Plan To See Pediatrician Several Times During Babys First Year
Choosing a pediatrician to care for your newborn is an important decision that you will want to make before you give birth. The pediatrician you select will come to know your family well and provide you with medical advice during the various stages of your childs development.
During your babys first year alone, you will be visiting the doctor at least seven times for well-baby checkups. There could also be unplanned visits for a fever or a first cold.
Parents need to feel they can trust their pediatrician and that the doctor will consider how they want to care for their child, says Gurinder Dabhia, MD, a pediatrician at Scripps Clinic Rancho Bernardo.
Dont skip any appointments for your child, especially newborns. You do not want your children to fall behind on their vaccinations, physical exams and screenings during their early development, Dr. Dabhia says.
Well-child care visits
The American Academy of Pediatrics says routine baby and child checkups are essential. Especially important are in-person visits and vaccines for children age 24 months and younger. A video visit may be appropriate or available for some health concerns and conditions.
The following five tips can help you in your search for a pediatrician as you prepare for the arrival of your child.
1. Do your research
2. Verify credentials and experience
Learn as much as possible about the pediatrician you are considering for your child.
3. Is the pediatrician available and easy to reach?
What To Do If You Want To Switch Practitioners
If youre not happy with your current pediatrician, dont hesitate to find a new one. If you dont already have a pediatrician, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
Perhaps the office isnt conveniently located, youre having trouble getting an appointment, or you feel the doctor isnt a good match for other reasons.
To find a new pediatrician, speak with your OB-GYN or family doctor again. They might be able to provide additional recommendations.
You can also check your network again. If its not too awkward, you can choose a different pediatrician in the same group practice.
You can also contact The American Board of Pediatrics to find a board certified pediatrician in your area.
Do I Have To Choose A Pediatrician Can My Child See A Different Health Care Provider
A pediatrician is not the only health care provider trained to see babies, children, and adolescents. Some parents prefer a general practitioner, family physician or chiropractor. The same parents might visit a pediatrician only if their child experiences a serious medical problem or complication.
Want to Know More?
Also Check: How High Should Crib Mattress Be For Newborn
Md Or Do: Whats The Difference
Pediatricians can graduate from medical school with either an MD or a DO degree. Both degrees train doctors to diagnose and treat diseases and to try to prevent them when possible.
Programs for DOs usually focus on a holistic approach to medicine. MDs study medicine in the traditional way. All MDs and DOs must complete a residency supervised hands-on training before they are licensed to practice medicine.
Choosing a DO or MD is up to you. Both are equally qualified. But you do want to make sure that your childs pediatrician is board certified.
When Is The Pediatrician Available By Phone And E
Some pediatricians have a specific call- in period each day when you can phone with questions, while others will return calls as they come in throughout the day. If members of the office staff routinely answer these calls, consider asking what their training is. Also ask your pediatrician for guidelines to help you determine which questions can be resolved with a phone call and which require an office visit. Some pediatricians prefer using e-mail to communicate. While you may have some concerns about discussing issues in this way, overall it can help foster your relationship with the doctor.
Read Also: How Often Do You Breastfeed A Newborn
How Often Will I Need To Return To My Childs Pediatrician
Most parents schedule subsequent pediatric appointments before leaving the office at each visit. After your childs initial visit, he or she will need to return for wellness check-ups and immunizations multiple times over the next two years, and then once annually after that. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pediatric check-ups at 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, and 30 months of age. Your schedule may vary slightly from the AAPs recommendations but should keep the same general timeline.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome , also known as crib death, refers to the sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant under one year of age. Such deaths usually occur while the baby is sleeping and remain unexplained, even after a full investigation.
Nobody knows how to prevent SIDS, but the latest research shows that there are things that you can do to make your baby safer.
Ways to reduce the risk of SIDS
- Put your baby to sleep on their back.
- Put your baby on a firm, flat surface.
- Avoid fluffy pillows, comforters, stuffed toys and bumper pads.
- Make sure your baby is not too warm.
- Make sure your cribs meets safety standards.
- Do not sleep with your baby if you smoke.
- Do not sleep with your baby if you are extremely tired, have been drinking alcohol, taking medications that make you drowsy or taking recreational drugs.
It is very important that parents who have lost a baby due to SIDS not blame themselves. Until the cause or causes of SIDS are found, all you can do is reduce the identified risks.
You May Like: What Similac Is Best For Newborns
The Best Pediatrician Is The Right Pediatrician For Your Family
The good news is that there are quality doctors out there to choose from. Once youre satisfied with a pediatricians merit, take the time to find someone you connect with and explore any conveniences their clinic offers. Your childs doctor should be someone you trust and feel comfortable discussing questions and issues with. Talking with other parents about their experiences and recommendations is a huge help.
There is a night and day difference between the experiences of parents who love versus those who dont like their pediatrician. If you start with one doctor and arent happy, dont be afraid to try others to find a better fit for your family. Having a trusted partner in your childs health through the years is priceless.
When To Register With A Pediatrician
The best time to register with a pediatrician is way before the baby arrives. You can not expect to begin your vetting process for one with a wailing infant in your arms. Experts suggest that you begin your search when you are roughly 28-34 weeks along. This will ensure medical assistance for you right after birth. Maintaining a long term relationship with the doctor also has its benefits for the sheer knowledge base they have regarding your child.
However, it is important to foment expectations based on reality. A pediatrician is not at your beck and call which is why it is important to keep your expectations in check. Reach out only for alarming symptoms. It is important to get briefed by the pediatrician on physical metrics such as temperature, vomit, weight issues, pooping and others that you should report to the doctor. For the rest, relax and enjoy your time with the baby as an expert pediatrician has your back.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Newborn Baby Acne
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?
When To Start Looking
With all of the excitement and physical changes during pregnancy, it’s easy to overlook the fact that you’re about to become a parent! The last trimester of pregnancy is a good time to start looking for your new baby’s pediatrician.
Beginning Your SearchTo get a list of prospects, ask your own healthcare provider, or reach out to friends and family for recommendations. You could also call your local medical society, board of health, or hospital for some references.
Don’t Miss: When A Newborn Baby Can See And Hear
What Are The Costs Of Care
Your pediatrician should have a standard fee structure for hospital and office visits as well as after- hours visits and home visits . Find out if the charges for routine visits include immunizations. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the scope of your insurance coverage before you actually need services.
After these interviews, ask yourself if you are comfortable with the pediatrician’s philosophy, policies, and practice. You must feel that you can trust her and that your questions will be answered and your concerns handled compassionately. You also should feel comfortable with the staff and the general atmosphere of the office.
Once your baby arrives, the most important test of the pediatrician you have selected is how she cares for your child and responds to your concerns. If you are unhappy with any aspect of the treatment you and your child are receiving, you should talk to the pediatrician directly about the problem. If the response does not address your concerns, or if the problem simply cannot be resolved, seek out another physician.
We hope you found our tips on how to find a pediatrician helpful. For more information on your baby’s growth and development, visit Enfamil.com today.
When Should You Get A Pediatrician For Your Baby
If youre like many parents-to-be, you may be wondering: When should I find a pediatrician? Should you start looking now, or wait until after your baby is born?
Your pediatrician will play an important role in your little ones health and will likely provide care throughout most of their young life. Naturally, you want a doctor you feel comfortable with and can trust.
Making a decision of this importance will take time and should be considered carefully. Starting your search early on is very important.
If your little one gets a cold or you have concerns about her health, you know exactly who to call.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends finding a pediatrician during your third trimester, or about three months before your baby is due.
Finding a pediatrician early on can give you comfort and peace of mind. Along with answering questions about bringing your baby home, your doctor can also perform a prenatal visit and introduce strategies to help manage the stress and challenges of being a new parent.
Research also shows that when children see the same pediatrician for the first six months, they are twice as likely to get important health tests.
After all, your pediatrician will see your family through many milestones, from well-baby check-ups to vaccinations and the inevitable cold or fever. Its important to have a doctor that you know and trust.
Recommended Reading: How To Nurse A Newborn Baby
How To Research A Pediatrician
Searching for a pediatrician may seem daunting, but remember that you’re not trying to find the best doctor in the world. You’re simply looking for the most effective doctor for you, your partner, and your future child. Here are some tips.
Get references. Everyone has different criteria for picking a pediatrician, so you should collect at least three names from friends and coworkers. Also look into the hospitals that your candidates are affiliated with you’ll want one that’s both convenient and reputable.
Look into insurance. Call your insurance company about any doctor that sparks your interest, since provider lists change frequently.
Visit the office. Scout out the location of the pediatrician’s office. Given how often you’ll be visiting, you’ll want to choose a doctor thats relatively close to home.
Schedule a meeting. After whittling down your list, schedule face-to-face meetings with some of the doctors . Ask if the doctor charges for these prenatal visitssome do, and the fees probably aren’t covered by insurance. You can expect to be accommodated within a few weeks, although some pediatricians do monthly group meet and greets.
What Should I Expect During Our Visit
Your first visit may be one of the longest. If your child did not receive the hepatitis B shot at birth, it will be administered in the office at the first visit. Your child will also be measured and weighed, and the pediatrician will conduct a physical exam. Be prepared to answer questions about your childs eating habits, including how frequently your baby is feeding and how long. Your childs pediatrician may spend time talking with you about related topics, such as developmental milestones, teaching a child to sleep through the night, and baby-proofing your home and car.
You May Like: Where Do I Get My Newborn’s Social Security Number
What To Look For
Its a good idea to make sure the pediatrician you would like to meet is board-certified.
Board-certified pediatricians have completed not only medical school and residency programs in pediatrics, but theyâve also passed a rigorous exam given by the American Board of Pediatrics.
To remain board-certified, pediatricians must continue their education through classes and workshops, demonstrate quality patient care and maintain a valid medical license to demonstrate they are up-to-date on the most current medical practices, knowledge and skills for health care for children of all ages.
Determine what is important to you from a practical perspective. For example, does the pediatricians office need to be convenient to your home, workplace, day care or other locations?
Payment and Insurance
Before scheduling to meet a pediatrician, check with his or her office staff to ensure the office accepts your current insurance. If you do not carry insurance or the office doesnt accept your plan, ask about what expenses you should expect. You may also want to confirm your co-payment, laboratory and other possible expenses with your insurance company.
Each Texas Childrens Pediatrics practice has a list of insurance plans it accepts, so its easy to see if a given practice takes your insurance.
Also Check: How Much Vitamin D For Newborn
When Will Your Pediatrician First See Your Baby
Your pediatrician will first see your baby for your first well-baby visit most likely within 24 to 48 hours after you leave the hospital. Youll want to bring your hospital discharge summary with you so the 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.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Take Care Of A Newborn
Choosing A Pediatrician For Your New Baby
From the day you learn you’re pregnant, you make decisions that last your child’s lifetime like the name you choose for your baby. To give your newborn the healthiest possible start, you’ll want to find a pediatrician to care for your child from their first wellness visit through the teen years. Here are tips on how to find that doctor.
Don’t Miss: What Formula Should I Give My Newborn
Will My Pediatrician Come To South Shore Hospital After My Baby Is Born
While all South Shore Medical Center pediatricians are on-staff at South Shore Hospital, we wont be the ones providing care for your baby immediately after birth. Instead, that care will be provided by pediatric hospitalists.
These hospitalists will take care of all of your babys medical needs and will be able to address any issues that may arise or any questions you may have.
Because were both part of South Shore Health, South Shore Hospital and South Shore Medical Center use the same electronic medical records system. This means your pediatrician will be aware of everything that took place in the Hospital when you go take your newborn to the Medical Center.
When you arrive for your first appointment with your pediatrician, he or she will be fully up to speed on your babys birth and on any issues that require follow-up.