How to choose a pediatrician for your baby

If you need to choose a pediatrician for your baby, the task may seem daunting.

newborn baby

Image source: Thinkstock

Where do you start? When do you start? Does it really matter which doctor sees your baby?

Here are a few guidelines to make the process a little easier and more organized.

Choose your pediatrician about six to eight weeks before baby is due.

That way, even if your little bundle arrives early or things get busy towards the end of your pregnancy, you won’t have to worry about who will be seeing your baby once he or she is born.

  • Start by checking with your medical insurance to see which doctors in your area are on your plan.
  • Talk to friends and neighbors to see who they bring their children to see.
    Personal recommendations are a good way to find physicians with a good reputation in your area.
  • Ask your Ob-Gyn’s office.
    They often have a list of pediatricians that they like to refer their new families to.
  • Make sure the pediatrician you are choosing for your baby is board certified.

Meet the pediatrician ahead of time.

If you have a couple of doctors in mind, or even just one, call their office and find out if the doctor has appointment times set aside to meet expectant parents. You’ll have a chance not only to meet the doctor and find out if he or she is a good fit for you, but you’ll also have the opportunity to meet the staff and see the office itself.

Ask yourself:

  1. Do you feel comfortable talking with this doctor?
  2. Is the staff friendly and attentive?
  3. Is there a separate waiting room for sick and well children?

Bring questions with you. This is a great chance to ask some important questions ahead of time.

  • Will the pediatrician see my baby in the hospital after delivery?
  • If planning on circumcising a baby boy, who does the procedure?
  • When do we come in to the office for our first visit?
  • What are the office hours? What happens if I have questions or concerns after office hours or on the weekend? Is there a nurse available to answer questions during the day? What about at night?
  • What is the expected vaccine schedule for my baby?
  • If baby is sick, can you get same day appointments with your pediatrician?
  • How many other doctors are in the practice? How often will you have to see a different doctor if your child is sick and your doctor is not available that day?

Once you’ve chosen a pediatrician for your baby, you can relax and rest easy knowing who you will see and what to expect when baby is born.