ask your pediatrician what should be done, get prescribed medication, and schedule a follow-up appointment.
Choosing The Right Pediatrician For My Baby
Choosing a doctor is difficult. A doctor who looks like your children would be great, but sometimes we can’t get that. I didn’t have this luxury, but I found a physician who treats my kids well and is honest with me, even if I haven’t noticed anything concerning. Pediatricians should be approachable. When you have worries, be sure they won’t hurry you out, and take the time to calm or remedy your concerns.
There are two kinds of doctors you could go with:
- Pediatricians care for babies through the teenage years. In some situations, doctors may treat patients until age 21.
- A family physician (FP) cares for patients of all ages. FPs are educated to care for children, but also in women’s health and internal medicine.
Find either of these by:
- Doing your research, and making sure your chosen doctor accepts your insurance.
- Verifying the credentials and learning as much as possible about the person you pick through reviews and calling your pediatric office in your area to get referrals.
- Not settling. Find a doctor you trust and are comfortable around.
- Making sure the provider you choose is available and easy to reach:
- Ask questions such as; are you available for after-hours care?
- Is there an on-call provider reachable by phone or e-mail?
A List Of Some Questions To Ask
It is important that you get any concerns you may have, answered. Some questions to ask:
- What shot should my child be getting today and why? (they usually give you a sheet detailing the immunization and why)
- Are my child’s growth and weight healthy? (they will let you know the percentile your child is in based on the age of your child in comparison to children of the same age)
- What milestones should my child be reaching? (there are also apps like BabyCenter, that can help you with knowing this, and you can have questions ready if your child isn’t where you think they should be)
- How can I best protect:
- Car seats
- Sun exposure, etc.
- Note anything you think is unusual or are concerned about to ask at your child’s next well visit. Keep it in the baby bag, so you don’t forget your list at home.
- When is my next appointment?
- Tip: schedule your child’s next well visit before you leave, so you’re all set! This makes it much easier to get a reminder than a “you still need to schedule…”
When your child is getting their immunizations, your pediatrician is there to provide information and answers, so make sure to cover:
- Why should young children be vaccinated?
- How do you know the vaccinations are safe?
- Talk about what boosters are necessary.
- Which ones should your child get?
If you cover these 4 questions, you’ll have enough information to make a good decision for your child.
Preparing My Child(ren)
Receiving shots can be scary for both the child and the parent. To help the appointment go smoothly:
- Talk to your children before their vaccination appointments. They may still not be ready, but at least they know it is something that is coming. I usually let my kids know beforehand even if they get scared because it is better for them to know than to be surprised about it.
- Explain to them what vaccination is and why it is important. This allows them to ask their questions, no matter how little they are.
- Please help them stay calm, sit with them, have them take deep breaths, and encourage them.
Ask your questions at the beginning of the appointment to be sure that your concerns are fully addressed
Personal Records Of Child(ren) Medical History
Remember to ask your doctor for a copy of your child’s vaccination records. This will help you keep track of any vaccinations your child still needs. These documentations are also often required for:
- Travel purposes
If your provider or healthcare system uses an app, confirm you can access your child’s immunization records there. If not, tell your provider.