Finding The Best Pediatrician For Your Newborn
Begin your search by reaching out to friends with children or asking for suggestions from other parents in the neighborhood. They may even tell you who to avoid! Another way to find a pediatrician? Do a map search on your insurance companys website to see which in-network providers are near you.
You can also check the American Board of Pediatrics’ directory of board-certified practitioners. These doctors commit to continuing education in order to maintain their membership. That means you can feel confident that your pediatrician has current knowledge of the most up-to-date research and treatments for children.
Plan a visit to meet the doctor before your baby is born. Ask questions, learn more about one another, and see if it feels like a match. Call their office to find out if theyre taking new patients and whether they will accept your healthcare coverage. Also, ask if they offer a free initial consultation or if there is a fee for these types of meetings.
The initial consultation is your chance to be direct with the doctor about what is important to you. Not everyone will feel like a good match, and its better to know as soon as possible and move on to your next candidate.
What Are The Benefits Of Swaddling My Little One
Some people say that swaddling seems to help their little one to settle more easily and sleep for longer, others find that it can help calm their baby. Research has shown swaddling, used alongside sound and movement, to be effective at soothing crying babies . It can also encourage babies to sleep deeper and for longer .
Another study found that babies who were born early and were swaddled were calmer and had improved neuromuscular development and better muscle tone, and it soothed pain and discomfort .
Tip #: Understand The Difference Between A Pediatrician And A Family Doctor
A family doctor takes care of both adults and children. Everyone in the family sees the same doctor. If you see a family doctor and want to continue your babys care there, you can absolutely do that. A good family physician is well-versed in pediatric care.
However, if you are going the family doctor route, look for a doctor who is associated with a hospital that provides excellent pediatric care.
In addition to expert specialty care, Lurie Childrens offers several primary care locations around the Chicago area for your child’s healthcare needs from infancy through childhood and adolescence. Learn more about our primary care services.
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How To Communicate Well With Your Pediatrician
Effective communication is important to build a good rapport with your pediatrician and make the partnership rewarding. Here are a few tips for communicating well with your pediatrician .
- If your child is unwell, note down all the signs and symptoms and communicate the same to the office while taking an appointment.
- Write down all your concerns and ask them during the visit. If you have several questions that cannot fit into one appointment, schedule a follow-up visit.
- Listen to the physician carefully to understand the issue and treatment at length. If you miss certain information points, request the physician to repeat them. Seek clarification if you do not understand any point.
- Always have a candid conversation with the pediatrician. Any issues with approach or communication should be raised directly but politely.
Is This Doctor A Good Fit For Me
After you’ve had a chance to talk with the doctor and other members of the care team, do you feel you will work well together? Is the doctor willing to explain things carefully? Does the doctor seem to be a good listener? Will you be comfortable asking questions? Do you think the doctor would mind if you wanted to get a second opinion?
Do you and your doctor share beliefs about issues that are important to you? For example, how does the doctor feel about circumcision? Breastfeeding? Alternative or integrative medicines or techniques? Use of antibiotics and other medicines? Remember that the doctor may be seeing your child for years to come.
Keep your notes about the doctors you didn’t select. If your insurance changes, you may find yourself looking for a new doctor. Or it may take a while to find a doctor you’re happy with.
Choosing a health care provider before your baby is born will help you feel confident about your baby’s care. Knowing you have chosen the right doctor will help you feel calmer and more in control.
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How Does Their Practice Operate
Consider how the office operates to ensure it aligns with your needs.
Some questions may include:
- Does the office allow same-day or last-minute appointments?
- Are the office hours convenient for your schedule?
- Does the pediatrician offer evening and weekend hours?
- If its a group practice, will your baby see different doctors or the same pediatrician each time?
How To Choose The Perfect Pediatrician For Your Baby
- Education: How important is your doctors education to you? For me, this wasnt that important. Being a nurse I know how important it is to be fresh out of school and needing the experience but having no one trust you. Yes, it takes a little more trust since these physicians dont have a ton of background experience, but hey they have to start somewhere. Plus, check-ups are pretty routine, how much could they mess up?
- Accolades: Is the pediatrician you are considering featured in any magazines or well-known published articles? Have they spoken at any conferences? Any top ranking in the state? Many providers have a lot of accomplishments under their belt, but its up to you to decide if any of that stuff is important to you. When choosing a pediatrician for my child, I definitely was impressed by any mentions of accolades for a certain provider, but it was not anything that helped in my final decision making. Instead, it was like icing on top of the cake.
- History: The same way you have a job history, so does a provider. Its important to decide if having knowledge of your providers history is important for you. In my search, this was very important. I wanted to know any medical errors/malpractices, any fires/not eligible for rehires or any blemishes the pediatrician had on their work history. Which leads me to my next point.
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What Hospitals Is The Practice Affiliated With
Some pediatricians will come to the hospital where you deliver to do your newborns first checkup, but only if they have an affiliation with that hospital. If that is important to you, ask whether or not the doctor does these hospital visits. Otherwise, check to make sure your pediatrician will see you within five days after delivery.
Hopefully, you will never need it, but should your child ever need to be admitted to the hospital, youll want to be familiar with the institution at which your pediatrician has privileges. Thats easier if your childs primary care physician is already affiliated with a pediatric hospital. When you select a practice that is part of the Boston Childrens Primary Care Alliance, you gain access to top-rated specialists at Boston Childrens Hospital, the #1 ranked pediatric hospital in the world.
Don’t Hesitate To Switch Doctors
Maybe your child gets sick and sees a different doctor in the same office and you just click better with them.
Or maybe your needs have changed and you think a new doctor would be a better fit for your family.
“Don’t be afraid to switch if it’s not the right fit,” Dr. Phillips says.
“We want it to be the best experience for you and your family. We’re not insulted if you switch to one of our colleagues.”
Dr. Phillips assures they understand that everyone is a little different.
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What Is A Pediatrician
A pediatrician, family medicine doctor or pediatric nurse practitioner can be your babys primary care provider. Here, we are focusing on pediatricians, who specialize in the care of babies, children and teens.
All medical doctors complete four years of medical school. To become specialized in pediatrics, they complete three additional years of training. Most pediatricians then become board-certified by passing a comprehensive test from the American Board of Pediatrics.
Many pediatricians work together in a group practice with other pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners, who are nurses with additional training in pediatric care. Other members of the healthcare team include nurses, laboratory technicians and administrative staff who handle scheduling and billing.
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How Do I Choose The Right Pediatrician For My Child
Asking friends, relatives and your prenatal care provider for referrals is a good start. The write down the important questions that need to be answered such as whether you prefer a male or female pediatrician or the approximate age of the pediatrician .
Scheduling interviews with more than one pediatrician might seem to be unnecessary but it is worth taking the less than 10 minutes for a brief interview in order to get a feel for his/her personality and approach.
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Make An Informed Choice
Becoming a parent or growing your family is a time of huge transition. It can, at times, feel like a rollercoaster ride. But it’s all part of the process the joys and challenges of being a great parent. And when your child is here, having the right pediatrician by your side can make all the difference in the world.
When you choose a pediatrician at one of CHOPs 30+ Primary Care practices, you become part of one of the countrys top childrens hospital networks. We work with families like yours every day at our locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We get to know you and your family and work to build a relationship based on trust and communication. And we do it all with one goal: to give your child the best care possible, keeping them happy and healthy throughout infancy, childhood, into their teens and beyond.
Wants To Suck Fingers
Many babies like to suck their fingers or hands for comfort while theyre sleeping, and that can sometimes mean that you go to your babys crib when you wake up only to find that theyve broken their arm out! While its good that your baby is able to self soothe with this technique, it isnt ideal when it comes to swaddling safety.
If this happens, you can use swaddling techniques that allow your baby to have a few fingers out when sleeping to suck on, or even an entire arm the detachable arms on our Zen One are perfect for when you want to do this!
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How Long Does It Take To Stop Swaddling
When you have to stop swaddling your baby, you dont need to go completely cold turkey in fact, babies tend to find the transition less jarring if you spread each stage out over the course of a few nights.
For example, you might start by swaddling with one arm out while your baby sleeps for a few nights, then move on to both arms, before switching out the swaddle blanket altogether.
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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. They might also be able to tell you about any negative experiences they may have had. 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.
You might want to start by calling the pediatricians’ office staff to get some basic information before scheduling a virtual, phone or 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. If for any reason it doesn’t seem like a good match, its better to find out early on in the process.
Other ways to find the best pediatrician for your baby? Get a list of in-network providers from your insurance company. Or check the American Board of Pediatrics’ directory of board-certified practitioners.
If you see “F.A.A.P.” after the name, that means the doctor belongs to the American Academy of Pediatrics .
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Key Questions To Ask When Choosing A Pediatrician
A trusted doctor is an essential part of keeping your child healthy as they grow and develop. Choosing a pediatrician for your child is one of the first and most important decisions you make as a parent. But many new parents are not sure how to choose a physician or what questions to ask.
Finding a pediatrician isnt difficult, but starting as soon as possible checks a key item off your to do list in time to make an informed decision before babys arrival.
There are many considerations, including a pediatricians training and experience, as well as their offices location, hours and routines. Here are some helpful hints to find a quality doctor who is a good fit for you and your baby.
When Should I Look For A Pediatrician
Start looking for pediatricians while you’re still pregnantpreferably between 28 and 34 weeks along. “It’s important to have a pediatrician you’ve already met and respect, because you have enough going on after the baby is born,” says Evaline Alessandrini, M.D., a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Theres also another benefit of finding a pediatrician early: Dr. Alessandrini’s recent study, which she co-authored, found that babies who see the same doctor for their first 6 months are up to twice as likely to receive important health tests before they turn 2. Sticking with the same doctor also prevents wasted time on things like going over whether immunizations are up to date,” she says. “If you have a continuing relationship with a doctor, you have the time and comfort to go deeper.”
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Sit In The Waiting Room
This one may seem a bit crazy, but its important! While you wait to meet the doctor, sit in the waiting room, and pay attention to what is going on. Do people seem to be irritated? Does it seem to take forever for a nurse to call patients back? Are the phones ringing off the hook with no answer? Are there sick kids coughing all over toys that healthy children are also using? Make a mental note and remember that anything you see happening at that moment is likely to occur during your visits as well. If you feel comfortable, you may also want to ask parents in the room how they like their experience with the practice and the doctor.
We all imagine our children going to the same doctor from birth until they age out of the practice, but if you do all of these things and still find that you dont love your choice of a pediatrician, you can always make a changeso dont fret! Its unlikely that any doctor in your area with the right credentials could be bad for your child, so feel assured in knowing that youve likely made the right choice, and if not, that choice can always be changed. In the meantime, work to check this task off your list, and good luck with your search to choose a pediatrician!
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.
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Where To Get A Swaddling Cloth
You can buy a swaddling cloth from most baby stores. There are different types of swaddling cloths. Some of them are simple square or rectangle blankets. Others are sack-like and allow you to zip your baby up. Some have additional flaps on the side that wrap across your babyâs body and are secured with sticky strips.
The Most Important Credential: Good Listening Skills
Dr. Phillips says much of what she and other pediatricians do with their patients is just answering questions.
They talk to new parents about how to get their babies to sleep through the night, tackle tantrums with toddlers, and cope with changing attitudes during teenage years.
“So much of what we do is just advice,” she says.
“We talk about behavior, sleep, feedingmany things that aren’t necessarily related to their physical exam but are important for their health and wellbeing. You want to feel your doctor is going to listen to you.”
Your comfort level with a doctor is ultimately going to be one of the most important factors in getting the best care for your child.
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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Swaddling Your Baby
Swaddling can help a baby sleep but has both pros and cons. The advantages of swaddling your baby include:
- Better sleep. For babies, being swaddled is like being back in the womb. One study of 16 babies aged 10 to 16 weeks found that swaddling increases the amount of time they stay asleep and decreases the number of times they startle and wake by themselves.
- Less crying. A study on 368 babies who cried excessively found that babies under seven weeks old cried slightly less after being swaddled.
- Premature babies. Swaddling has been found to help premature babies with improved development of nerves and muscles, better organization of motor movement.
- Calming and pain relief. Premature babies who are swaddled during a weighing were less distressed compared to babies who arenât swaddled. In a study, it was found that swaddling can help relieve pain in premature infants after a heelstick blood test.
- Sleep position. Parents who swaddle their babies are more likely to place them flat on their back when swaddled, which is the recommended sleep position for babies.â
Swaddling is a technique that involves wrapping a baby snugly and securely in a blanket. To swaddle a baby safely, the blanket must support the babys body comfortably, but not too tightly, leaving the head showing so they can breathe.
However, swaddling has some potential risks if a person does it incorrectly or at the wrong age for the baby.
To swaddle a baby safely: