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Toddlers & Preschoolers
Last Reviewed September 2014

Play, Learning and Development

Doctor, Parent and Child

18 month doctor's visit

Information for parents | Information for health professionals |

Information for Parents about the 18-Month Enhanced Well Baby Visit

All regularly scheduled visits to the doctor are important, and now children aged 18 months are entitled to a longer and more in-depth visit. This visit is called the "Enhanced 18 Month Well Baby Visit". This is a free visit that happens when your child is due for his 18 month vaccine.

This visit gives your doctor the opportunity to take the extra time that is needed for a physical examination of your child as well as time to talk about your child's development. It will give you a chance to talk to your child's doctor about:

  • Community resources.
  • Parenting strategies.
  • Activities that can promote your child's development and prepare your child for school.

YOU are the most important person in your child's life. Your relationship with your child, your parenting style and the activities you do with your child are very important to your child's development.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Enhanced 18-month well-baby visit?

  • This visit is a chance for you to have a detailed discussion with your family doctor about your child's growth and development.
  • It is the last of a series of regularly scheduled primary care visits before your child enters school. For more information, see the Enhanced 18-Month Well Baby (picture version: 5 pages, 175 KB) pamphlet or the Your child's enhanced 18-month well-baby visit (text only version: 1 page, 27 KB) pamphlet.

What will my doctor discuss with me?

  • Your child's growth and development (e.g. behaviour, speaking, or other skills).
  • Activities that you can do to help your child grow and develop.
  • Resources in the community that may be helpful to you as a parent and to prepare your child for school.

How Do I Prepare for this Visit?

  • When you get to the doctor's office, you will be given a checklist to fill out, called the Nipissing District Developmental Screening Tool.
  • If you would like to take a look at it before the appointment, download or order a free copy.

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What is the Nipissing District Developmental Screen or NDDS?

  • It is a quick checklist that will help you keep track of your child's development.
  • You will check off Yes or No to each question.
  • It also gives you a list of simple activities you can do with your child to help him learn new skills.

What if I need help filling out the form?

  • You can ask for assistance from your physician.
  • You can call the Region of Peel – Public Health to speak with a Public Health Nurse who can go through the questions with you.

I don't speak English. Can I get Nipissing District Developmental Screen in my language?


  • It is available in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and French.
  • You can have a family member or your doctor's office staff help you fill it out.

Do I have to pay for this?

  • No.
  • The doctor's visit is free for any child with a valid Health Card.
  • The Nipissing District Developmental Screen is a free tool that you can get from your doctor or order online.

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Why is this visit happening at 18 months?

  • This is a time where you may be facing new challenges in being the parent of a toddler.
  • By 18 months, children should have reached a significant number of developmental milestones.
  • Some early developmental concerns may be noticed by this time.

What is a developmental milestone?

  • A milestone is a task or skill that a child learns.
  • Here are some examples of some milestones an 18 month old child can achieve:
    • Identify a picture in a book.
    • Point to different body parts.
    • Walk alone.
    • Push and pull toys while walking forward.

Does my child have to be exactly 18 months?

  • No.
  • This visit is for a child between the ages of 17 and 24 months.
  • The Nipissing District Developmental Screening tool is meant to be used when a child reaches the age of 18 months.

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What are the benefits of this visit?

  • This visit will give you a chance to ask your doctor questions about your child's growth and development.
  • Your doctor will let you know how your child is developing.
  • Your doctor will put you in touch with community resources, like:
    • Help finding childcare.
    • Parenting classes.
    • Early learning and reading.

I don't have any concerns about my child. Is this visit required?

  • This is a regularly scheduled doctor's visit when your child is also due to receive immunizations.
  • After this visit, it is recommended to see your doctor for a yearly check up, however, this is the last time before your child enters school that immunizations are due.
  • It is a good time for you to discuss with your doctor:
    • Community resources.
    • Parenting strategies.
    • Activities that can promote your child's development and prepare your child for school.
  • YOU are the most important person in your child's life. Your parenting style and the activities you do to promote learning in the home are very important to your child's development.

Will my doctor know about this visit?

  • This enhanced visit is a province-wide initiative, so your doctor should know about it.
  • If he is not aware of it, then ask him to contact the Region of Peel – Public Health at 905-799-7700 to get more information.

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What if I do not have a family doctor or paediatrician?

  • Any doctor or primary health care professional (e.g. a nurse practitioner) can complete this visit for you.
  • You can find a family doctor by calling Health Care Connect at 1-800-445-1822 or by visiting their website.

Quick Links

Ontario’s Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit
This site gives you the information and resources you need to get ready for your child’s 18-month well-baby visit.

Nipissing District Developmental Screen
This site provides information on how to use the tool and how to order a free copy.

Ministry of Children and Youth Services
This site will provide you with information about the 18 month well baby visit.

For more information:

Region of Peel - Public Health
905-799-7700
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
to speak with a Public Health Nurse

Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216


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Revised: Thursday October 02 2014

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