How to Choose a Pediatrician

Pediatrician checking breath of adorable little baby.

How to Choose a Pediatrician

You spend the majority of your pregnancy being seen by a care provider. From choosing your initial OB to meeting with specialty doctors (if needed), you have likely done quite a bit of research on physicians in your area. But as you enter your third trimester, it’s time to start thinking about a provider for someone new: your baby.

As soon as the baby is born, your OB kind of goes to the wayside and your pediatrician becomes your go-to for all medical needs concerning the baby. Some pediatricians will come to 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 choose to interview a variety of doctors in their areas, while others rely solely on reviews. Still wondering how to choose a pediatrician? Read on.

How to Choose a Pediatrician

Get Recommendations

One of the best ways to narrow down your list (or start one) is to ask around for personal recommendations. Do you have any local mom friends who’s 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 OB, midwife, or primary care provider—they are likely to know where their other patients have gone and heard things that could be beneficial to you.

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Run a Google Search

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

Conduct Interviews

It may seem odd, but interviewing a pediatrician before the baby comes is actually standard, and normal, practice for new parents. In fact, 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, simply call up and explain that you’d like to meet the doctor. Sitting down with your top choices face-to-face will really help solidify your decision and make the process much easier.

Ask the Right Questions

Just like parents, doctors also have their own way of thinking when it comes to caring for babies. In order to be truly happy with your pediatrician, you need to make sure your views line up 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 actually be quite helpful!), but if you are in any way uncomfortable with their views or their 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.
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(Find a full list of questions to ask your pediatrician here!)

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!

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 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 (or write these observations down!) and remember that anything you see happening at that moment, is likely to happen 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 don’t love your choice of pediatrician, you can always make a change—so don’t fret! It’s unlikely that any doctor in your area with the right credentials could be bad for your child, so feel assured in knowing that you’ve 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!

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About the Author /

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, or covering trends in the real estate market, Jessica is on top of it all. After graduating from Florida State University with a B.A. in Editing, Writing and Media, Jessica moved to Philadelphia to get her Masters in Science in Publication Management from Drexel University.

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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
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