18 months checkup! What to expect


Hello!!! This is MAY.
This is a translation of JUN’s article.
In this article, JUN will describe what we did at our son’s one-year and six-month checkup in Japan. This checkup is one of the most important exams.
The coupon with the place, possible dates, and instructions arrives by mail around 18 months of age (in our case, it came when my son turned 19 months). Among many instructions, I was told to bring shoes, a toothbrush, and a towel for my son.
My goal in sharing this information is that parents can be a little calmer knowing what to expect from this checkup.


Physical Examination

Initially, my son had to be in diapers only for these measurements.
The following four measurements are taken:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Chest circumference
  • Head circumference

After the measurements were taken, they calculated the obesity level.
If the body mass index is off the standard (more than ±15%), you will probably have to undergo “nutritional counseling”.

Dental Checkup

In my son’s case, I told them that he already had a cavity that had been treated at this time.
The items to be checked are as follows:

  • Does he have a cavity?
  • Are there any stains on the teeth? (I was told to brush his teeth beforehand)
  • His bite

Then, from the dental hygienist, I was advised on tooth brushing.
We were only brushing his teeth at night. Then, I was told to brush his teeth in the morning as well.
She recommended toothpaste (gel) and instructed us to treat children who don’t like to brush their teeth. We suffer every day to brush his teeth. Do you also have this battle every day?

Childcare Counseling (developmental testing)

The developmental test items are as follows:

  • Language development
  • Cognitive ability
  • Hyperactivity

First, the child and parent were instructed to sit in separate chairs. (I think they were looking to see if he could sit by himself).
Next, they brought out five cubic blocks, and a public health nurse (or nursery teacher?) asked my son if he could sit alone. Then, the nurse (or nursery teacher?) stacked the blocks in front of him.
My son was not in a good mood, partly because he was sleepy and did not respond to her commands.
This is a test item called the “Tower of Building Blocks” in the new version of the K-style developmental test. It measures a child’s cognitive ability by the number of blocks that can be stacked.


  • 1 year to 1 year and three months old can stack two blocks;
  • 1 year, three months to 1 year, six months old can stack three blocks;」
  • 1 year, six months to 1 year, nine months old can stack five blocks.

In my child’s case, he sat there without moving a muscle. LOL! I think he was sleepy and shy from being in a place with strange people he had never been to before.
When I put one of the blocks in his hand, he finally started to move.
When my son dropped the blocks on the floor, the nursery teacher asked, “Can you pick up the blocks that fell?” I think she was trying to see if he could understand simple instructions. It was just a coincidence that he dropped the blocks. At the end of this exman, She took out a bag of blocks and asked him, “Can you put them in this bag?” He promptly started to collect the blocks and insert them into the bag.
The nursery teacher called him by his name to see if he had any reaction. 「◯◯kun~。」I think that since he has been going to daycare since he was 13 months old, this task was relatively easy for him.
Finally, she said, “Bye-bye” and waited for his response. In my son’s case, he didn’t say
‘bye bye”. He was trying to give high-five (as they do when they say goodbye in the kindergarten), but the nursery teacher did not want to answer back his high-five, giving him only “air-touch”. Maybe because we are fighting a pandemic situation these days, right? But, my son was stunned. LOL!
While the children were playing with the blocks, I had a medical interview.
The content of the interview was based on the questionnaire that we were asked to fill out beforehand.

  • How many words are being spoken?
  • What is your daily routine (when does he go to bed, when does he eat?)
  • Are there any difficulties in raising your child?
  • Do you have any concerns about parenting?

They seemed to be judging the language delay through the interview since my son didn’t utter a single word.
At one year and six months old, I think it’s okay if he can say about three words.

Nutritional counseling, pediatric consultation, developmental counseling ( if applicable).

If necessary, there are three more exams.

  • Nutrition Consultation
  • Pediatric consultation
  • Developmental Consultation

If you request it during the initial interview, you can probably get all of them. I asked for and received the “pediatric consultation”.
From the standpoint of a support person, I think it is good to know if there is a developmental delay.
The earlier you know and take action, the faster your child will grow.


In my case, there was hardly any waiting time. It took about an hour.
In summary, the checkup items are as follows:

    • (Mandatory)
  • Physical examination
  • Dental checkup
  • Childcare consultation
    • (only if requested)
  • Nutrition consultation
  • Pediatric consultation
  • Developmental consultation

In my case, the time of the checkup was right during his nap time. We didn’t have the option of choosing another time. If you can avoid nap time, I believe it will be better for your child to be in a good mood and be appropriately evaluated.

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