What Are Wellness Checkups, And How Often Should Your Child Have Them?

What Are Wellness Checkups, And How Often Should Your Child Have Them?

From birth to childhood, to adolescence and entering adulthood, our bodies are in a constant state of change – whether that be physical, mental, or cognitive changes. Ensuring your child is undergoing regular wellness checkups is vital to their health and overall sense of well-being. Wellness checkups are also when vaccinations are given, and varied tests are performed to monitor your child’s growth and development.

You may be wondering – what do wellness checkups even consist of? Sometimes your child seems to be 100 percent healthy. Why bother with going to the doctor? Wellness exams are a crucial aspect of prevention, and also monitor your child’s health to identify and prevent problems in the future.

When your child is routinely visiting their pediatric doctor, a relationship is being formed, and healthy habits are being set for the long run. Making sure your child is comfortable with their doctor is crucial – this allows them to be comfortable and speak of any health or developmental issues they are having into adolescence and adulthood. Establishing healthy relationships will be crucial to bridging the gap between your child and their doctor, and allow for a safe space for conversations regarding their developmental, physical, or mental health. 

So, what will your child’s wellness exam typically look like? This depends on what stage of their life they are in – infancy, toddler, child, or adolescence. Here at Dockside Pediatrics, we highly recommend that parents prepare in advance for their child’s wellness exam – this means jotting down any questions or concerns and bringing them along with you for the appointment. You can also have your child think about any questions they may have for their doctor in advance. This helps both you and your child get the most out of the appointment, and be more active in bettering your child’s health and development.

Below are general tests and exams that your pediatric doctor will cover during your child’s visit. 


Wellness exams include a prevention aspect – where the doctor will review healthy eating habits, proper exercise, and nutrition. Setting healthy habits with your child is crucial to long-lasting health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your doctor will also monitor your child’s height, weight, and body mass index to ensure they are maintaining a healthy weight for their age and height. BMI is important for preventing obesity and tracking your child’s growth and development.

 Growth, Development & Behavior

Did you know by one year, your baby’s brain is 60% of its adult size? Newborns grow quickly, and it’s crucial to ensure your child is hitting the appropriate milestones for their age. Developmental milestones such as speaking, movement, and cognition will be monitored and reviewed in a wellness exam. Your baby’s sleeping schedule will also be reviewed – does your baby have colic, or problems sleeping alone? Since development is faster during childhood, wellness exams are crucial in ensuring your child is healthy and growing. For children and adolescents, doctors will open a conversation about school, family relationships, and overall mental health.

Physical Exam

This includes checking your child’s vision, hearing, blood pressure, weight, and height.  Additional exams are performed to examine your child’s breathing and heartbeat patterns to identify any abnormalities or unusual activity. Depending on what the doctor finds, you’ll get referred to a specialty doctor, such as an eye specialist if your child needs glasses. 

Wellness exams are also a place for you and your child to address concerns, questions, and issues. These check-ups monitor your child’s health and development and prevents future health problems.

Are you looking for a reliable pediatric doctor in Wilmington, North Carolina? Dockside Pediatrics provides personalized pediatric care to New Hanover County residents. Contact us today for next-day appointments!