regular dental visits.
  • Talk with people he trusts about sexuality, abstinence, contraception, safer sex and STD's.
  • Respect parental limits and rules.
  • Identify his talents and interests.
  • Know he is never alone.
  • For girls, visit a gynecologist when she turns 18 or when she is sexually active, whichever comes first.

For detailed immunization and development information, http://www.kidshealth.org.

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