There are many things to consider when choosing a pediatrician for your newborn. You will be seeing this doctor a lot, especially in the first year. You want someone you are comfortable with and who you trust with the medical care of your young child. Your baby doesn’t get a say in this so make sure you are making a great choice for them. Here are some tips for choosing the right baby doctor.
1. Pick 3 things
Pick 3 things that are most important to you. You are unlikely to find a doctor that has the same philosophies as you on everything. But pick three things that are most important to you and choose a doctor who is supportive or at least open and knowledgeable about them. It might be:
- breastfeeding (a lot of pediatricians are not well versed in this)
- baby led weaning
- vaccine schedules
- knowledgeable about allergies (in case these run in your family)
- safe sleep practices.
Whatever is most important to you, try to find a doctor who is knowledgeable and passionate about them as well.
2. read reviews
Trying looking the doctor up on Google, Yelp, or even the hospital or insurance website. Often you can gather some information on a perspective doctor somewhere online.
3. ask other moms
Ask your mom friends. Even better, join a local mom group on Facebook and ask a much larger pool of moms for recommendations for pediatricians. Be sure you reference the 3 things you picked above so they can recommend someone who might be a good fit for those three.
4. meet with them
Oftentimes you can schedule a little meet and greet before the baby comes to meet the possible pediatrician. You will likly be asked to choose a pediatrician before you leave the hospital. If you can’t meet them ahead of time, feel them out at that first appointment. If you’re not happy, switch. We liked our first pediatrician ok, but then we met another doctor when we had my daughter’s tongue tie clipped. She had facts, cited studies, all things that sang to our hearts. She is also gray-haired and wears socks with sandals and reminds us of a grandmother, all things we loved! So we called and switched doctors simply because we liked her more.
5. consider gender
Your child will see a pediatrician until they are 18 in many cases. If you think you will be living in the same place for a long time you may want to consider gender when choosing a pediatrician. Come puberty a female child may be more comfortable with a female doctor and a male child with a male doctor.
Remember, you are your child’s health advocate. So ask questions, bring notes to those early appointments as you will be tired and will forget your questions when put on the spot. If you are uncomfortable with anything speak up, your baby cannot, so make sure you are their voice. I hope this guide helps you in choosing the best pediatrician for your family!