Primary Care
When to See Your Pediatrician

You know your child needs to see their pediatrician. But how often? Any time they’re sick? We’re here to make it easy on you and keep your child well as much as possible.
girl sneezing

How Often Should You Go to the Pediatrician for Check-Ups

All children need to see their pediatrician regularly. Well-child visits help keep kids healthy and strong. Try to schedule well-child check-ups at the following ages in addition to any other times requested by your provider. 
  • Newborn
  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 months old
  • 9 months old
  • 12 months old
  • 15 months old
  • 18 months old
  • 2 years old
  • 2 1/2 years old
  • Yearly 3+ years old

When to Contact the Pediatrician

Even with regular check-ups, kids get sick. A lot. Daycare tummy bugs, junior high head colds. You just can’t prevent them all. 

Should you contact your pediatrician? Trust your parenting instincts. You know your child best. If you have concerns, call our office. Together, we can decide on the most suitable care for your child’s situation.

Newborns and Infants

If you have a newborn, you’ll likely call your pediatrician more often. And that’s OK. Newborns have a different set of standards than big kids because they’re still adjusting to life outside the womb. They’re also more vulnerable to common illnesses. 

You should call your pediatrician if your newborn or young infant experiences any of the following:

  • Breathing problems: A hard time breathing or a cough that won’t go away
  • Color changes:
    • Grayish-blue coloring around the mouth, lips and tongue when feeding or crying
    • Persistent redness around the child’s nipple area
    • Redness, foul odor or discharge in the umbilical cord area
    • Redness or discharge from the eyes
    • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Feeding issues:
    • Continued spit-up or forceful vomiting
    • Poor feeding
  • Fever: A temperature of 100.4ºF or higher (taken rectally)
  • Excessive crying: Crying or irritability that won’t stop
  • Too few or too many diaper changes:
    • Less than two wet diapers per day for the first 48 hours of life, or less than three wet diapers per day after the first 48 hours of life (should have 6–8 wet diapers per day)
    • A bowel movement that is different than what’s typical for your baby
  • Trouble sleeping:
    • Extreme drowsiness
    • Sleeping through typical feeding times
    • Unusual quietness or lack of movement

Age 1 Year and Older

As your child grows, they won’t need to see the pediatrician as often for well visits. As you grow in parenting experience, you’ll learn more about whether an illness needs an office visit. But you should still contact our office if you have serious concerns or if your child shows any of the following: 

  • Ear pain, especially with or after a cold (your child may have an ear infection)
  • Fever above 100.4ºF that lasts longer than three days
  • Labored breathing that doesn’t respond to treatments at home
  • Vomiting or diarrhea that doesn’t respond to diet changes
  • Sore throat with fever and neck tenderness (your child may have strep, which requires antibiotics)
sick child call

24/7 Phone Coverage for Existing Patients

If your child is a current patient of Cincinnati Children’s Primary Care, you can contact your primary care office any time, day or night. We have nurses or other providers available 24/7 to speak with you about your child’s symptoms, then to help you decide what to do next – make an appointment with us, treat your child at home, or visit an urgent care or emergency department. 

Pediatric Urgent Care vs. ER (Emergency Room)

Not sure if your child needs a trip to pediatric urgent care or the emergency department? Call your primary care office first so they can help you decide where to go. You can also check out our chart to help you decide between a virtual visit with a primary care provider, a trip to Urgent Care, or a visit to the ER.
What Type of Care Does My Child Need?