Your baby is running a fever and has the chills. There’s only one thing to do.
Okay, two things:
One, don’t panic.
Two, get on your phone and contact the best pediatrician who can help your baby fast.
But one question most parents have in their mind: How do I choose the right pediatrician for my baby??
I’ve got for you a simple and practical guide on choosing the best pediatrician for your baby, so you can go straight to the right person and not end up randomly calling any doctor from your insurance directory.
Why Choose a Pediatrician? Aren’t They All The Same?
No, they’re not.
Yes, they’re all called pediatrician by profession but not all pediatricians are created equal.
This is why you really have to choose who to consult when your baby needs medical attention or just a regular check-up.
You might not like one pediatrician because you’ve got different views on parenting topics. You may be pro-breastfeeding and she’s not, you’re not into overusing antibiotics and she is, she’s got a different perspective on disciplining kids that you don’t agree with…
For the most part, you have to like and feel comfortable with your pediatrician. It’s more about finding the right fit for you, in terms of the personality, philosophy, availability.
So bottom line, you NEED to choose a pediatrician and not think that anyone is good enough for your baby’s needs.
And how do you choose one?
There are a couple of ways to go about this and a few steps that will lead you to the best pediatrician.
More on that below.
Choosing the Best Pediatrician Through Recommendations, Research, and Interviews
The easiest route parents take when choosing a pediatrician is by seeking recommendations from family members and friends.
They ask a friend who their pediatrician is and basically just stick with this person for a while.
A friend of a friend says this pediatrician is good and you give it a try once, twice, and it works.
But it doesn’t happen all the time. Other times, you subscribed to the idea that the pediatrician was the best only to find out there were things you two don’t agree on.
And you go looking for another one because the recommendation didn’t actually work for you, and that’s okay.
It’s more of a trial and error thing at this point.
A tougher route is doing the research and really dedicating your time and energy finding the right pediatrician without getting any recommendation or referral from others.
This is something you do, of course, when there’s no emergency going on. It’s completely not feasible to research when your baby requires prompt medical attention.
There are websites you can go to when you want to do some research on the best pediatrician for your child depending on where you live. There’s the American Board of Pediatrics website, healthychildren.org, and a few more you can find on the internet.
Interviewing Your Pediatrician: Questions You Need to Ask
The next step, whether you take a friend’s recommendation or you do your own research is the interview part.
Either route you take, it makes sense to interview the pediatrician you are looking to get for your baby.
This is how you find out if she’s the perfect fit for your needs.
Here are a few questions to ask during your interview:
1. Where is your clinic located?
2. What are your clinic hours? Do you have a weekend or late hours?
3. In case of emergency and I need quick advice after your clinic hours, will I be able to get in touch with you or your nurse?
4. Which hospitals are you affiliated with?
5. Can I come in for a same-day sick appointment?
6. How much do you charge per visit?
7. Will there be additional charges when I call in for after-hours advice or when I would like to have my baby’s medicines refilled?
8. Are you board-certified? How long have you been practicing?
9. Are there well and sick patients’ waiting rooms in your clinic?
These are basic questions to ask but you can always ask additional questions depending on what your other concerns are. You may ask about their parenting beliefs if they are open with overusing antibiotics and other things that are important or critical for you.
Some other things you can ask your pediatrician during the interview include her beliefs on potty training, immunizations, alternative medicine, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and the like.
Prepare your questions, write them down on a piece of paper, and ask away once you get on the phone with the pediatrician in question. This way, you will not forget the things you need to ask that will help you decide whether you should choose her or not.
What Other Things You Need to Consider When Choosing a Pediatrician
While the price is usually the concern in most parents searching for the best pediatrician for their baby, this should not be the only deciding factor for you. Remember, you always get what you pay for, right?
Just because you spotted a cheap pediatrician, it doesn’t always mean that you have to stick with it because that’s all you can afford. You certainly would not compromise your child’s health and well-being for a pediatrician who’s worth a few bucks.
Choosing a pediatrician is more crucial than you think because there’s a lot more involved in the process such as her credentials, background, expertise, philosophies, clinic hours, availability, personality, and her clinic’s proximity to your residence.
So if after getting clear on all these things and your pediatrician’s philosophies and personality resonates with yours, then you should be on the right track. She should be someone you would feel comfortable communicating with and consulting for your child’s needs.
Another important thing is that it does not largely matter if your pediatrician attended the finest and most prestigious medical school in the country or graduated with the highest honors. You basically need someone who genuinely cares about your little one, listens to your needs, and is always available each time you need her.
Once you find a pediatrician whose credentials and qualities tick off all of these things in your checklist, you’re golden.
Rachel Lee, founder of thebabylover
Only being 36, I understand that becoming a new mom is incredibly exciting but also challenging. I remember having a multitude of questions when it came to my pregnancy, taking care of a newborn child, and raising little ones. That is why I decided to create this blog. I wanted to share the vast amount of knowledge with other mommy’s who need help with everything regarding pregnancy and child care.
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