I skip them. My 3 year old went to a 6 week check and I thought it was pointless, so he hasn't seen a Dr. for a check up since. My 6 month old last saw a Dr. when she was born. We won't be doing any visits with her unless she is sick. Also, the Dr. situation where we live is incredibly pathetic and finding not only a Dr. to see you, let alone one you like is extremely hard. Had I a family doc I clicked with, I would have taken my 6 month old for a 6 week check. Not for any reason other than just to do it. But I still wouldn't have done any more visits even if I had a great Dr.
Anyone skip well baby visits? - Page 2
We do the checkups. If something serious were to happen, or my baby became ill, I'd want to have a relationship with his doctor. I certainly wouldn't want to be explaining myself and why we didn't do the recommended visits while I was worried about my baby. Also, I just think it's a matter of respect. If I go to the trouble of finding and hiring a doctor, and he/she wants us to follow a particular visit schedule - why would I not do it? I don't want him/her to think I'm non compliant and just trying to be contrary, or that I don't respect his opinion. I want him to trust me as a mom - not be exasperated with me. Some pediatricians have separate waiting rooms for well and sick children. I think that's a great idea.
Dr. Wootan's book "Take Charge of Your Child's Health: A Guide to Recognizing Symptoms and Treating Minor Illnesses at Home" (Wootan, George MD and Sarah Verney, 1992. revised in 2000) devotes 5 chapters on how to do a basic well-child check up at home.
To measure the head, you wrap the measuring tape around the middle of the forehead, to the back/bottom part of the head- the part where the spine meets the head, called the "Occipital condyle". In his words: "As a general rule of thumb, the head measurement should be roughly equal to that of the circumference of the chest (measured at the nipple line) for the first 18 months of life."
Dr. Wootan has 11 children himself (!). I highly recommend his book if you are wary of doctors, or think well baby checkups are pointless; it's a GREAT resource.
We haven't taken 13 week DD to a doc yet, although I might in a month or so, just to say we did, and establish a relationship with the doc just in case. When I go, I'll have a medical history/file for the doc to look at already, as I'm doing "checkups" for DD each week (we bought a stethoscope, scale, and are getting an otoscope soon, per Dr. Wootan's suggestions).
The social pressure to take babies to the doc are great, but it's important to realize that our children's health is in our hands. We observe our babies continually, and know our babies best, and with a little bit of knowledge, we will know if something is not right.