As parents, you’re naturally very concerned about the health of your baby. For this same reason, many others dedicate a lot of time effort in finding the best pediatrician for their new baby to make sure they get the best possible healthcare. This can be a little confusing and daunting process, however. After all, just what exactly does a good pediatrician look like?
There’s no mathematical formula that goes into the best pediatrician. Many have their own perks and cons, and each family will have different expectations and needs. So knowing where to start looking, and how, is often invaluable knowledge in itself.
Start Your Pediatrician Search Early
And we mean early. Some families start looking for a pediatrician for their baby before it’s even been properly conceived. Others wait until they’re six or seven months along. This allows for time to carefully consider your choice long before it actually becomes necessary to drop in on a pediatrician, which in turn allows for a more informed and measured choice. I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter, my OB/GYN doctor informed me that I needed to have a pediatrician picked out by the time I reached my sixth month. If there was an issue with the baby or the baby came early, then I already had a pediatrician picked out who could be on call for their latest patient.
In ideal circumstances, you should have decided on a doctor and already made arrangements to see them with your new baby before the baby is due to arrive. Given that they rarely arrive on time, try to come to a decision within a month or so of your due date.
Pediatricians or Family Doctors?
Some families choose to enlist the help of family doctors instead. Family doctors can manage the health of the entire family, from birth through to old age, so some like the security of having everyone covered and looked after.
Sometimes, though, it pays to have the focus. A pediatrician is more specialized in children specifically, and as such they’re more likely to have a broad range of knowledge and practices that can help your baby if it suffers a specific condition. This can really help save some time, and also allows your baby a faster treatment and recovery.
Do Your Homework
When drawing up a list of candidates, make sure you get as much information as you can. Ask friends and family in the area for their recommendations if they have kids, look up local clinics online, and look for ads in relevant magazines and newspapers. Once you have a list of names, research them specifically and in detail. Check out their website, look for reviews online, and ask other clients for their opinions.
Take the opportunity to make prospective pediatricians have the relevant qualifications and certificates too. All of those should be portrayed quite prominently on the clinic’s website.
Keep It Local
This is a matter of practicality rather than civic pride. You could very well be seeing the best pediatrician in the state, or even the country, but that might mean very little if you can’t get to them quickly or easily. When selecting candidates, always try to favor those who live close by to you, or who can be readily reached in an emergency.
Your new baby’s health may not always respect traffic times. Make sure that if you need to, you can reach the clinic without difficulty.
Meet Your Pediatrician Face to Face
Never just go by a clinic’s website. They’re specifically designed to make them look good, and thus aren’t valuable sources of information on their own. It’s not that the pediatrician would be bad, simply that there’s a chance you’ll find that, actually, the pediatrician isn’t suitable for you specifically after all. As such, always make sure you take the time to visit and talk to the doctors in question to make sure that they do in fact have the things you want and need. Most clinics are quite happy to arrange interviews or prenatal meetings as they’re often called, with prospective clients.
Before you see a pediatrician, double-check to see if such interviews are free of charge or carry a fee. If it’s the latter, then those usually aren’t covered by your insurance. Don’t use this as an excuse to rule them out, of course, just keep it in mind.
When asking questions, keep them relevant to you and your new baby. Good conversation openers include things such as breast-feeding or vaccines. More essential questions should relate to the pediatrician’s availability, how frequently they’re on call, and how likely you can get a visit if you need one.
Do Not Discount a Good Rapport
You’ll be seeing your pediatrician fairly often, so don’t pretend that you have to get along with them. One of the reasons you should arrange a one-to-one interview before committing is seeing how you get along with them. Ideally your pediatrician should be actively interested in you, your child and your approach to healthcare. You don’t have to agree with everything – if your pediatrician doubts the benefits of breastfeeding, for example, don’t take that as a mark against them. But, at the same time, they should respect your approach to parenting and cast no judgement, except in such areas where it could genuinely jeopardize your child’s health.
They’re there to make sure your kids are healthy, after all. You’d expect them to do so.
When choosing between clinics, always go for the one that you have a good gut feeling about. After all, you’re more likely to listen to a doctor who has your respect. And if you’re not going to listen to the pediatrician, then what’s the point in seeing them?
Do Not Be Afraid to Change Doctors
If you suddenly regret the decision you’ve made about the pediatrician you’ve chosen, don’t be afraid to change clinics, such as to, Night Lite Pediatrics. Be sure to discuss any problems with your pediatrician first, of course, as there may be a chance you two can reach some sort of arrangement that makes things better for you. However, when the chips are down, you have every right to go elsewhere. This is about you and your baby, after all, and that takes priority.
What are some pointers you can offer our readers about how you choose your pediatrician for your children? Let us know in the comments below!