What To Do When Your Baby Is Sick
Use a spray disinfectant on frequently touched objects, such as phones, doorknobs, remote controls, toilets and sink faucets. Boil your babys nipples, pacifiers and toys, or wash them in hot soapy water, per the manufacturers directions. You might want to do this daily during times when family members are sick.
Insurance Covers And Costs Of Care
While exploring a pediatrician, check if they accept your insurance plan. It is also important to understand the services covered and those exempted. It is good to know the official policy for processing the insurance forms. Going ahead with a pediatrician compatible with your insurance plan can reduce your expenses. However, do not compromise medical care and choose a qualified, experienced pediatrician.
The overall costs of care also need to be considered. Understand the consulting fees, hospital care charges, fees for home visits, routine visits, and immunization charges. Check if they charge more for after-hours consultations .
Recommendations Of The Ob
Sometimes, you may not have to look far while selecting a pediatrician. Your OB-GYN may help you choose the right one since you would have been consulting them for quite some time now. Your OB-GYN might be familiar with qualified, experienced, and well-respected pediatricians in your area due to their closely linked specialties . They might even connect you to a few and put in a good word for you.
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How To Find The Best Pediatrician For Your Baby
Start by talking to parent friends who live in your area to see which doctors in the neighborhood they love and recommend . Or just do a Google search of pediatricians close to home.
You can schedule visits ahead of your baby’s birth where you and your potential pediatrician meet, get to know each other, ask questions and evaluate whether it’s a good fit. Y
ou might want to start by talking to pediatricians’ office staff over the phone to get some basic information before scheduling an in-person meeting with the doctor. Just note that some doctors charge for these visits, while others offer free initial consultations, so youll want to double-check before you book.
These first meetings are a great opportunity to be honest about things that are important to you.
Do you plan to bottle-feed? Then a doctor whos a wholehearted breast-is-best advocate may not be the right practitioner for you. Or do you want to try breastfeeding exclusively? Then youll want a pediatrician whos 100 percent on board to support your efforts and be there to help you through any obstacles you may face.
If for any reason it doesn’t seem like a good match, its better to find on early in the process.
Other ways to find the best pediatrician for your baby? Call your insurance company for a list of in-network providers. Or check the American Academy of Pediatrics’ directory of board-certified practitioners.
Pediatrician Credentials You Need To Know
When searching for a pediatrician, look for these key designations attached to his/her name.
Board certified: A pediatrician has completed medical school as well as a three-year residency in pediatrics. A board-certified pediatrician has also passed a series of rigorous exams, which he’ll routinely retake.
AAP member: Check to see if a potential doctor belongs to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which indicates that he adheres to the organization’s guidelines and standards.
FAAP listing: These four letters mean that a doctor belongs to the AAP and is board certified.
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How Does Your Pediatrician Work With Your Delivery Team
Most hospitals ask if you have a pediatrician when you go in to deliver. Your babys first examination may be with a hospital pediatrician or your chosen pediatrician. This depends on hospital policy and whether your pediatrician makes rounds at the hospital where you deliver, and whether your baby was born early.
If your baby is born early, they will probably go right to the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. Highly specialized NICU doctors and nurses will care for your baby and monitor their health until they develop enough to come home.
Your pediatrician will be given the records from your babys stay in the hospital. After you leave the hospital, your pediatrician will see your baby 48 to 72 hours after discharge, then regularly after that for “well-child visits.”
If your child ever needs more specialized care, your pediatrician will coordinate care with other health care professionals. They will help you understand complex information and help you make decisions as needed.
When Will Your Pediatrician First See Your Baby
Your pediatrician will first see your baby most likely at the hospital within 24 hours after you give birth. That said, its possible youll have a different doctor when you deliver. In that case, youll see the pediatrician you chose at your first well-baby visit outside the hospital, which takes place around a week after your little one is born.
Keep in mind that if that happens, youll want to bring your infant growth chart with you so your pediatrician’s office can keep a record of it.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
- What to Expect When Youre Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
- What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff.
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Questions To Ask The Pediatrician:
- What is your educational background and training?
- What hospital would you admit my child to in an emergency?
- What is your philosophy about breastfeeding?For example, do you make referrals to lactation consultants?
- Do you have separate waiting areas for sick and healthy children?
- What is your philosophy about circumcision and the use of antibiotics?
- If you are unavailable when I call, will your nurse be available?
- Does your office accept my insurance plan or make other payment arrangements?
Why Its Not Safe For Visitors To See A Newborn Sooner
Forget about the common cold. A major concern is a potential infection that can be passed onto your infant, Dr. Schaffner explains. âWe know that infants are very vulnerable to whooping cough, and before they can be vaccinated themselves, the way it finds newborns is if family members bring it into the home,â Dr. Schaffner explains. âSo if someone wants to see the baby, they have to have a recent TDaP vaccine, and absolutely no one should get near the baby if they havenât been vaccinated against Covid.â Dr. Alexander adds: âVery serious infections such as sepsis or meningitis are possible during the first few months of life. It would be best for visitors to wait until the baby is at least two months old.â
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When Should I Start Looking For A Pediatrician
It’s a good idea to start looking for a doctor about 3 months before your baby is due. Ask for recommendations from relatives, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and doctors you know. Then, check your insurance company’s website to see if the doctors are in your plan.
If you’re new to an area, start by searching for pediatricians on your insurance company’s website or try the American Academy of Pediatrics Find a Pediatrician tool.
Look at online reviews and ratings, but proceed with caution. Like all online sites, the reviewers’ opinions and expectations may differ from yours. Make sure the review site only allows feedback from actual patients.
Of course, doctors aren’t the only people in a pediatrics office who care for children. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants also see young patients. They are trained to give shots, check kids for health problems, prescribe medicines and do many of the things doctors can do.
Is That Supposed To Be In My Babys Diaper
Newborn diapers can look different day to day stool frequency, color and consistency will change as your babys eating changes in those first few days. It will also depend on whether your newborn is drinking breast milk or formula, but once a baby is feeding regularly, they should be gifting you with around eight to ten wet diapers a day.
Ask your pediatrician about the frequency, color and consistency of your newborns poops, especially if your baby doesnt seem to be producing many wet diapers. While there can be many acceptable shades, be sure to tell your pediatrician if you see stool that is red, black, or white, since these could signal a medical issue in rare cases.
Many families also notice that after a few weeks it seems as though the baby strains or has to push hard to poop. Sometimes, they even make grunting noises and turn red in the face. This is very common and normal. Your baby is teaching themselves how to poop. They need to learn what muscle to use and how to respond to the feeling of having to poop. As long as once the poop comes out is it soft and the usual color, all is well. If you have concerns about this, call your doctor.
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How Do I Choose Between A Pediatrician And A Family Doctor
The most obvious difference between a pediatrician and a family doctor is that pediatricians specialize in caring for babies, children, and teens, while family doctors also treat adults in the family.
For some people, its important for everyone in the family to be treated by the same doctor. Others might prefer a doctor who focuses on caring for children only.
This decision is ultimately a personal one. It may come down to which doctor makes you feel most comfortable.
Whether youre looking for a pediatrician or a family doctor, its perfectly fine to interview doctors before you decide.
According to doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, these are some questions you should consider when choosing a pediatrician:
- What are their office hours?
- How do I reach them if my baby has an emergency after hours?
- What hospital are they affiliated with?
- How is billing handled?
Parents seem to go to a lot of different extremes when choosing a pediatrician. Some simply choose the pediatrician on call in the hospital when their baby is born or pick a doctor randomly from a list in the phone book or their insurance directory.
Others do detailed research and conduct an interview asking their potential new pediatrician everything from where they went to medical school to what their scores were on their medical boards.
Tip #: Make A List Of What You Want In A Pediatrician
When you think about the ideal pediatrician, certain things probably come to mind. Do you want a pediatrician similar to the one you had growing up? Do you hope to see someone who feels more like a peer and fellow parent than an intimidating expert? Or are credentials the most important factor?
While credentials can vary, any pediatrician you choose should be either an MD or DO and have completed a pediatric residency. You also want someone who is certified with the American Board of Pediatrics.
Beyond training, think also about location and availability. Obviously, you need a practice that takes your insurance. How about location and number of offices? Do they have weekend hours? Are they able to do labs onsite? Are they convenient to public transporation?
Accessibility and technology matter, too. For example, do you want to be able to email questions through MyChart or a similar patient portal, and use telemedicine? Start by making a list of the most important factors for you.
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How To Select A Pediatrician
Parents should start looking for a pediatrician weeks before Baby is due. Here are the most important criteria for selecting the best pediatrician near you.
Choosing a pediatrician for your baby is no easy task. After all, this doctor will help your little one through childhood vaccinations, nasty colds, and everything in between. But when should you start looking for a pediatrician, and what criteria should you focus on? Here are our top tips for choosing the best pediatrician near you.
Consider The Location Hours And Size Of The Practice
For many working parents, choosing a clinic with extended hours, including evening and weekend options, is key. Other parents prioritize location close to home, close to school or close to the office. Pick whatever you think will work best for you.
Also keep in mind that young kids get sick unexpectedly. A lot. Accidents happen. Of course, emergency rooms exist for imminent, life-threatening issues, but for everything else, same-day sick visits offer the opportunity for immediate care in a familiar atmosphere. Evidence suggests that they also reduce wait time and increase patient satisfaction. Keep in mind that when children fall ill, many day cares and schools require antibiotics or documented physical clearance before they can return, so if having the opportunity for a same-day appointment is important to you, then put it high on your list.
Is it important for you to have a way to communicate with your provider during evenings and weekends? If so, look for a clinic with an online portal, where you can email your childs provider, request appointments, review lab results, and access physical forms and vaccination records that might be required for day care and school entry.
Another thing to consider is the size of the practice. You might prefer a smaller group practice that makes it easier to build rapport with a single doctor, but a larger group might make it easier to get an appointment.
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Identify Your Needs And Preferences
Consider the type of doctor you want. Pediatricians including medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine arent the only professionals who take care of kids. Family medicine providers and pediatric nurse practitioners do as well. Whatever you prefer, verify that your choice is board-certified, meaning that they have a medical degree from a qualified school and have completed residency training and passed the appropriate state exams. You can check the certifications of pediatric medical doctors, family medicine doctors, and doctors of osteopathic medicine online. Also, if you are anticipating that your newborn might have a special medical need, you may want a doctor who has a relationship with a larger health system or pediatric hospital to facilitate communication with pediatric subspecialists.
Create a checklist of whats important to you to measure your candidates against. Make sure to include any partners as they might have different opinions about whats important. Some things to consider include: