No sooner do you bring your baby home from the hospital than his healthcare provider wants to see you. In fact, you'll be seeing a lot of this person. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all new parents take their children to at least 12 checkups in the first three years.

These appointments are the perfect time for you to raise questions and issues about your child and your family and to get help and information about what's ahead. Try not to miss your scheduled well-baby checkups.

Most healthcare providers will have you and your baby come in two or more times in the first couple of weeks to check on feeding and other newborn "getting started" issues. These brief visits help ensure that everything is on track. However, the more regular, expanded visits start at about 1 month.

At each well-baby visit, you can expect the provider to conduct some routine checks and offer information, including:

  • Checking your baby's weight and height, to make sure she's growing steadily and gaining weight normally.

  • Measuring your baby's head circumference, to make sure the head is growing normally. (This reflects brain growth.)

  • Giving your baby any necessary immunizations.

  • Sharing insights into your baby's development and checking with you about behavior and development.

  • Discussing breastfeeding issues.

  • Answering any questions you may have.