I was shocked to learn after P was born that kids get sick like once a month in their first 1-2 years of life. Even more so if they are in daycare with other kids. In P’s first four months of life, he ended up with bronchiolitis a few times that required a nebulizer. We kept taking so much time off of work to take care of him when he was sick that we decided I would stay home full time.
Add in P being super colicky (props to all the parents who have had to deal with that, too), and his pediatrician and I became super tight.
As a new parent, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which pediatrician to choose. Below is a checklist to consider when selecting one for your child.
- How close is the pediatrician’s office in proximity to your location?
- Are they accepting new patients?
- How difficult is it to get a same day appointment for a sick child?
- Do they offer extended hours?
- Do they have office hours where you can walk-in without an appointment?
- Do their practices line up with what you need for your child? Here, I mean, what are their stances on medication (do they give it freely or not at all?)? How do they handle vaccinations?
- Can anyone you trust recommend them?
- Do you feel like they will listen to you and your concerns?
We love the fact that our pediatrician took the time to get to know us in addition to our children. She often told us that if we were concerned, then she was concerned, so we should never feel silly about contacting her office or bringing in our children. Which brings me to my next few points.
- BE WARY OF OFFICES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL STUPID FOR CALLING ABOUT THE SMALL THINGS. You are a new mom and have the right to ask questions. I’m so glad technology has given me the ability to email our pediatrician’s office with questions so I don’t spend a ton of time on the phone.
- If you are experiencing a baby that cries more than what seems normal, do not let your pediatrician tell you it’s just “colic”. There’s always a reason for colicky crying, and it should be investigated further (in the cases of both of our boys, it was a milk allergy and GI issues).
- You are your baby’s advocate, and you know baby better than anyone else. When in doubt, call.
Above all, trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is.
What are some tips you have for selecting a pediatrician? What do you love or not love about your child’s pediatrician?