Going Home

Many new parents worry about taking care of their newborn after they leave the hospital. Our on-staff educators, case managers and social workers will do everything possible to make the transition home as stress-free as possible for your family, and ensure that you feel prepared to take care of your baby.

A visit with a pediatrician before the baby is born can be an important step for first-time parents. But if you haven’t already selected a regular doctor for your baby, choose a pediatrician here.

Follow up care

After the baby is born, the next visit should be two-three days after bringing the baby home (for breast-fed babies) or when the baby is two-four days old (for all babies discharged from a hospital before two days old). For experienced parents, some practitioners will delay the visit until one-two weeks of age.

Thereafter, visits should occur at the following points during the first year:

  • by 1 month (although experienced parents can wait until two months)
  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 1 year

Of course, visits and phone calls to a health care provider should be made any time a baby or child seems ill or whenever the parent is concerned about a baby’s health or development.

Each visit includes a complete physical examination to assess the infant or young child’s growth and development and help identify problems early. Height, weight and other important information is recorded and considered. Hearing, vision and other tests will be a part of some visits. Such preventive care is important for raising healthy children.

Well-child visits are also key times for communication. Expect to be given information about normal development, nutrition, sleep, safety, infectious diseases that are “going around” and other important topics for parents.

Learn more about well child visits.

Children's immunizations

Immunizations (also called vaccinations) are a set of shots given to infants and children at different ages to help keep them from developing dangerous childhood diseases. The diseases vaccinations protect against have serious complications and can even be fatal. Making sure your child receives immunizations when scheduled is the best way to help protect your child.

Our Child Immunization Program provides free immunizations throughout Pierce and South King County for children two months to 18 years old who don't have a regular health care provider or health care coverage. Call 253-426-6938 for clinic locations, dates and times or more information.

Read about childhood immunizations in the Health Library.

Additional links

Learn more at our childbirth and parenting classes.