5 Tips for How to Choose a Pediatrician for Your Baby - Baby Chick
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5 Tips for How to Choose a Pediatrician for Your Baby

Choosing a pediatrician can be a challenging task. Here are 5 tips for how to choose the best pediatrician for your family.

Updated April 21, 2024

As you enter your third trimester, it’s time to start thinking about a provider for someone new: your baby. When your baby is born, your OB goes to the wayside, and your pediatrician becomes your go-to for all medical needs concerning the baby. Some pediatricians will visit the hospital after the baby is born, while others require an in-office visit a few days after birth. Either way, you’ll need to be sure you have one locked down weeks before your due date so you aren’t scrambling to find a doctor at the last minute. Many women interview various doctors in their areas, while others rely solely on reviews. As an experienced mom, here are some tips for choosing the right pediatrician for you and your baby.

5 Tips for Choosing a Pediatrician

Follow these tips for finding the best pediatrician for your growing family:

1. Get Recommendations

One of the best ways to narrow your list (or start one) is to ask for personal recommendations. Do you have any local mom friends whose parenting styles align with yours? Ask them where they go and to be honest about their likes and dislikes about the practice. If you don’t know many moms in your area, consider joining a local Facebook group and asking there. Another great resource is your OBGYN, midwife, or primary care provider—they will likely know where their other patients have gone and hear feedback that could benefit you.

2. Run a Google Search

While personal recommendations are always best, they sometimes exclude great doctors simply because they are new or not in your social circle. Spend time on doctor review sites to see what other patients say about pediatricians in your area. You may even come across some bad reviews for a doctor recommended to you, which may inform your decision.

3. Conduct Interviews

It may seem odd, but interviewing a pediatrician before the baby comes is standard practice for new parents. Many doctors even have “meet and greet” days where parents can come to the office, meet the staff, and ask the doctor questions. If an office doesn’t have this, call and explain that you want to meet the doctor. Sitting down with your top choices face-to-face will help solidify your decision and make the process much easier.

4. Ask the Right Questions

Just like parents, doctors also have their way of thinking about caring for babies. To be truly happy with your pediatrician, you must ensure your views align with theirs. For example, if they are staunch supporters of the cry-it-out method and the idea of that method makes your skin crawl, you may want to look elsewhere. Of course, it’s perfectly fine to have a doctor who thinks a bit differently than you (in fact, it could be pretty helpful!). Still, if you are uncomfortable with their views or answers to your questions, you probably don’t want to choose a pediatrician like them. If you are unsure what to ask during the interview, consider these popular questions:

  • Do you come to the hospital after baby is born?
  • When do we first come to the office after baby is born?
  • Do you have separate waiting rooms for sick & healthy kids?
  • How are emergencies/non-office hours handled?
  • Do you offer same-day appointments for sick kids?
  • What are your views on sleep schedules, feeding options, etc.?
  • See more: 22 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Pediatricians

Don’t be afraid to bring a notebook and take notes while they talk—this is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly!

5. Sit in the Waiting Room

This one may seem a bit crazy, but it’s important! While you wait to meet the doctor, sit in the waiting room and notice what is happening. 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 (or write these observations down!) and remember that anything you see happening at that moment will likely occur during your visits. If you feel comfortable, you may also 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 these things and still find that you don’t love your choice of a pediatrician, you can always make a change—so don’t fret! It’s unlikely that any doctor in your area with the proper credentials could be wrong for your child, so feel assured that you’ve likely made the right choice, and if not, that choice can be changed. In the meantime, work to check this task off your list, and good luck with your search to choose a pediatrician!

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Jessica is a writer and editor with a focus on all things lifestyle. Whether she is discovering the latest restaurants, staying up-to-date on new styles, helping brides plan their wedding,… Read more

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