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!
10 thoughts on “How to choose a pediatrician for your newborn”
I do like that you remind readers about how important it is to actually sit down and meet with the pediatrician. After all, you will want the chance to talk to them about your child’s health before you bring them in. It might also help to ask them questions about their skills and experience with handling children.
Thanks for pointing out that you can join a local mom group on Facebook to find great recommendations for local pediatricians. My daughter recently had her first child, and she’s currently looking for a pediatrician in their area. I know she doesn’t have a lot of mom friends, so a local online group seems like the perfect resource for her!
I liked your suggestion to ask the other moms in the area. We just moved to a new city and need to find a great doctor for our two little girls. I think that the other moms would be a great source because they have been in your position and know what you’ll be most concerned about and what you want to look for. Thank you for the advice! I never would have thought about asking them without your help!
I recently moved to a new area for work and I want to find a pediatrician that I can trust for my young daughter. You make a great point that you should meet with potential doctors because this way I can find out if they are easy to get along with and will make my daughter feel comfortable during appointments. This is extremely important to me because I want my daughter to enjoy visiting the doctor and a great doctor will help her to not be nervous.
I really appreciated your advice to try and meet a pediatrician before you hire them. My wife and I are trying to find a pediatrician to meet with our son who is really shy. Hopefully, my wife and I are able to find a doctor that is good at dealing with shy kids.
I hope you find the perfect doctor. He/she is out there!
My husband and I are a few weeks away from our bringing our first baby into the world, and we are on the lookout for a good pediatrician we can start taking her to after the birth. Your article had great tips for choosing a pediatrician, and I liked how you said to ask your friends and other mom’s for their recommendations of pediatricians they’ve use. Thanks for the help; we’ll keep this in mind when choosing the best pediatrician for our newborn.
I loved your tip to pick three things you want your pediatrician to be supportive of, as it will help you feel more supported and open with your doctor. My friend actually just had a baby and will be moving soon. These tips will help her find a great pediatrician in her area, so I’ll be sure to share this article wither her.
I like how you said that you can meet and greet the pediatrician before the baby comes. I am due with my daughter in July. Thank you for the tips for choosing a pediatrician.
My wife and I just moved to a new area, so we are looking for a pediatrician to start visiting with our son. I like your point about scheduling a meet and greet with the doctors beforehand. We’ll have to try doing this so we can narrow down our choices and find someone we like.