The Right Pediatric Schedule and the Right Doctor
Selecting a pediatrician is one of the first major decisions you'll make for your new baby. With this easy process, you'll be able to narrow down your choices and pick a doctor that both you and your child will be happy with.
1. Do Your Research
For many parents, insurance coverage will dictate that you select a pediatrician who accepts your plan. But beyond the question of in-network or out, one of the best ways to find a great pediatrician is to get recommendations from friends and family in your area who already have children. During this process, try to narrow your list to a few names.
2. Schedule Meetings
Before your delivery, go to the pediatric clinic on your short list and meet the pediatrician in person. After all, they will be visiting your baby for his or her first checkup right in the hospital where you give birth. Having a doctor lined up in advance may make you feel more relaxed about the process.
3. Ask Questions
Obviously, you want to have a rapport with your child's pediatrician, so the in-person meeting is partially to find out how well you "click." But it's also important to ask key questions that ensure the practice meshes with your philosophy and lifestyle. Some queries to keep in mind:
● Is the waiting room clean and organized?
● Is the staff pleasant and accommodating?
● How are emergencies handled after hours?
● Is there a separate waiting room for sick and well visits?
● Do the doctor's policies jive with your parenting philosophy? (Are they supportive of breastfeeding, for example)?
● How long is the usual wait for an appointment?
● Are evening and weekend hours available?
Check-Up Schedule: What to Expect
During the first few months of your baby's life, it might seem like you're always at the pediatrician. As the years pass, though, well visits become less frequent. Most pediatricians will want to see your child for wellness checks and vaccinations at the following intervals:
● In the first five days after birth
● At 1, 2, 4, 6, and 9 months old
● Every six months from ages 1 to 3
● Annually after age 3
At the early checkups, your pediatrician will be focused on how well the baby is feeding, measuring height, weight, and head circumference, and checking for developmental milestones, as well as discussing any questions or concerns you have. In addition, your child will receive recommended vaccines. While the schedule varies based upon your doctor, most follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention timeline. This calls for immunizations at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 15 months. After that, most children won't need another shot until kindergarten.
This contribution was made by Idaho Falls Pediatric Center of Idaho. I.F. Pediatrics offers a child friendly environment where comfort and care is a priority.