Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Child Health

18-Month Well Baby Visit

Regular “well baby” check-ups with primary care are important for tracking infant development and for promoting the childhood immunization schedule. In Ontario, these well baby visits are recommended on a regular schedule through the first months of a child’s life, from two months up to 18 months.

Eighteen months is a milestone in a child’s development, and the Ontario government has provided resources to promote an enhanced 18-month well baby visit, to allow health care providers an opportunity to track infant progress towards physical and developmental milestones and to collect information about infant health and health exposures.

The 18-month Nipissing District Developmental Screen (NDSS) is a standardized tool for monitoring infant development at the enhanced 18-month well baby visit. The NDSS screens a child’s development with regards to fine and gross motor skills, vision, hearing, speech, language, communication, self-help and cognitive and social/emotional development. This tool is designed to identify areas where children and their parents may benefit from support to help achieve developmental milestones and to work towards helping their child be ready to achieve success when they begin school.

In 2014, 52.7% (51.3%, 54.1%) of Simcoe Muskoka infants 12 to 24 month old infants visited a family physician or paediatrician for an 18-month enhanced well-baby visit, significantly lower than the 56.8% (56.5%, 57.1%) rate for infants across Ontario. This rate has increased significantly in both Simcoe Muskoka and in Ontario as a whole from 32.2% (30.9%, 33.4%) and 41.6% (41.4%, 41.9%), respectively, in 2010.