Well Baby check-ups… what purpose does it serve?

This could possibly become controversial I suppose but here we go anyway.

My daughter has her 18 month Well-Baby Checkup tomorrow and I started contemplating the purpose of this visit.  My daughter is very healthy and is exceeding expectations in development in every catagory. I will be refusing vaccinations at this visit.  So, with that said, what is the purpose of these visits if your child is healthy and on track developmentally.

I have a background of social work, as most of my regular readers might know, so I am familiar with developmental milestones and proper care of a child.  I can understand the purpose of these checkups for those who feel the need to vaccinate and are not as familiar with how to gauge developmental milestones.   When my daughter was younger, I was eager to go to these appointments to see how much she grew and I did have a few questions early on but not so much anymore.  I can weigh my daughter and measure her at home just as well, if not better than the nurses have done thus far.  I have to say, I feel like I waste a lot of time in the waiting room and waiting in the office to see the doctor just to tell me everything I already know. 

I know I sound skeptical of medical care but I think I am to an extent.  I recently spent a lot of time chatting with a group of people who dont vaccinate and who dont utilize doctors for well-baby checkups.  I never asked if they use a naturopathic doctor or if they just skip the check ups all together.  I would be interested in feedback on this topic…just for more education and perspectives.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nikki
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 12:42:44

    If you feel like you can determine all the information you would gather from a well-baby check up on your own, then really, you’re right, there is no point in going. I took my son because I had no medical knowledge when he was a baby (I went to nursing school when he was two, didn’t finish, but now I have more basic knowledge) and because he was a preemie. His 18 months well-baby checkup was a nightmare. His regular (and awesome) doctor moved away and I had a PA for the exam. She basically scolded me the whole time because I didn’t start potty training yet and because he wasn’t talking yet (he didn’t start talking until he was about two and a half). I do vaccinate, so I did need to go for that purpose, but I switched doctors right after that because I was so upset. Seriously, potty training at 18 months? Fine for some people, but he wasn’t ready and I wasn’t going to push it.

    Now that I have some basic nursing experience, I usually only take him for his yearly checkup, because it’s required for school. When he gets sick, people say “oh, you should take him to the doctor,” but I know the difference between a minor cold and a major illness. In fact, his daycare made me take him for a cough that I insisted was just allergies. Guess what? It was just allergies. If he’s truly sick, I’ll take him. But the doctor can’t treat the common cold, and I don’t see the point of subjecting him to an hour in the waiting room just to appease someone else’s idea of how I should parent.

    Bottom line- you know your child better than anyone, and you make the decisions regarding what is right based on your own instincts and education. Sorry for the super long comment, I’m a rambler!


    • princesspipersmama
      Jan 29, 2011 @ 01:48:06

      No worries, I ramble too. I cant believe they pushed potty training at 18 mos. My daughter has been interested in the potty for about 2 months now but she just sits on on and doesnt really go. She also tugs at her diaper and says “poop” but I just encourage her interest without pushing. Most kids, especially boys are not ready to train at 18 months. Id say they might be closer to a year but many studies show that kids dont have control over their waste until 3 or 4 depending on the child. I actually saw a study where an 8 year old still didnt have the biological factors to control his bladder throughout the night…it all has to do with when kids are ready physically, emotionally, and intellectually…


  2. Courteney
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 13:31:16

    I can’t object to your feelings, I am not living in your shoes. One thing I will say is that I would NEVER EVER, EVER skip one of my children’s vaccines. I am too scared of them getting sick; let alone, catching a communicable disease.
    I do find your blog interesting (and cute), I want to follow your blog, but I don’t see a place to follow. 😦

    Here I am.


  3. Nikki
    Jan 29, 2011 @ 15:12:38

    My son didn’t end up potty training completely until he was almost 4. He was almost there around three, but then regressed at one point. He gave up the bottle late too. I had no problem with night training though, maybe because he was so much older when he was day-trained. I got a lot of slack for not pushing him, but he needs to do things at his own pace. He’s like me, he rebels if pushed.


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    Feb 15, 2011 @ 23:45:28

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  6. Nickie Spannaus
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 09:28:32

    Excellent blog post, I look forward to reading more.


  7. brenda
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 12:05:06

    I agree completely, I haven’t taken my girls in for well baby checks in years since they are very healthy and I am not vaccinating anymore. Why go there just to be given a hard time and grilled every visit. Once it was because she said my 11 month old should no longer be nursing and should be on formula. My child was above average in scales so it was not like she was underweight so there was no reason for it. She was just anti -nursing. I still get upset thinking about that day. It feels like they want to be pushy and power you into their beliefs regardless of what you think is best for your kid. Now in WA state the vaccine exemptions have to be signed by a doctor so it looks like I am going to find a N.D.


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